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Diy Air Plant Terrarium Guide: Step-by-Step Instructions!

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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In this diy air plant terrarium guide, you’ll learn how to create your own mini garden using air plants, a glass container, and other decorative elements. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions on choosing the right container, preparing the soil, arranging the plants, and caring for your terrarium.

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced gardener, this guide will help you create a beautiful air plant terrarium for your home or office. Get ready to bring a touch of nature indoors with this fun and easy project.

Diy Air Plant Terrarium Guide: Step-by-Step Instructions!
Diy Air Plant Terrarium Guide: Step-by-Step Instructions! 4


Introduction To Air Plant Terrariums

Learn how to create stunning air plant terrariums with this diy guide. Discover the step-by-step process and tips for designing your own unique terrariums with air plants.

What Is An Air Plant Terrarium?

An air plant terrarium is a mini ecosystem that combines the beauty of plants with the convenience of low-maintenance care. Unlike traditional terrariums that require soil, air plant terrariums use special plants called tillandsia, or air plants, which thrive on air and water alone.

These unique plants absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves, making them perfect for small, enclosed terrariums.

Key points:

  • Air plant terrariums are miniature ecosystems that require little maintenance.
  • They feature air plants, also known as tillandsia, which do not need soil to grow.
  • These plants absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves.

Benefits Of Having An Air Plant Terrarium

Air plant terrariums offer several benefits, making them a popular choice for both experienced gardeners and beginners. Here are some advantages of having an air plant terrarium:

  • Air purification: Air plants absorb harmful toxins from the air, improving the air quality in your home or office.
  • Easy care: Air plants require minimal care and are ideal for busy individuals or those without a green thumb. They do not need soil and only require occasional misting or soaking.
  • Versatile decor: Air plant terrariums come in various shapes and sizes, making them versatile decor pieces that can fit any interior style.
  • Stress relief: The presence of plants has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, making air plant terrariums an excellent addition to any space.

Materials Needed For Creating An Air Plant Terrarium

To create an air plant terrarium, you will need a few essential materials. Gather these items before starting the process:

  • Glass container: Choose a glass container with an open top, such as a vase, jar, or bowl. This will allow for proper air circulation and visibility of the air plants.
  • Gravel or pebbles: Place a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of the terrarium. This will provide drainage and prevent water from pooling around the air plants’ roots.
  • Activated charcoal: Adding a layer of activated charcoal on top of the gravel will help absorb any excess moisture and maintain the terrarium’s freshness.
  • Reindeer moss or decorative elements: Consider adding reindeer moss or other decorative elements, such as seashells or small figurines, to enhance the terrarium’s visual appeal.
  • Tillandsia or air plants: Acquire a variety of air plants to place inside the terrarium. Choose different shapes and sizes to create an interesting and diverse display.

Overview Of The Step-By-Step Process

Creating an air plant terrarium is a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step overview:

  • Prepare the container: Clean the glass container thoroughly, ensuring it is free of dust and debris.
  • Add drainage layer: Place a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of the container to facilitate drainage.
  • Add activated charcoal: Sprinkle a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the gravel to maintain the terrarium’s freshness.
  • Arrange decorative elements: If desired, add reindeer moss or other decorative elements to enhance the terrarium’s aesthetic appeal.
  • Position the air plants: Gently place the air plants on top of the decorative elements. Arrange them in a way that allows proper air circulation and visibility.
  • Mist or soak the air plants: Depending on the air plant’s care requirements, mist or soak the plants with water. Follow the specific instructions for each type of air plant.
  • Display and care: Find a suitable spot for your air plant terrarium, ensuring it receives adequate indirect light. Mist or soak the air plants regularly to keep them hydrated.

Remember to check the specific care requirements for different air plant species, as they may have slight variations in their care routines. With proper care and attention, your air plant terrarium will thrive and bring a touch of nature to your space.

Step 1: Choosing The Perfect Container

When it comes to creating a diy air plant terrarium, step one is choosing the perfect container. From mason jars to glass bowls, there are plenty of options to showcase your air plants in this easy and breezy guide.

Selecting The Right Container For Your Air Plant Terrarium

When it comes to creating a stunning diy air plant terrarium, selecting the perfect container is key. The container you choose will not only serve as a beautiful display for your air plants but also ensure their health and longevity.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right container for your air plant terrarium:

  • Glass bowls:
  • Glass bowls are a popular choice for air plant terrariums due to their transparency, which allows you to showcase the unique beauty of your plants.
  • They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, providing flexibility in design.
  • Glass bowls are easy to clean and maintain, ensuring your air plants stay healthy.
  • Mason jars:
  • Mason jars have a rustic charm that adds character to any space.
  • They are readily available and come in different sizes, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your air plants.
  • Mason jars also provide good ventilation for your plants, promoting proper airflow.
  • More container options:
  • Besides glass bowls and mason jars, you can explore other container options such as hanging glass terrariums or even repurposed glass containers like vases or fish tanks.
  • Get creative and choose a container that reflects your personal style and complements your home decor.

Considerations for drainage and ventilation:

  • Drainage:
  • Good drainage is essential for the health of your air plants.
  • Ensure that your chosen container has drainage holes or a layer of rocks or pebbles at the bottom to prevent water from pooling and causing root rot.
  • Avoid containers without proper drainage, as excess moisture can harm your plants.
  • Ventilation:
  • Air plants require proper ventilation to thrive.
  • Look for containers that have open tops or holes to allow air circulation.
  • Avoid completely sealed containers, as they can trap moisture and lead to mold growth.

By selecting the right container for your air plant terrarium and considering drainage and ventilation, you’ll create an ideal habitat for your plants to flourish. With these tips in mind, let your creativity soar and enjoy the process of designing your own unique air plant terrarium.

Step 2: Creating The Base Layer

In step 2 of the diy air plant terrarium guide, you will learn how to create the base layer for your terrarium. This essential step sets the foundation for your air plant’s growth and ensures proper drainage and moisture levels for the plants.

Follow the guide to achieve a beautiful and thriving terrarium.

Adding A Layer Of Rocks Or Pebbles At The Bottom Of The Container:

When creating a diy air plant terrarium, one of the crucial steps is to create a base layer using rocks or pebbles. This layer serves two primary purposes: drainage and aesthetics. Here’s why adding rocks or pebbles is an essential step in building your air plant terrarium:

  • Proper drainage: The base layer of rocks or pebbles helps improve the drainage capacity of the terrarium. It prevents excess moisture from accumulating at the bottom, which can lead to root rot or other issues. This ensures the air plants have a healthy and suitable growing environment.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Apart from drainage, the base layer also adds visual interest and creates a visually appealing foundation for your air plants. The rocks or pebbles can enhance the overall look of the terrarium and provide a natural backdrop for the air plants to shine against. It adds depth and texture to the arrangement.

Tips For Choosing The Right Size And Type Of Rocks Or Pebbles:

When selecting the rocks or pebbles for your terrarium base layer, consider the following tips to ensure you choose the right size and type:

  • Size matters: Opt for rocks or pebbles that are small to medium-sized. They should be large enough to allow water to flow freely through the gaps but not too big that they occupy too much space. Aim for pieces that are roughly ¼ to ½ inch in diameter.
  • Appropriate material: Choose rocks or pebbles made from materials that are safe for your air plants. Avoid using limestone or other rocks that may release harmful chemicals or substances. Instead, go for natural river rocks, aquarium gravel, or specialty terrarium stones.
  • Consider aesthetics: Select rocks or pebbles that complement the overall theme or style of your terrarium. You can choose neutral-colored stones for a minimalist look or opt for vibrant colored pebbles to add a pop of color. The choice is yours!
  • Clean and sterilize: Before adding the rocks or pebbles to your terrarium, make sure to clean them thoroughly. Rinse them under running water and scrub off any dirt or debris. This helps eliminate any potential contaminants and ensures a clean and healthy environment for your air plants.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to create an attractive and functional base layer using rocks or pebbles for your diy air plant terrarium. This foundation will set the stage for your air plants to thrive and become a beautiful addition to your home decor.

Step 3: Adding A Layer Of Charcoal

In step 3 of the diy air plant terrarium guide, you will learn how to add a layer of charcoal to help filter the air and prevent odors in your terrarium. This step is crucial for the health and longevity of your air plants.

Importance Of Adding Charcoal To Prevent Mold And Rot:

Adding a layer of charcoal to your diy air plant terrarium is crucial for preventing mold and rot. Charcoal acts as a natural air purifier by absorbing excess moisture and toxins, creating a healthier environment for your air plants. Here’s why it’s important:

  • Absorbs excess moisture: Charcoal has the ability to absorb moisture from the air, preventing the terrarium from becoming too humid. This helps keep the air plants from rotting due to excess water.
  • Filters toxins: Charcoal acts as a filter, removing harmful toxins and impurities from the air. This helps to maintain the air quality within the terrarium, providing a healthier environment for the air plants to thrive.
  • Prevents mold growth: Mold thrives in moist environments, and without a layer of charcoal, the terrarium can become a breeding ground for mold. The charcoal helps to maintain the right moisture balance, preventing mold growth and ensuring the longevity of your air plants.

How To Evenly Distribute The Charcoal Layer:

When adding the charcoal layer to your air plant terrarium, it’s important to distribute it evenly to ensure effective moisture control and filtration. Here’s how to do it:

  • Prepare the charcoal: Use activated charcoal specifically designed for terrariums or aquariums. Rinse the charcoal thoroughly to remove any dust or debris before adding it to the terrarium.
  • Create a layer: Start by adding a thin layer of small rocks or pebbles to the bottom of the terrarium. This will act as a drainage layer. Then, spread an even layer of charcoal on top of the rocks, making sure it covers the entire bottom surface.
  • Level the charcoal: Use your fingers or a spoon to gently spread and level the charcoal layer. Ensure that there are no gaps or clumps, as an even distribution will provide consistent moisture absorption and filtration throughout the terrarium.

Recommended Type And Amount Of Charcoal To Use:

To achieve optimal results in your air plant terrarium, it’s essential to use the right type and amount of charcoal. Here are some recommendations:

  • Type of charcoal: Activated charcoal, specifically designed for terrariums or aquariums, is the best choice. It is effectively processed to remove impurities and maximize its absorbency and filtration capabilities.
  • Amount of charcoal: The amount of charcoal you need depends on the size of your terrarium. As a general guideline, aim for a layer about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. This will provide sufficient moisture control and filtration without overcrowding the terrarium.

Remember, the charcoal layer is just one step in creating a healthy environment for your air plants. It’s important to follow the remaining steps, such as adding a layer of rocks for drainage and choosing the right soil mix, to ensure the long-term success of your diy air plant terrarium.

Step 4: Placing The Air Plants

In step 4 of the diy air plant terrarium guide, you will learn how to carefully place the air plants within your terrarium. Follow this step-by-step process to create a beautiful and thriving air plant display.

Now that you have prepared your terrarium and added the necessary elements, it’s time to place the air plants. This step is crucial for the health and aesthetics of your terrarium. Follow these guidelines to ensure proper placement and growth of your air plants:

How To Prepare The Air Plants For Planting:

  • Soak the air plants: Submerge the air plants in water for about 20-30 minutes to hydrate them before planting. This will ensure they have enough moisture to thrive in their new environment.
  • Gently clean the air plants: Use a soft brush or your fingers to remove any dust or debris from the air plants. This will help them absorb nutrients and water more efficiently.

Arranging The Air Plants Creatively In The Terrarium:

  • Vary the heights: To create visual interest, arrange air plants of different heights in your terrarium. This will add depth and dimension to your display.
  • Consider color and texture: Mix and match air plants with different colors and textures to create an eye-catching arrangement. Combine spiky varieties with more delicate ones to create a visually pleasing contrast.

Tips For Positioning The Air Plants To Ensure Proper Growth:

  • Allow air circulation: Avoid overcrowding the terrarium with too many air plants. Leave enough space between them to promote air circulation and prevent any fungal or bacterial growth.
  • Avoid direct contact with glass: Position the air plants slightly away from the edges of the glass terrarium to prevent direct contact. This will help prevent condensation buildup and potential rot.
  • Use a support or substrate: If your air plants are top-heavy or need extra stability, you can use small rocks, decorative pebbles, or moss to anchor them in place.
  • Rotate the air plants: To ensure even growth, rotate your air plants every few weeks. This will expose all sides of the plant to light and prevent it from leaning or bending towards a specific direction.

Remember, each air plant has its own unique preferences for light, watering, and humidity levels. It’s important to research and understand the specific needs of your air plants to provide them with the best care possible. With proper placement and care, your air plant terrarium will flourish and become a stunning centerpiece in your home or office.

Step 5: Adding Decorative Elements

In step 5 of the diy air plant terrarium guide, you can add decorative elements such as moss, branches, and unique glass terrariums to enhance the overall look of your terrarium. Get creative and make it your own!

Incorporating Decorative Elements Like Moss, Driftwood, Or Shells:

  • Adding decorative elements to your air plant terrarium not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also adds a unique touch to your design. Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate decorative elements like moss, driftwood, or shells into your terrarium:
  • Moss: Moss is a popular choice for adding lush greenery and texture to your terrarium. You can place small patches of moss around your air plants or create a mossy bed for them to rest on.
  • Driftwood: For a rustic look, consider using driftwood as a decorative element. You can position a piece of driftwood vertically in your terrarium, creating a natural focal point.
  • Shells: Using shells can add a coastal or beach-themed vibe to your terrarium. Place small shells around your air plants or create a miniature beach scene by arranging the shells like sand dunes.

Enhancing The Aesthetic Appeal Of The Air Plant Terrarium:

  • Adding decorative elements is essential for enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your air plant terrarium. Here’s how you can take your terrarium design to the next level:
  • Colorful stones or pebbles: Use colorful stones or pebbles as a base layer in your terrarium to add pops of vibrant colors. Choose stones in different sizes and shapes to create visual interest.
  • Fairy lights: Add a touch of magic to your terrarium by incorporating fairy lights. These tiny twinkling lights can create a whimsical and enchanting ambiance, especially when placed around your air plants.
  • Miniature figurines: To bring a touch of whimsy or fantasy to your terrarium, consider adding miniature figurines. Choose figurines that complement the theme or design of your terrarium, whether it’s fairies, animals, or mythical creatures.

Ideas For Creating A Visually Stunning Terrarium Design:

  • To create a visually stunning terrarium design, consider the following ideas:
  • Layered terrarium: Create visual depth by layering different materials such as colored sand, stones, and soil. This adds dimension and interest to your terrarium.
  • Hanging terrarium: Instead of a traditional glass container, opt for a hanging terrarium to add a unique and eye-catching element. Hang your terrarium near a window or from a ceiling to maximize its visual impact.
  • Terrarium theme: Choose a specific theme for your terrarium, such as a desert oasis or a lush tropical jungle. Incorporate plants, decorative elements, and colors that reflect your chosen theme to create a cohesive and visually stunning design.

Remember, when designing your air plant terrarium, let your creativity flow and experiment with different combinations of decorative elements to create a visually stunning and unique display.

Step 6: Caring For Your Air Plant Terrarium

Discover step 6 of our diy air plant terrarium guide and learn how to properly care for your air plant terrarium. From watering to lighting, this guide will ensure your terrarium thrives and adds a touch of greenery to your space.

Congratulations on creating your beautiful air plant terrarium! Now that it’s all set up, it’s important to know how to properly care for it to ensure the longevity and health of your air plants. In this step, we will discuss the key aspects of caring for your air plant terrarium: providing the right amount of light and humidity, watering techniques, and general maintenance tips.

Providing The Right Amount Of Light And Humidity:

  • Place your air plant terrarium in a spot that receives bright, indirect light. Air plants thrive in bright, filtered light, so avoid placing them in direct sunlight as it can scorch their delicate leaves.
  • Monitor the humidity levels in your terrarium. Air plants prefer a humid environment, so if you live in a dry climate or during the winter months when indoor heating tends to dry the air, consider misting your air plants with water once or twice a week.
  • If your air plant terrarium is housed in a closed container, such as a glass terrarium, you may not need to mist as frequently as the closed environment will help retain moisture. However, it’s still important to monitor the humidity levels and adjust misting as needed.

Watering Techniques For Air Plants In A Terrarium:

  • When watering your air plants, remove them from the terrarium and place them in a bowl or sink filled with room temperature water. Completely submerge the plants and let them soak for about 30 minutes.
  • After soaking, gently shake off any excess water and place the air plants back into the terrarium. Make sure to allow proper air circulation within the terrarium to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to rot.
  • Depending on the humidity levels, you may need to water your air plants once or twice a week. It’s important to observe the condition of your plants and adjust the watering frequency accordingly.

Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Terrarium Thriving:

  • Regularly inspect your air plants for any signs of damage or pests. Remove any dead leaves or blooms by gently pulling them off.
  • If you notice any pests, such as small insects or mites, gently rinse your air plants under room temperature water to remove them. Avoid using any chemical pesticides as they can harm your air plants.
  • Fertilizing your air plants is not necessary, as they absorb nutrients through their leaves. However, if you feel your plants need an extra boost, you can use a diluted, water-soluble bromeliad or air plant fertilizer once a month.
  • Finally, rotate your air plants within the terrarium every few weeks to ensure all sides receive adequate light exposure.

With these care tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to enjoy the beauty and benefits of your diy air plant terrarium. Remember to observe your plants closely and adjust their care as needed. Happy terrarium gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions For Diy Air Plant Terrarium Guide

How Do I Make An Air Plant Terrarium?

To make an air plant terrarium, follow these simple steps: 1. Choose a clear glass container or terrarium that has good airflow. 2. Fill the bottom of the container with small rocks or pebbles for drainage. 3. Add a layer of activated charcoal to filter the air and prevent odors.

4. Place a layer of sphagnum moss on top of the charcoal to provide moisture. 5. Arrange your air plants on the moss, making sure they have enough space to grow. 6. Decorate with decorative elements like shells, driftwood, or colorful rocks.

7. Mist the terrarium with water every 1-2 weeks to keep the air plants hydrated. 8. Put your terrarium in a place with indirect sunlight, as air plants thrive in bright but filtered light. 9. Avoid overwatering and make sure any excess water drains out of the terrarium.

10. Enjoy your beautiful and low-maintenance air plant terrarium!

What Should I Put In My Air Plant Terrarium?

Put in my air plant terrarium? To create a thriving air plant terrarium, you’ll need a few essential elements: a glass container, decorative items like rocks or wood, and of course, air plants themselves. Start by selecting a glass container that allows for proper airflow and drainage.

Add a layer of rocks or pebbles at the bottom for drainage and aesthetics. Next, arrange your air plants in the terrarium, considering their size and shape. You can add decorative items like driftwood, seashells, or moss to enhance the visual appeal.

Remember to place the terrarium in an area with indirect sunlight and mist the air plants lightly a few times a week to keep them hydrated. Avoid overwatering, as air plants don’t require soil. With these steps, you can create a beautiful and low-maintenance air plant terrarium.

Can Air Plants Live In A Closed Terrarium?

Air plants can live in a closed terrarium, but it is important to provide them with the right conditions. The closed environment of a terrarium can trap moisture, so it is crucial to ensure proper ventilation to prevent the plants from rotting.

Additionally, air plants thrive on air circulation, so it is recommended to open the terrarium for a few hours every week to allow fresh air to reach the plants. Another important factor to consider is the placement of the terrarium.

Air plants need sufficient light to photosynthesize, so it is best to place the terrarium in a location with bright, indirect light. Overall, with proper ventilation, light, and care, air plants can thrive in a closed terrarium.

Can Air Plants Live In Mason Jars?

Air plants can indeed live in mason jars. Mason jars provide a suitable environment for air plants as they allow for proper air circulation and serve as a decorative container. To create a habitat for air plants in a mason jar, start by filling the bottom with decorative elements such as small rocks or pebbles.

This helps with drainage and prevents water from pooling at the roots. Then, carefully place the air plant in the jar, ensuring that the roots are not submerged in water. It’s important to mist the plant with water every few days to provide moisture.

Additionally, air plants benefit from indirect sunlight, so placing the mason jar near a window is ideal. Overall, air plants can thrive in mason jars if provided with proper care and attention.


Creating your own diy air plant terrarium is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The possibilities for designs and creativity are endless, allowing you to showcase these unique plants in a beautiful and personalized way. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a stunning terrarium that is not only visually appealing but also provides a healthy environment for your air plants to thrive.

Remember to choose the right container, select suitable materials such as rocks, moss, and decorative elements, and position your terrarium in a location that receives the ideal amount of light. Additionally, ensure you maintain proper care and watering for your air plants to keep them happy and flourishing.

With a diy air plant terrarium, you can bring a touch of nature into your home, office, or any space that needs a green boost. Embrace your creativity, experiment with different designs, and enjoy the beauty and tranquility that these low-maintenance plants offer.

Start your diy air plant terrarium journey today and discover a world of natural elegance right at your fingertips. Protection Status