Adding a terrarium to your home is a great way to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere without covering every available surface with pots and soil. When looking at creating your own little ecosystem, you’ll want to make sure you have the right container to keep all the plants inside healthy and happy while also fitting in with your home's décor.
You can use many different things as a terrarium container, from closed jars with lids to open glass bowls, but with their rising popularity on Instagram and other social media, there are a number of specially designed and often unusual containers making their way onto sites like Amazon and eBay. So, we thought we’d take you through the best options online!
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Table of Contents
Before making any purchases for your new terrarium, you need to decide whether you would prefer an open or closed option. There are many advantages and disadvantages to each, and it's important you match up the species of plants to the right kind of terrarium to ensure proper care.
Closed terrariums are ideal if you want something low maintenance. They provide indirect sunlight through the glass and only require minimum airflow, although you will need to open the lid for around 20 minutes per month to allow a little more air inside. They require three layers of drainage: soil, charcoal and rocks. This option is great for plants that thrive in moist environments, such as ferns.
Open terrariums are great for providing maximum light to the plants and circulating more air. They will need an additional layer of drainage, with pebbles on top of the normal layers of soil, charcoal and rocks. The open-air environment is ideal for plants such as cacti and aloe which thrive in these conditions!
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Any clear materials are suitable for the walls of a terrarium, but you’ll find that most decorative designs will be made of glass. While plastic containers are suitable for creating either an open or closed ecosystem, they don’t create the most aesthetically pleasing terrarium, so glass is always preferable.
You’ll want to stick to clear glass as well to ensure that your plants receive as much light as possible. It’s also important that you’re able to see inside clearly, as that’s the whole point of going through the effort of creating your own terrarium!
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Don’t forget about the frame when choosing a terrarium container and, while there are no real structural concerns regarding which material you opt for, the right frame can really highlight the type of design you’re going for. A copper or gold trim can really make the container itself stand out, but a more subtle choice will let the plants be the star of the show.
Although the frames can add an extra embellishment to your new centrepiece, you may prefer a more classic look. As mentioned above, clear class ensures the plants get the most light and recieve optimal conditions to grow. If you prefer the stripped back look, we're sure the added light will help your plants grow into showstoppers all on their own!
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It may be worth thinking about opting for a wall-mounted container if you’re short on surface space, or just as a unique way of brightening up a room. While they’re not the best options for closed ecosystems, there are many plants that look beautiful overflowing from the top of a terrarium, hanging down from above.
Hanging containers work best for smaller terrariums and many people choose to dot two or three around a wall. You’ll want to make sure that they get enough light and take care not to overload them with too much soil or water.
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Biscotti Jar With Lid
The Overall Best Terrarium With an Airtight Seal, Great for Closed Ecosystems
Glass Geometric Terrarium
A Unique Design With Plenty of Space for Taller Plants, Succulents and Cacti
Geometric Terrarium Box With Lid
A Simple and Classic Design, Perfect for a Desk or Windowsill
Wall Hanging Glass Terrarium
A Beautiful Pair of Mounted Vases to Hang From a Wall or Hook
Pentagon Geometric Terrarium
A Geometric Design With a Copper Frame Available in a Variety of Different Colours
Large Clear Fish Bowl
Striking Yet Subtle Elegant Glass Bowls With a Large Angled Opening
Metal Wall Planters
Extremely Sturdy, Fun Circular Planters for Displaying Your Terrarium
Glass Kitchen Storage Jars
A DIY Packet of Three On-Trend Jars for the Price of One
Round Sealed Glass Bottle
An Affordable, Attractive Jar That’s an Ideal Way for Beginners to Get Started
Vintage Style Geometric Terrarium
A Miniature Victorian Greenhouse With a Swinging Lid, Perfect for Quirky Homes
With all the beautifully designed terrarium containers on this list, you may be surprised to see a biscuit jar sitting in the No. 1 spot, but whether you have an open or closed terrarium in mind, you really can't do much better for the money.
Olympia's high-quality biscotti jar has plenty of room for different plants to grow and the airtight seal created by the lid makes it perfect for closed systems. Without the lid, the jar has a clean, minimal look that pairs brilliantly with any combination of plants.
This offering from NCYP is probably the most unique design on our list. Part contemporary art and part classic Victorian-styled windows, it's sure to become a great conversation piece in your home.
There is plenty of space for your plants to grow thanks to its size and shape, plus, it's easy to find a home for as you're also able to place it on its side thanks to the extra opening. It's perfect for succulents and cacti, but any plants will look fabulous placed inside this wonderfully designed piece.
There are so many unusual and decorative container designs nowadays that it's easy to forget about the simple rectangular tank, but this style has been the go-to choice of many a terrarium. This option is perfect for a desk or windowsill and would be great for those looking to brighten up a workspace.
As it has a hinged lid, this container works well as both an open or closed terrarium, but you'll need some cling film to create an airtight seal. You'll be able to see everything inside clearly thanks to the unobstructed sodium calcium glass panels, so the plants will be the star of the show rather than the container.
These beautiful wall-mounted glass bowls may stretch the definition of a traditional terrarium, but if you're looking for something to hang plants from a wall or hook, you'll struggle to find anything nearly as pretty for the price.
Whether you choose to fill them with soil and stones or simply water, they will create an eye-catching feature for any wall. Suitable for a hanging spider plant, simple flowers, or indoor palms, these containers are an absolute steal.
There are a few similar geometric designs on our list, but this is the only one that's available in different colours. As well as the dark copper frame, it also comes in a gold or silver option to fit with whatever tonal scheme suits your home best.
Although it's actually a little smaller than you may expect, its size makes it great for smaller surfaces like desks or side tables. If you have some small cacti or succulents, they would look fantastic in this geometric design.
This elegant glass bowl curves into a bubble-like sphere and the large angled opening at the top gives you plenty of room to work. This option is the perfect choice for a centrepiece on a dining table, or perhaps on top of a chest of drawers in the bedroom.
While many containers can be used to create closed systems with a few DIY additions, this isn't one of them. It's much better suited for succulents or ferns that can spill out of the top nicely.
These wall mounted terrariums are extremely sturdy once attached, easily holding the weight of the pebbles and soil within. With a unique sealant paper to prevent any leakages through the screw holes and a low cut glass front, you'll easily avoid any accidents.
Bear in mind that you will have to make sure you keep your plants trimmed and tidy to prevent them from climbing up the curved walls. Additionally, the baby blue colour, while quite fun, won't be to everyone's tastes and may be difficult to match with your home decor.
If you're looking for the full DIY terrarium experience, then these storage jars from Justyou are a fantastic bargain buy. Having three slightly smaller containers really lets you experiment with closed systems without the worry of messing things up. It's a great first step into creating terrariums as a hobby.
These containers are obviously very basic, meaning that they're more suited to the scientific side of terrarium creation than the aesthetic. Saying that, these simple clear containers really let you focus on the greenery inside.
If you're looking for a cheap way to get get a hold of an attractive container for a small terrarium, then this option is a great way to get started. The design is simple yet attractive, and you can choose to create a small closed system or simply plant a succulent inside.
While cheap for a single container, there are probably better options below if you're happy to consider something a little bigger or with multiple pieces. It's also worth keeping in mind that it is quite a small container – though you could always buy a few!
Style is a very subjective thing, and everyone's tastes are their own. With a swing lid and design inspired by Victorian-era greenhouses, we think that for some readers, this is a stunning container that can't be topped.
For others, however, it may be a little too busy and obstruct the view of the plants inside. As the most expensive option on our list, you'll have to be sure you love the aesthetics, but if you do, you won't be disappointed with your purchase.
Terrariums are small ecosystems made up of plants, soil, charcoal, pebbles and any other decorative features you wish to include. Depending on the type of plants inside, they can be closed ecosystems with a self-nourishing water cycle or open to showcase your prized succulents and ferns from every angle.
Think of a terrarium like a miniature greenhouse able to house plants that may not otherwise survive in the cold British weather, with the bonus of allowing you to display them around your home in a diorama of your choosing. They come in many different shapes and sizes so the overall design is down to you!
Written and researched by David Sexton
No. 1：Olympia｜Biscotti Jar With Lid｜GM581
No. 2：NCYP｜Glass Geometric Terrarium
No. 3：NCYP｜Geometric Terrarium Box With Lid
No. 4：Ivolador｜Wall Hanging Glass Terrarium ｜Set of 2
No. 5：NCYP｜Pentagon Geometric Terrarium
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