Supplies for creating your own terrarium

Grow a tiny ecosystem inside your apartment

terrarium on a table
Brighten your day with an indoor garden.Scott Webb via Unsplash

Indoor gardening is often focused on growing herbs you can eat, or hanging large plants that gobble up the sun streaming through your window. Terrariums are more like a small-scale greenhouse. They can be enclosed or open to the air, and are essentially a tiny world of your own making. These essential terrarium supplies will get you started cultivating living flora in your living space, and provide a welcome bit of natural landscape among the humming appliances and tangled cords of modern human habitats.

Cute Farms Terrarium Starter Kit
Yes, your garden can have friendly dinosaurs.Amazon

Who cares that it’s no longer the Jurassic Period? With this kit you can stage a dino-rumble among the river stones in a terrain covered with lichen and moss. You’ll get 12 ounces of potting soil and stones, moss, vermiculite (plant food), and three miniature dinosaurs. Just add plants and a container to complete your terrarium, and use the included bamboo stick and brush for fine-detailing of your environs (like hand-painted signs or a perch for a fake salamander).

Mini Terrarium Plants
Get your leafy greens.Amazon

Stock your new terrarium with this set of six different plants. Each of the green and leafy specimens fits in a 2-inch pot so you can give your new world a small footprint. These plants can tolerate low-light, so you don’t have to keep them on a windowsill (try a bookshelf or coffee table instead). Make sure that the temperature near you is moderate when ordering (above 38 but below 95 degrees Fahrenheit) so that they arrive healthy and ready for their new home.

H Potter Glass Terrarium Planter
Build your own greenhouse jungle.Amazon

With a terrarium planter this elegant, you’ll have to up your game when designing the inside. With a footprint of approximately 8.5 by 10 inches and a height of about 10 inches at the peak of the roof, this carefully-crafted glass and metal container has ornate details including emerald-green stained glass. You can open the roof to tend to your garden, and the space will accommodate mini-orchids, succulents, or tiny ivy vines creeping gently up an old stick you’ve fashioned into a tree. There’s even a prop rod that functions like a real greenhouse to let in air if needed.

12 Pack Classic Variety Tillandsia Assortment
Not low-maintenance, just different-maintenance.Amazon

Sadly, air plants are not a species of plant designed for people without a flair for gardening. They don’t require soil (and shouldn’t be planted in soil), but they do need weekly soaking baths to thrive. This assortment of twelve plants from South and Central America ranges from long, slender grass-like plants to more spiky and colorful types. You’ll want to find a place where they can get indirect bright light, but they’re perfect for small glass orb-like terrariums you can fill with rocks and pebbles and hang from the ceiling.