Q: How can I bring my garden indoors this season?

A: Fall is a wonderful time to bring the garden indoors and enjoy plants within a terrarium. These unique mini-gardens can feature a type of plant, a holiday theme, or even a fairy garden for the kids.

First, you’ll need to gather your supplies. A glass terrarium container should be at least 12 inches across. Use a sterile potting medium without perlite, which tends to float, or pick a formulated mix from your favorite nursery for the type of plants you plan to use. Small tools like kitchen spoons, forks, scissors and chopsticks are best while working in the small space.

Find interesting or colorful rocks, small pieces of driftwood, sea glass, or other miniature items for your tiny garden. Activated charcoal, found with aquarium supplies, is a must to keep soil and water fresh.

Begin assembling the terrarium by adding a bottom layer of large-grained sand or gravel, then activated charcoal, then a fine layer of sphagnum to keep soil from sifting down. Finish with a thick layer of your soil media and make contours for interest.

The most fun is picking out small plants. The nursery section of big-box stores often has tiny plants close to the checkout area. Ferns and mosses are great for moist containers; succulents and cacti work well for a dry garden. Avoid placing your terrarium in full sun.

Enjoy nature up close at home with your new terrarium garden. Plus, they make a great gift idea!

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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