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- Terrariums are essentially small, contained gardens you can curate yourself.
- Terrarium kits are a great way to get started with the best plants for your home.
- We spoke to 3 experts on the best terrarium kits, from a “Harry Potter” one to a high-tech device.
Want to add more greenery to your room, office, or home without simply buying another houseplant? Consider creating your own terrarium.
“A terrarium is an enclosed glass or plastic container that is used to grow plants,” says Lisa Steinkopf, who runs the blog The Houseplant Guru.
Typically, humid-loving plants, such as ferns, begonias, gesneriads, and more need the extra humidity that the closed container provides, she adds. But terrariums occasionally come in open containers, and the sizes and amount of plants included can greatly vary, according to Justin Hancock, a horticulturist at Costa Farms.
If you’re intrigued by gardening but feel overwhelmed, making your own terrarium can be a fun and easy way to start growing plants. Or if you have experience gardening or collecting houseplants, a terrarium can be a new, more creative medium to test out. “Terrariums add another dimension to your indoor gardening,” says Steinkopf, who loves making terrariums. “They have a mystery about them that is intriguing and they contain a ‘little world’ that fascinates people of every age,” she says.
Because terrariums are usually small, there’s no concern about needing a lot of space like a traditional garden. “They help those who may not have outside spaces of their own to enjoy and learn from their own mini-garden without stepping foot outdoors,” says Elizabeth Waddington, a garden designer and sustainability consultant for Horticulture Magazine.
Creating your own terrarium offers a chance to get creative and play with shapes, plants, and colors. “Making a terrarium is the ultimate opportunity to express your creativity with plants!” says Hancock. Waddington adds that designing your own terrarium lets you hone your design skills on a smaller, more manageable scale than a big outdoor garden.
Why buy a terrarium kit?
“Many kits provide all the materials you need to build a terrarium, so it takes the guesswork out,” says Hancock. Some kits also provide the plants themselves, making the process even easier.
Plus, kits provide the exact materials you need, which is convenient so you don’t have to shop for each item or worry about having leftover soil if you’re not sure if you’re going to want to make additional terrariums.
Here are 5 best terrarium kits, recommended by experts:
DIY Large Conical Terrarium Kit, available on Etsy, $76.83
“If you want something natural [and] simple yet stylish, this terrarium kit offers everything you need,” says Waddington. “It comes with a small bonsai, and a selection of lower growing species, plus a conical bottle with cork plug, and the rocks, pebbles, bark moss, and soil to create an attractive and natural-looking display.”
Clemontoni 19248 Terrarium, available on Amazon, $35.03
Love “Harry Potter” and plants? Consider this kit that includes all the materials needed, including soil, stones, peat moss, and even the plants. It even comes with materials and molds to recreate a miniature version of Hagrid’s hut. “This Harry Potter terrarium would make anyone want to make a terrarium,” says Steinkopf. This can also double as a decorative piece for a “Harry Potter”-themed room or make a great gift for the Potterhead in your life.
Large Closed Terrarium Kit, available on Etsy, starting at $67.86
If you want a kit that includes everything you need (including the plants themselves), consider this large, closed terrarium kit.
“This kit comes with a glass terrarium with a cork lid, four live plants, moss, clay pebbles, activated charcoal, special soil, and decorative rocks,” says Waddington. There are also options to upgrade to different kits with extra materials.
DIY Bunny Terrarium Kit, available on Etsy, starting at $34.75
If you’re looking to give a terrarium kit to a kid, this one is a good choice. “This little kit is great to give kids a small taste of growing their own [plants] and comes with a cute little bunny too,” says Waddington.
This DIY Bunny Terrarium comes with a solar panel lid that charges during the day and then lights up at night, so you can observe the terrarium in the dark. “If you don’t fancy taking a DIY approach, then this is a fun and simple kit to consider,” says Waddington.
Biorb 60, available on Amazon, $479.65
Steinkopf’s favorite terrarium she owns is the Biorb. With a cool globe design that automatically regulates air, light, and water, the Biorb 60 terrarium offers people the opportunity to grow tropical and exotic plants that may not be easy to grow in a traditional terrarium.
“This could be a beginner terrarium or one for someone who already has a couple of terrariums and wants a bigger and more unique one,” says Steinkopf.