Glass Terrariums for Plants

Updated February 21, 2017

Selecting a container is an important step when making your terrarium. The size and shape of the container is a significant factor when selecting plants and assembling the terrarium, as well as how you care for the foliage. If the container has a small opening, it will be a challenge to assemble the terrarium, yet it will require less irrigation. The container should be made of transparent material, such as glass.


The classic glass container used for building a terrarium is the aquarium. When you're tired of caring for fish, turn the underwater world into a tropical rainforest.

Beverage Glass

A simple beverage glass can hold a miniature terrarium. A brandy snifter, with a smaller opening and larger bowl, makes both a suitable and attractive miniature beverage glass terrarium.

Cake Cover

Placing the soil and plants at the bottom of the glass container is not a requirement for a terrarium. It is possible to make a terrarium by inverting a glass bowl, or a glass cake cover, over the soil and plants. One way to do this is to plant the greenery in a pot to fit under the glass cover.

Decorative Jar

Most decorative glass jars make suitable terrariums, such as apothecary jars, jars with cork lids or jars designed to provide decorative storage.

Fish Bowl

The fishbowl has both the size and shape suitable for making a manageable terrarium. Its opening is large enough to make it easy to assemble, yet small enough that watering will not be as frequent as a regular potted plant.

Glass Cookie Jar

Use a glass cookie jar, with lid, to create a countertop terrarium. Another option is the glass jar used by candy shops, with the stainless steel lid. These jars typically have the opening along the side, rather on the very top of the jar.

Light Bulb

As strange as it sounds, even a burnt out, glass light bulb can become the glass container for a terrarium. This is not a project for children, as taking apart the light bulb to make room for the soil and plants can cause the fragile glass to break.


Purchase a glass container designed specifically for making a terrarium. These come in variety of intriguing shapes and sizes, such as mini-greenhouses, or oddly shaped deformed globes.


The glass vase from the florist can transform into a glass terrarium after you toss the wilted flowers. Look for a vase with a wide base.

Water Jug

Making a terrarium in a glass water bottle, the type used to supply water to office water coolers, is a bit like building a ship in a bottle. Yet, once completed, the container requires minimal watering.

Wine Bottle

The wine bottle is another challenging glass container, due to its small opening. Yet, once assembled, it makes an ornamental terrarium, as well as a conversation piece.


Recycle old glass jars, such as empty mayonnaise or pickle jars, by turning them into terrariums.

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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.