How do terrariums work? And what do I need for one?

So I want to make a Mason jar terrarium (I love Pinterest) but I don't understand it. How does it work if it's closed off? Also, what all do I need to make it? Thanks!


Do I close the lid onto it?

5 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A terrarium is basically a mini-ecosystem, with which you should have to do very very little once the whole setup is in place. You need to have plants that are compatible with each other and suitable for whatever insect life you also choose to put in the terrarium.

    With the terrarium sealed off, humidity does not escape, meaning that watering is not necessary. Also, if you achieve the right balance, the growth and death cycles of the plants and insects within the terrarium will keep the ecosystem chugging along without any interference.

  • 7 years ago

    The supplies needed to build a terrarium can be found at most garden stores—from the proper plants to the soil and pebbles as well as glass containers and domes of all sizes. Accent pieces such as tiny, handmade red and white faux mushrooms are also available to add a bit of color and whimsy to your encapsulated arrangement.

    Directions to Make a Terrarium:


    1. Small rocks or pebbles for drainage and texture.

    2. Small piece of charcoal (the type found in the pet supply department for aquarium filters.)

    3. Potting soil.

    4. Miniature house plants and mosses. Ivy, ferns, succulents, and orchids work well.

    5. Drift wood or branches

    6. Sand

    7. A glass container with or without a lid.

    8. Spray mist bottle.


    1. Line the bottom of a glass jar with pebbles—one inch is usually adequate.

    2. Place a small piece of charcoal in the middle of the pebbles. The charcoal helps to keep the soil fresh.

    3. Add a few inches of potting soil and sand to the layer of pebbles and charcoal.

    4. Gently place three or four small plants into the container. Make sure the plants are nestled together but not crowded or root bound.

    5. Arrange live moss around the plants. The moss adds visual appeal as well as lending support and anchorage for the plants.

    6. Mist the terrarium and cover.

    7. Place you terrarium in an area with moderate light, making sure that the terrarium is not exposed to direct sunlight.


    Open the lid of the terrarium and feel the soil every week or two. If the dirt is moist to the touch and condensation is built up in the terrarium, it’s fine. If the soil feel dry, mist until dew drops appear on the leaves of the plants and on the insides of the glass.

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  • You'll need a heat and moisture hardy plant (most non-pines and non-food will qualify), a bit of water, soil, and a good light source. Just place the water and soil in the jar and start the seeds with the lid off (depending on what degree of moisture your seed of choice requires).

    How does it work? Well, when the light source heats the terrarium, it gives the plant energy to grow. As it grows, it dies off after a while, and the leaves degrade back into nutrients. This starts teh cycle all over by feeding the new plant. It's essentially a closed system in a jar.

  • tepper
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    How A Terrarium Works

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  • 5 years ago

    I got Minecraft a few months ago, because my friends loved it. Then, later they say that they LOVE Terraria once it came out, but I didn't feel like it was a good idea to buy it. I still play Minecraft, and it gets better every day, with more ideas to build. Killing monsters is not much of the point of Minecraft. Minecraft is just for the fun of adventuring everywhere, and the Minecraft worlds never end. I think Terraria might have it last forever too, but Minecraft and Terraria both look fun, but it is your decision. Minecraft is all about adventure and ESPECIALLY building! My friends told me that Terraria has like 6,0137 (I am making number up) more things that you can do. You never knwo what will happen in Minecraft as a 3-D game. Since Terraria is 2-D, you can see what is happening behind you without the fun of surprise! I think you should decide based on the other answers, and mine, but if I had to choose, it would be Minecraft. Whichever game you choose, neither will be bad, both are GREAT!

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