Holiday DIY Series: Creating Holiday Terrariums

Salisbury Greenhouse-Alberta-DIY Holiday Terrarium-christmas themed terrariums


Trying to stop gardening in the winter is like trying to pass up the sweets””it just doesn’t work. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your green thumb just because it’s cold outside! Indoor terrariums are going to provide you with hours of planting fun that you can bring the whole family into over the holiday break. You may even end up with a few last-minute gifts to hand out while you’re at it!


Why Terrariums are Good for Your Winter Well-Being

Gardening is a large part of life for many people, even if it’s only caring for a few houseplants. Not only does it allow the opportunity to nurture, it’s also a much needed creative outlet. In the winter, plants go dormant and don’t really need us as much, but for planting champions like you, this leaves a big gap that needs to be filled! Terrariums allow the continuation of plant care during the long, cold months and make excellent decorations during the holidays.  


Salisbury Greenhouse-Alberta-DIY Holiday Terrarium-open and closed terrariums

Types of Terrariums to Ponder: Open vs. Closed

You have some choices to make before jumping into terrarium land that revolves around what type of environment you want to create. A glass terrarium can be constructed in any container””like vases, old jars, teacups, candy dishes, glass Chrismas ornaments, fishbowls and even cider jars. If choosing to use plants like succulents and cacti, an open system is recommended to avoid a build up of moisture. Plants like ferns and moss, carnivorous plants, and other tropicals love the closed system and relish in the high levels of humidity inside.


Salisbury Greenhouse-Alberta-DIY Holiday Terrarium-planting a terrarium

How to Make Your Terrarium:

Now that you’re all excited about your new winter obsession, here is what you need to do to create your very own collection:

  • Choose your container! Decide what type of terrarium you want (open or closed system), and browse our large selection of assorted glassware for that perfect piece.
  • Shop for your favourite plants to put in your holiday terrarium. Make sure they meet the requirements of your environmental choice.
  • Lay your foundation. Add a layer of rocks first, then charcoal, and finally soil at the bottom of your container to create an artificial drainage system for the roots. This helps filter water to prevent root rot and mold from developing. Try experimenting with layers of coloured sand, adding some visual interest and texture.  
  • Start designing! It is best to start with the largest plant or plants to create structure and give form, filling in the remaining spaces with smaller specimens or moss.  
  • Add some water. Once everything is in place, slowly add water to your terrarium and you’re done! If you realize you’ve made more than you have room for, spread the gardening cheer and make them into holiday gifts for friends and family.


Salisbury Greenhouse-Alberta-DIY Holiday Terrarium--christmas style terrarium

To make your terrarium holiday-friendly, sneak in some winter additions. Small pinecones, real or artificial holly berries, or mini string lights are all fantastic ways to add some Christmas flair. Add a Christmas cactus to your open terrarium for a splash of holiday colour or squeeze in a favourite holiday ornament.  


How to Keep Your Terrarium Alive

You’ve worked hard to create those amazing mini plant houses, so keeping them healthy is the final step. If you have opted for an open terrarium, it will prefer lots of sunlight and a regular watering routine. Be careful not to overwater these, especially during the winter months when plants are not as actively growing. Succulents won’t need a ton of moisture either, so keeping those roots from getting too saturated is crucial.  

For closed terrariums, they should recycle their first watering through transpiration and condensation. Keep an eye on moisture levels as the seasons change. You can also open up your closed terrariums once a month to air out.


If you’re looking for the best terrarium plants in Edmonton, look no further! Head down to Salisbury for all of your holiday plant needs today.

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