Open Terrarium – No Fuss Garden

A terrarium is a partial to fully closed
container where living plants are kept and observed.

Botany Factory

I like to call an open terrarium – a no fuss garden!
There are tons of options when creating terrariums.  You can use:
  1. Cloches – best used with plants that tolerate high levels of humidity, from my experience, these will need to be raised occasionally to allow the plants a breath of fresh air.
  2. Apothecary Jars – also best used with plants that tolerate high levels of humidity, but you can opt to leave the lid off to create an open terrarium as I’ve done with one of my plants.
  3. Aquariums or Goldfish Bowls- left open or fitted with glass on top.
  4. Vases or Tureens – these works as open top terrariums and will need to be watered.
I’ve had closed terrariums in the past and haven’t had all that much success.  I decided to try out an open terrarium this Spring.  Open terrariums are not sealed, but offer the same looking glass feature as closed terrariums.  They are well suited for succulents, which can’t tolerate the humidity of a closed terrarium.  Almost two months later…I’m totally sold!
This was my inspiration…
I chose simple to grow succulents for beginners: Aloe Vera, Echirvias and a Fern.

 I wrapped my Aloe Vera plant with twine to add some extra texture to my arrangement.
I placed my twine wrapped aloe inside a hurricane and made it extra pretty by adding pebbles and moss.  The pebbles are also great to assist with drainage since this variety of succulents doesn’t like too much humidity.
I placed a liner under my fern’s pot and then wrapped the liner and pot with newspaper.  Then I tied a piece of twine for a bit more texture.  I always water this plant by the sink and leave it to dry before putting it back with the other plants because I want to avoid the newspaper from transferring to the paint on my yellow curbside trash to kitchen cart.

I removed the lid from a mason jar and then placed my extra jute twine inside and it looks real cute mixed in with my terrarium display.

I have my terrariums right by my large kitchen window that allows my succulents to receive great indirect sun.  Texas tends to be very humid.  I only water a very small amount every other week.  When we were out of town recently for almost two weeks, I didn’t water at all and everything was very healthy when we returned home.  I’m very impressed by the hardiness of open terrariums.

And they look great, too!  I love having a touch of Spring in my kitchen.  And all the texture of the leaves, jute twine, pebbles and newspaper are total eye candy!

I found this picture below at the goodwill for just a few dollars and it compliments the coloring in my terrariums real well.  I love bringing the outdoors inside.  Above I placed a canvas inside a white frame and glued one branch off of my fern plant onto the canvas.  I’ve only had to replace the fern on the frame once.  I love inexpensive art and it’s perfect for Spring.

And here it is all together!
I’m loving it on my yellow curbside trash turns kitchen cart!
Here are a few other DARLING Terrariums…which succulents have you had success with when creating a terrarium!?!  African Violets, Aloe Vera, Begonias, Cactus, Chamaedora, Echirvias, Ferns, Herbs, Moss, Pilea?!

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest


  1. MACKENZIE says:

    I have been doing tons of research about making a terrarium and so far this has been the most helpful article. However, i LOVE the look of jade, hen and chicks and aloe… my concern is that i have seen these plants get enormous! my mother-in-law has an aloe plant that has to be over a foot and a half tall and my mother had a very large jade plant when i was little. I love how cute the terrariums look when these plants are small… but are the plants going to start spilling over the top as they get larger?
    If so, I would love to know of some plants that will stay small.

    • Aimee says:

      They will get larger, but it will definitely take time for them to get there!!! XO, Aimee

  2. Nikki Monet says:

    Wow. I love this idea. Im such a plant killer this might actually work for me. Would love it if you would stop by and share this at my linky party going on right now

    Have a great week!!!

  3. Lauren @ Summit St Joy says:

    Super fun!!! The yellow cart is the best 🙂


  4. Emily Morgenstern says:

    I love this! I’ve been wanting to do one for awhile now. Maybe I need to get started! You make it look so easy! 🙂

    I featured you today!

  5. ✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life says:

    Hi Aimee,

    I love this idea and so easy to do.


  6. Andrea says:

    Lovely!!!! Sooo inspiring! Thanks!

  7. NYCLQ says:

    Love it! Being new to this dry climate in the SW of AZ (after FL for 33+ years) I’m looking for ways to add some humidity to our home – Terrariums are going to be my next project for sure Especially the open one. Thanks for sharing – and BTW: LOVE your GW find: the frame + the picture! Perfect for your petite spring vignette!

    xo Lynda

  8. Amber *SaltTree* says:

    Lovely! Love the idea of putting them in apothecary jars 🙂

  9. Artsy VaVa says:

    So simple, yet so pretty! Good job!

  10. Corn in my Coffee-Pot says:

    so pretty. I need to have some terrariums …maybe then I could grow them! do they need lots of sun? or just partial?
    I could probably handle the watering…since I tend to underwater most things anyway.
    I’m thinking I have a few things in which to plant that would be perfect!

    love your kitchen plant display and your bright YELLOW cart!

  11. odetoinspiration says:

    That is so cool! Wonderful job and ideas! Thanks for sharing:)

  12. Kei says:

    Your terrariums are so sweet! Would love to try out a project like this. Pinning for inspiration! 🙂

  13. Gleeful @ The Captivating Life says:

    I love terrariums so much. Now that the garden centres are starting to stock up for spring, I’m excited to poke around and see what I can find to make a few new ones!

  14. Susan says:

    Amazing idea!!!

  15. Julie says:

    Very nice! I”m totally into these right now & yours look great:)

  16. Steph @ The Silly Pearl says:

    Lovely! I just bought some succulents that my little girls asked for, but I’ve been so lazy about potting them together. I think they would enjoy a terrarium even more. Thanks for the easy and so pretty ideas!

  17. Marsha says:

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been looking for plants for a project like this — so far I’ve found a fern. I need to hurry since I’m even more inspired after seeing your post.

  18. Kim says:

    Great display! I love the newspaper wrapped pot. Great inspiration! Found you via Delightful Order 🙂

  19. Melissa says:

    I love this, it looks great! Pinning it so I can try it after my upcoming move!

  20. Amy - while wearing heels says:

    I adore terrariums and yours are no exception. They look GREAT!

    amy @

  21. Katie says:

    oh wow I love your open terrarium! Less expensive than the fancy ones!

  22. Chrissy + Nate says:

    So cute! I’m now itching to add succulents to my kitchen window sill! Thank you for the inspiration!

  23. Anna Williams says:

    They look gorgeous although I have to say I think it’s the gorgeous pop of sunny yellow that catches my eye the most! xx

    Anna (My Design EThos)

  24. Laura@Elegant Nest says:

    Love your new kitchen kart…and the terrariums! I just made my own little terrarium grouping and posted it on Monday…

    I like having some real plants in the house…and these are so easy to take care of!
    Have a great day ~ Laura

  25. Lyndsay Wells says:

    I am so excited to have found your amazing blog! Love Love Love!!! If you ever want a good laugh or some great recipes – please stop by my blog The Kitchen Witch. We have a lot of fun and I will surely be letting my networks know about you!

  26. Aimee - says:

    Oh my goodness..yes this would be a perfect inexpensive way to add a touch of cuteness to a college apartment!! Thanks for your sweet note! XO, Aimee

  27. Janette - The2Seasons says:

    Great job! I just built a terrarium last week and it’s thriving so far! Your rustically framed flower is really pretty.

    • Aimee - says:

      Thanks so much Janette! Smiles for our thriving terrariums!!! XO, Aimee

  28. Aimee - says:

    Thanks Heather!!! Me, too! I’m still shocked that I haven’t killed them yet! LOL! XO, Aimee

  29. Maury Kilgo says:

    I’ve really been wanting to try some terrariums but I keep chickening out! I have such a black thumb, but these sound like that might be ok!

  30. Bonnie @ Uncommon says:

    These look great Aimee! I love the terrarium look! the green looks amazing against that sweet yellow cart! 😉

    Bonnie @ uncommon

  31. Michelle says:

    Im impressed if they can survive a few weeks away without water then I think you have yourself some survivors there! They look great 🙂

  32. Nelly@DGInnovations says:

    My daughter just got an aloe vera plant clipping from her aunt for Easter! May have to transplant that baby soon! Thanks for the inpsiration!

  33. Tam says:

    I so want to try this now! These look so cute!