Gardening under glass

posted in: Arts and Crafts, Skill Based, STEM! | 0

You will need:

  • A seal-able glass jar, such as a jam jar or mason jar.
  • A small plant (can be taken from outdoors or grabbed from a garden centre)
  • If you can collect some moss from a nearby park/woods, it’s a great addition
  • Some long tools, such as skewers, chopsticks or tweezers
  • Some potting compost/soil
  • Pebbles


30-45 minutes


With so many people living in urban environments with no or limited garden, closed terrariums are making a come back. This is a great way to give children without a garden a touch of green fingers. The terrarium works by creating its own ecosystem and is a great way to teach children about evaporation, condensation and transpiration.



Add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of your jar. It should be at least 2cm deep.


Now add the soil. Pat it down to be quite compact, but not so tight that you won’t be able to get the plants into it. A good tool for this could be a cork on the end of a skewer if you’re finding it difficult to reach.


It’s time to add you plant(s). Make a fairly deep well in the soil and lower the roots of the plant in. Now cover it up with the surrounding soil. Your plant should be quite firmly in place. This could be fiddly if you have a jar with a narrow top – you’ll need something like skewers or chopsticks and maybe an adult’s help.

Once your plants are in, if you have moss, arrange it around. This doesn’t need to go in wells.


If you’re feeling really creative, you might want to add some small toys in or other decorative items – but not too many as your plant needs space to grow.


Now give your terrarium a good spray with water. The bottle will look a bit wet, but it shouldn’t be so much that it’s pooling at the pebbles.


All that’s left to do it put your lid on and watch the magic happen! And if you’re wondering about how this plant stays alive, here’s what happens:



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