Posted by on 12/29/2014

Bring a bit of green to a winter's day by making a terrarium at home. For anyone caught in the doldrums of a gloomy winter, it can seem as if you’ll never see fresh greenery again. Your summer flowers have long ago faded and your lush garden is now a heap of dirt awaiting the spring. So what can you do to liven up your living space in the dead of winter? Grow a happy little garden inside to help carry you to spring. To make your own terrarium – a collection of moisture-loving plants packed in a container – you need just a few materials and a bit of imagination. What’s more, putting together a terrarium can be a fun project for you and your kids to share. Let’s get started!

What you’ll need:

Glass vase or container
Sand
Pebbles or marbles
Soil
Activated charcoal
Plants (miniature ferns and garden moss are recommended)

Instructions

Combine pebbles and activated charcoal in the bottom of your container. Add a layer of coarse sand to lay atop it. The charcoal brings oxygen to your miniature garden and the pebbles or marbles allow for water drainage.

On top of the sand, add a layer of soil. Loosen the soil around your plants’ roots and nestle them into your container. Pack additional soil around your plants to ensure stability.

If you are using a deep container, feel free to include additional layers of sand and charcoal beneath your plants. When your layers are complete and your plants are nestled snugly, water the container lightly.

Notes

If you’d like, try building your own terrarium with a variety of succulents. Succulents are neat because they don’t need roots to grow. Once your plants start outgrowing their confined space, snip a few stems off each plant and repot them to multiply your greenery.

It’s important to keep your terrarium well-watered, but don’t let it get too soggy. If you suspect you’ve over-watered it, turn the container on its side to dry out.

If you use a container that has a lid, it’s okay to keep your terrarium covered for the most part. Every few days, remove the lid for an hour or two, just to let in some fresh air.

What sort of eco-friendly projects do you like to share with your kids? Start a discussion below by telling us all about your experience.

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