Thriving Haven: All You Need to Know About Growing Plants in Glass Bowls


Venturing into indoor gardening and striving to encapsulate nature’s beauty in your living space? Growing plants in glass bowls, a technique also fondly referred to as terrarium gardening, may just be an avenue for you. This endeavor, however, does not merely revolve around placing greenery into a glass container. The journey demands intricate attention to several factors that together breathe life into a stunning, miniature indoor garden.

Understanding The Concept: Terrariums

A terrarium is essentially a self-nourishing ecosystem. Within the closed environment of a glass bowl, water from both the plants and soil evaporates. Once it condenses, it trickles back down, mirroring nature’s rainfall. Given their self-sustaining nature, terrariums require minimal maintenance, making them an excellent choice for those leading a busy lifestyle.

The Ideal Plants For Your Glass Bowl

Selecting appropriate plant species for your glass container is key to a thriving terrarium. Opt for small, slow-growing plants as they are well-suited for the restricted environment of a glass bowl. Here are some options:

  • Air plants: They are ideal for terrarium gardening due to their small size and minimal root system.

  • Ferns: Miniature fern species like the Button Fern or the Lemon Button Fern are suited to the moist environment of a glass bowl.

  • Mosses: Mosses create a lush landscape within the bowl.

  • Succulents: If opting for an open glass bowl arrangement, succulents are ideal. They are tolerant of dry environments.

Choosing The Right Glass Bowl

When choosing your terrarium’s home, ensure that the glass bowl is clear, clean, and not tinted to allow for maximum sun exposure. If you’re a beginner, start with a larger bowl as small containers can require more precision when planting.

Creating the Foundation: The Layering Method

Good drainage is key in a terrarium. Starting from the base, layer your bowl with small stones or gravel for proper drainage, followed by a layer of activated charcoal to maintain freshness. Populate the next layer using potting soil, making sure the added soil is deep enough to accommodate your plants’ roots.

Planting Procedure

When planting in your terrarium, it’s best to start from the center and work your way out. Create a small hole in the soil, place the plant in gently, and pack the soil around the root. When positioning your plants, it is critical that you consider their growth pattern and sun exposure requirements.

Post-Planting Care

Terrariums require indirect light and moderate watering. Overwatering must be avoided as glass bowls do not have drainage holes. Also, remember to prun regularly to maintain the shape and size of the plants and prevent overcrowding.

For open terrariums, watering may need to be more frequent as moisture evaporates. Closed terrariums, however, compost their moisture, requiring less watering.

Problem and Pest Management

Monitor your terrarium regularly for problems such as mold or pests. If your plants are browning, you may be under-watering them, whereas yellowing leaves could signal too much water.


With the right knowledge and a creative spirit, growing plants in glass bowls can truly breathe life into your living space. As you prepare your miniature garden, remember that successful terrariums are about balance – striking the right harmony between the size of the bowl, the chosen plants, their positioning, and the maintenance that follows. Happy planting!

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