Bring the Outdoors In With a Terrarium

Too cold to go outside?   Why not bring the outside in by making a terrarium!  Here are some step-by-step directions on how to make a terrarium.
What you need:
1. A glass container.  You can use old jars or go to the thrift store to find exciting shapes.  Get creative! Use fish bowls, pitchers, or wine glasses.  Lids are optional but if you choose not to use one, remember to water the plants more frequently.  If you do have a lid, humidity can build-up so open your terrarium every once in a while to let it air out.
2. Sterilized soil.  (Don’t go digging it up from a park, you’ll need to buy fresh.)  If you’re going for a desert theme, you’ll need sand.
3. Moss and gravel.  Many different types of moss and gravel are available and you should use the kind that aesthetically fits in with the theme of your terrarium, be it desert, tropical or woodland.
4. Small objects that will complete the look of your terrarium. Look around your home to see what you can include. I recommend seashells, marbles, rocks, or small toys.
5. Activated charcoal. This is easily found at local garden stores.
6. Plants. The kind of plants you include depends on the look you want. Get plants that require similar amounts of light and water. Make sure the plants aren’t too tall so they will fit in your container. Ask the employees of your garden store what the best choices are for your terrarium.

Ok! Now you’re ready to get to work.
1. Spread a layer of gravel on the bottom of your container to create good drainage.
2. Pour a thin layer of your charcoal to cover the gravel. The charcoal filters the air and keeps your terrarium from smelling.
3. Place a layer of moss on top of the charcoal. The moss works as a boundary above the charcoal and the plants. It also absorbs water.
4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of soil or sand.
5. Arrange and set your plants. Make sure to separate the roots before sticking them into the soil or sand.
6. Decorate your terrarium with your objects. Remember to use your imagination to make it look good.
7. Put your terrarium near a light source and don’t forget to water it every few weeks.
8. Enjoy your new terrarium!
Check out the University of Missouri website for more information.