5 Easiest Designs for DIY Terrariums

Oftentimes, when we go into a hobby, we always start with following our favorite hobbyists and follow their techniques, designs, and manner of execution. Then once we have acclimated into the hobby, it is only then that we create and explore our own versions and interpretations of the idea. With that, the same concept applies in terrarium-making, as with all other hobbies. Now, to help you transition and ease your design inspiration, we have compiled the top 5 designs commonly used in terrarium-making and landscaping.

Photo by Jecjec Iguin

1. Native Terrarium

A native terrarium is a kind of terrarium that uses the plants and materials found in within the area. And mostly, the substrate or soil used in the terrarium is the same one where the plants where found. By far, this is the easiest, most convenient, and cheapest way to start with for terrarium beginners and newbies. You can just go out of the backyard, park, or the nearest rainforest to you and grab some plants that will catch your attention, a few dead tree branches, dried leaves, and the soil where these plants grow in; and then you are good to go. The only downside of a native terrarium theme is that the substrate is not normally treated or quarantined for hitchhikers that is why the likelihood of you finding surprise inhabitants later is relatively high. But who knows, maybe that surprise would be springtails or local isopods, then it must be your lucky day.


2. Mossarium

Mossariums, I know many of you will agree with me, is by far one of the favorites of terrarium hobbyists globally. Aside from its aesthetic appeal, mossariums are easy to make. Just grab any hardscape, toss in some moss varieties and then you are basically done. Mossarium is a coined term after moss and terrarium which means a terrarium that is composed only of moss, either pure or with usage of other hardscape materials such as rocks, stones, barks, etc. – with moss as the primary and only plant of choice. The aesthetics of a mossarium can be compared or reminiscent of grasslands, a prairie, or a plateau and composed mainly of greens unless of course, the moss you used are of varying colors. You can never go wrong with tossing in any moss varieties because the denser it is, the better the result is. The only downside of a mossarium relies heavily on the availability of moss. But with the surge of online sellers and suppliers, anything can be ordered, and you just have to wait until it gets to your door for usage.

Photo by Micro Worlds
Photo by Reimond Po

3. Iwagumi

The Iwagumi-style is originally an aquascaping terminology which refers “Rock Formation” and is characterized by the utilization of stones as the primary aesthetic pf the design and limited plants. Iwagumi is best for large enclosures especially tanks as it requires usage of odd-stone formation with one bold and large stone as the centerpiece and several other smaller stones to complete the design. For terrariums, this is an adopted term is one prefers to design the terrarium with odd-stone formation and moss to complete the design. Just like a mossarium, this is also easy to create as there is not much required material for this design.

Photo by Joseph Anthony Rualo Elizaga

4. Wabi Kusa

This is also another term adopted from aquascaping which was introduced by Amano of ADA which is made up of two Japanese characters “Wabi” which is a Japanese aesthetic sense in simplicity and “Kusa” which means grass. Wabi Kusa is basically a ball of substrate where emersed aquatic plants are planted and used as a design in the aquarium. As of late, there had been an increased interest in adopting this concept in terrariums such as hanging wabi kusa designs because of its appeal and neatness in the design. Wabi Kusa balls, for terrariums can be made from any type of substrate that can be clumped and pulled together with a thread to support the structure while there are plants planted on top of the substrate.

Photo by Ice E. Segovia

5. Free-Style

As the terms implies, this by far I believe is the easiest and who knows, could be the most fun to make. As creating this does not require pre-contemplated design, or intricate planning and procurement of materials. It is like a grab-and-make kind of design. Grab whatever materials you think would fit in the enclosure, toss it in, then mix and match to however way you desire it, and you are done. And sometimes, creating a terrarium without a pre-contemplated design can produce beautiful and unexpected results too. Free-style terrariums could be one of the most relaxing of the suggested designs as it is free-flowing and doesn’t require much thinking at all.

And there you have your 5 easy-to-create designs at home for you to begin your terrarium journey. There is no hard and steadfast rule in the design if you feel like using or doing it, you may do so. The main purpose of you making a terrarium is for you and your family to have fun, do something worthwhile with your time at home, and create a beautiful conversation piece you can flaunt in your social media accounts or in your place at home or even in the office.

So, grab them materials now and start creating one. Happy Terrarium journey to you.

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