3 Beautiful Closed Terrarium Design Ideas

Let's show you how to build 3 beautiful closed terrarium designs

Person Holding a Circle Corkboard

If you have ever stumbled on a closed terrarium somewhere, you've probably resolved to acquire one as a decoration to liven up your space. Of course, we completely understand you because the magnificence of this mini tropical rainforest is hard to resist.

You would be happy to know that besides purchasing these beauties, you can also build one from scratch. Yes, you can have the pleasure of creating closed terrariums and displaying your hand-made work of art nature. While dazzling your guest, you would also have the right to claim ownership of creation.

With dozens of terrarium plans, it can be a delightful hassle to pick one that you can take on as a fun project. We'll take the not-so-heavy burden off your shoulders by providing you with a list of sealed terrariums that you can pick from.

Here, you'll find 3 captivating ideas for a closed terrarium to help spice up your decor, as well as an ideal guide to help you create your own closed terrarium plant collection.

DIY closed terrariums ideas

You should know that closed terrariums house tropical species. For this reason, whatever plant you are using must be able to thrive in warm and humid environments. 

Closed terrariums are designed to recreate a cycle of moisture suitable for such plants. Some popular tropical plant species include mosses, ferns, air plants, orchids, Ives, polka dot plants, and cacti.  We'll look at three of these here. 

1. Moss closed terrarium

Person Putting a Moss Inside the Terrarium

Mosses are pretty popular for being easy to maintain. Unlike most tropical plants, moss is a bryophyte, a non-vascular type of plant.

This means that they do not have water vessels or a real root system and can survive on surfaces with little soil, in low light conditions, and in humid conditions. This makes them suitable for closed terrariums. 

A popular type of moss is the acrocarpous moss, which grows in dense tiny mounds on firmly thick stems. As such, you can always find moss around you. It won't be a bad idea to harvest the moss in your yard. So, the cost of creating a moss closed terrarium isn't as pocket deep as you might think. 

2. Fern closed terrarium

Closeup Photography of Green Fern Palnt

The plumy elegance of ferns makes the plant an attention grabber. The best ferns to use are the slow-growing ones that reach a length of about 6 inches to 12 inches. You can equally maintain this length by periodically pruning new growth. Examples are the lemon button fern (Nephrolepis cardifolia) and button fern (Pallaea roundtundifolia) 

3. Polka dot plant closed terrarium

Lush bright two colored leaves of exotic polka dot plant growing in garden on sunny day

The polka dot plant is also called Hypoestes phyllostachya. Its name comes from its physical appearance; its leaves are dotted with bright colours such as red, pink, purple, and white. 

The colour speckled plant is perfect for brightening up your space all year round. Polka dot plants need medium to bright indirect light. You can get this from a natural summer or spring day. Otherwise, artificial light at any time of the year also works. The plants grow to be about 8 inches, a perfect height for closed terrariums in cozy spaces. 

Assembling your closed terrarium supplies 

Person Pouring Sand on Glass Container Making a Terrarium

A closed terrarium is a sealable transparent glass container that houses a tropical plant. Due to the somewhat greater temperature within the terrarium, the clear glass allows heat, light, and moisture from the soil and plants to dissipate.

This water vapor condenses on the wall of the glass jar before returning to the soil and plants below. In order to produce this self-sufficient microenvironment that is consistently warm and moist, you need the right materials.

To make your own terrarium kit, you need the following supplies:

  • Glass container. You would need to choose plants that match the size or shape of your closed container. For example, Wardian case terrariums work for ferns

  • Lid

  • Drainage rocks or gravel

  • Activated charcoal 

  • Potting soil

  • Decorative rocks, glass, or toys (optional) 

  • Handmade cork to tamp down the soil. You could also use your hand

  • Sprayer with water 

  • Tweezers and chopsticks (for really tiny plants) 

Note that, depending on the kind of glass or plant you're using, your list of terrarium tools is likely to change. 

FrGreen Succulent Plant on Brown Wooden Table

 After you have assembled your kit, go through the following steps:

  1. Clean your glass container 

  2. Layer your charcoal, gravel, and moist soil in the glass and tamp them down 

  3. Gently arrange your plant in the jar with your tweezers, if needed. You can also use chopsticks to make holes for roots, if present

  4. Spray some water with your sprayer

  5. Move the glass to a warm, bright spot for about an hour. You do not need direct sunlight

  6. Add your decorations

  7. Take pictures of your new self-made closed terrarium and show it off

Choosing the right closed terrarium plants

Green Succulent Plant on Brown Clay Pot

To reiterate, closed terrariums require tropical species that thrive in the warm temperature and humid air of a sealed container. The right plants must meet this criteria and also suit your chosen container. 

Beside this, there's no pressure to pick a certain type of terrarium plant, after all, no one can be said to be better than the other. Rather, your choice of closed terrarium plant should be informed by your style. Of course, this would, in turn, determine the kind of container your use. 

You would need to water a terrarium plant about once a month. However, immediately you notice that the soil feels dry, it is an indication that they need watering. You may also want to consider moving them to a different environment.


Ideas abound for closed terrarium structures. If you wish, you can also combine multiple plants in a container. Ferns and mosses work superbly together. 

Also, you don't have to make your own terrarium from scratch to enjoy it's beauty in your home. As you know, you can always buy one. If you are still keen on a taking up a terrarium project, you should check out our terrariums. Littlegren hosts an array of indoor plants and terrarium kits that you can get your hands on to start building your own terrarium.