Building an Air Plant Terrarium

The steps:

Step 1 - Name your Terrarium: Naming your terrarium kit helps us to pack your items  appropriately so that you will receive all of your terrarium ingredients grouped together. This is especially helpful if you are building multiple terrariums on one order, or adding other loose items to your order from elsewhere in our store.

Step 2 - Choose your Container: Select your favorite container from our hand selected collection. Container size and other details are listed next to the photo, along with recommended quantity of plants. Please note: recommendations are only recommendations. If you have a vision, go for it!

Step 3 - Add your Base Layer: Your base layer is the foundation of your terrarium. Because air plants require no soil, we use decorative sand or pebbles as the base. Click on the appropriate product to select your favorite color. Pebbles can be layered on top of sand if desired, but sand will not layer effectively on top of pebbles.

Step 4 - Select your Plants: We have selected a collection of our favorite air plants for you to choose from. They were selected for their ease of care, hardiness and compact size (ranging from 1" - 5" tall / wide). When selecting your plants, please note the size and other information next to the photo to help guide the types and quantity you select.

Step 5 - Create your World: Let the fun begin! In this section you will find a wide variety of elements to customize and personalize your terrarium. Rocks and crystals, seashells, driftwood, terrarium miniatures, seed pods...all hand selected to provide many theme or style possibilities.

Plant Like a Pro...

Designing and planting your terrarium is a fun and creative process. Follow your imagination and pay attention to the elements that catch your eye. Every person is unique, and everyone's style will reflect that. Below are some thoughts, tips and tricks that I consider when designing our terrariums. Hopefully they will be helpful to you as well.       -Matthew Herbage, Owner.

Selecting your container:

  • Size matters! It is helpful to have at least a rough idea of how many plants, and what type of elements you are considering for your terrarium when you select your container. browse the ingredient options before making your selection, as the size and style of your container may be influenced by the elements or theme you end up selecting.
Selecting your base layer:
  • While pebbles as a base layer work well for air plant terrariums, and are perfect for certain themes, overall we find decorative sand to be the more versatile of the two options. It is easier to nestle the base of your plants in sand (lending to the "planted" feel of your terrarium). In addition, taller elements (such as driftwood) can be stood upright more easily in sand.
Selecting your plants:
  • When selecting your air plants, choosing a variety of sizes and textures will lead to an attractive aesthetic mix.
  • Consider how you will use your plants in the overall design. Some air plants have smaller, tapered bases which make them excellent for inserting into shells, barnacles or other nooks and crannies in your terrarium. Others are broad based, and are more useful in flat, clear areas in your terrarium.
Selecting your elements:
  • When selecting decorative elements, it is often a good approach to choose a mix of sizes, including at least one large (relative to the size of your container) element. This helps to provide a landscaped feel, and adds focal points to your terrarium. Larger elements also help to fill negative space. (note - This can be accomplished with the right plants as well)
  • Selecting the right elements is the best way to bring a specific theme or style to life. If you have a certain type of terrarium you are trying to build, try to stay true to theme. For example: if your trying for a natural, beach-themed terrarium, stick with elements such as moss, driftwood, natural sand, pebbles, shells etc. Things you might find at the beach. It is easy to get distracted by possibilities and lose sight of your overall aesthetic. If you have no specific theme in mind...go wild!
Designing and building your terrarium:
  • The most important tip when building your terrarium is to have fun. Don't force it, and try to remain open to the end result. Often times the terrarium will begin to take shape as you start adding ingredients, and it doesn't always end up how you thought it would. The more fluid you can be in your design the better.
  • When designing a "landscaped" terrarium, be sure to partially bury your surface elements. This will give them an embedded look, which lends to the natural, grown-in quality you want to achieve.
  • Look for ways to position one or more air plants above the surface of your terrarium. This can be accomplished with larger elements, such as our barnacle clusters, or by building up a section of your terrarium with moss, stones, driftwood etc. Air plants have very unique and attractive leaves, which will add interest to the negative space in your terrarium.
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