Green Thumb: Jam Jar Terrariums

It’s hot here. Really, really hot. As in, doesn’t cool down in the evening hot. Which means my gardening has pretty much gone out the window this summer. In a normal year I’d be out in my vegetable plot or flower garden every day, digging away. But with the hottest summer in a decade only half over, my vegetables are looking pretty sad and it’s hard to tell where the flowers stop and the weeds begin. However, all this heat doesn’t stop me from wanting to have lovely green growing things all around me, so I’ve turned to terrariums. Succulent terrariums to be exact.

The wonderful thing about succulents is that they are very hard to kill. In fact, they thrive on neglect. Which makes them the perfect specimens for busy households where watering the plants might get skipped now and then. Even better, planting them in these semi-sealed environments means you can skip watering them pretty much altogether.

Things you need:
Jam jars with good fitting lids
Small succulent plants
Moss (look for moss growing naturally around your neighborhood)
1 cup of good plotting soil

Things to do:
1. Wash and dry your jars well. You want to make sure they are clean so that nothing but your plant grows in there!
2. On your work surface, flip your lid upside down so that it creates a shallow dish. Mound a few tablespoons of soil in the center of the lid making sure nothing is covering the sealant ring.
3. Pull the plants out of their pots and carefully dust off most of the soil so that you can see the root ball. Nestle the roots into the mound of soil and cover with a little more.
4. Top the soil with pieces of moss so that none of the dirt or roots are visible. Press down firmly so that the roots are fully in contact with the soil.
5. Mist the moss with water until it is moist but not soaked and then bring the jar down over the plant to enclose the terrarium. Screw the lid tightly onto the jar.
6. Set the jar in a sunny but not hot, location – the edge of a windowsill or a well-lit bookshelf is perfect. For the most part the plant will simply recycle the water that’s already in the jar, but if it’s starting to look dry, unscrew the lid and give it a few drops of water.

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1 Comment

  1. I have also done this with plastic soda bottles and old fish tanks/aquariums. Great for starting seeds, or for an indoor herb garden. Good idea!