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Easy DIY: Tabletop Terrariums Even Black Thumbs Can Keep Alive

How to make a high-impact, low-maintenance garden the easy way

There are two types of people: Those who can keep a plant alive, and those who cannot. While the “garden people” Instagram their puffy hydrangeas and always have a sweet-smelling centerpiece at the ready, the black thumbs of the world exist without the aesthetic benefits of home-grown bouquets—or worse, succumb to (eek!) silk flowers.

But we spotted a solution at HGTV Magazine’s Blogger Block Party that bridges the gap between the plant-iful and the plant-less: tabletop terrariums. These small, enclosed floral arrangements are clean and modern and look perfect, and yet they’re so simple to make and maintain, anyone—award-winning rose gardeners to never-grown-anything city dwellers—can make them come alive (and stay that way).

Round up your favorite apothecary jars, make a quick trip to the garden shop and then start crafting; in minutes, you’ll make a microterrarium that’ll add a pop of green to your dining table, bookshelf or bathroom—and prove that you may have a bit of a green thumb after all.

What You’ll Need:

  • A small, clear, closed vessel (try a Mason jar or an apothecary jar)
  • Gravel or polished pebbles
  • Potting soil
  • Live moss (look for cushion, frog or reindeer moss)
  • Moisture-loving plants (try ferns, African violets and strawberry begonias)
  • Spoon
  • Small funnel
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Optional: tiny trinkets (think charms and small figurines)
  • Basic tools: spoons or a funnel for placing soil, tweezers for adding plants to the vessel, scissors for clipping greenery, and paper towels for cleaning up

Put It Together:

  1. Use the spoon and the funnel to add alternating layers of gravel and soil inside the vessel to create a base for the plants’ roots.
  2. Use the tweezers and your fingers to layer in moss and plants of different heights and colors to create visual interest. Trim the plants with scissors.
  3. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of water to your terrarium and close the lid.
  4. Keep your new creation in bright but indirect sunlight, and water once per month.