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Apr 04.23

DIY Terrariums: Grow Your Own Piece of Nature

Posted In: Green >> Behind the Scenes

Here at LUSH HQ, our spring months are often filled with gray rainy days that leave us longing for sunny afternoons spent outdoors. In an effort to bring a little of the outdoors inside (while staying out of the rain), we decided to make terrariums for our office!

Terrariums are fantastic little ecosystems that are simple to create and manage. Trust us: even the most gardening-inept can tackle making one! They provide us with a little piece of nature that will flourish on a desktop, bedside table or bookshelf in our homes or offices and create a connection with the environment that can be difficult to attain for the city-dwellers among us.

Not only do terrariums help to foster a deeper connection with the natural world, they also have positive effects on our health! NASA's studies in the eighties proved that houseplants improve interior air quality, and studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences show that indoor plants decrease incidences of dry skin, fatigue and coughing. If you're a business owner or manager, take note: a study by the same university concluded that offices with have living plants report less sick time taken by employees and higher productivity. Nobody wants to play hooky if they've got a terrarium to look after!

With all these benefits to owning a terrarium, what's holding you back? Not sure how to make one yet? Let's do it together- you'll be an expert in no time.

Choosing your terrarium container

The container you choose is the most interesting part of your terrarium. It also decides the type of environment that you'll be creating for your plants: a container with a lid will result in a more tropical, humid environment (think tropical rainforest), while an open-air container creates drier conditions. Use an old aquarium, candy jar, cloche, Mason jar or light bulb. The possibilities are endless so get creative! This is a great opportunity to reuse items as containers that may otherwise be discarded.

Choosing plants for your terrarium

If you've chosen a container with a lid, you'll want to find tropical plants that flourish in high-humidity conditions like ferns or African violets.

If your container is open-air, drought-tolerant plants such as succulents are preferable. You can also use tropical plants in an open-air terrarium but you'll need to water them more often, so if you're a notorious plant-neglector (you know who you are!), keep your open-air terrarium simple with draught-loving plants.

Here’s what you'll need:

A glass container

Potting soil

Charcoal (available at gardening supply shops or aquarium stores)

Small stones


Moss (optional)



Let's get started!

1. Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of small pebbles. This creates a drainage system for the plant roots.

2. Top the stones with a thin layer of charcoal. The charcoal will keep the terrarium's air fresh and clean.

3. Fill the remainder of the container with potting soil, leaving enough room at the top for your plants. Keep in mind they'll want room to grow too!

4. Place your plants in the container, starting with the largest plant first.

5. Once you're happy with how the plants are arranged, water the soil lightly.

6. Finish with ornaments or decorations for a whimsical touch (we used dinosaurs- they're everywhere at the office!). You can also add a layer of moss or pebbles around the plants to cover the soil if you like.

We recommend keeping your terrarium in a spot where it will receive lots of indirect sunlight. Our finished terrariums are scattered about the office on desks and tables and are getting loads of attention! Overwatering is the most common mistake for terrariums with lids, so water sparingly so you don't smother your new friend with too much water-love.

There! You've created a lovely little terrarium you'll enjoy for years to come. Now that you're an expert, why not spread the love and organize a terrarium DIY session for your friends or colleagues? Terrariums also make a charming, thoughtful, handmade and low-waste gift for friends and family...sounds like a LUSH kind of gift to us!