Time frame: one day, followed by weeks of observation
Space needed: sunny window sill
  1. To properly construct a terrarium

  2. To observe life in a "closed ecosystem"

Materials needed:
  • brandy snifter, fish bowl or large bottle
  • potting charcoal
  • potting soil
  • pea gravel or crushed rock
  • plants
  • water
The world around you including plants, air, water, soil and animals makes up what is often called an "ecosystem." A terrarium is an example of an ecosystem which is closed or self-container. Within the terrarium is everything that a plant needs: soil, water and air.
  1. Choose the 3 to 5 plants for the terrarium from Table 1. To the container, add a 1/2 inch layer of gravel. Add a 1/4 inch layer of potting charcoal. Add 4 inches of potting soil.

  2. Planting is next. Using a spoon or pointed stick, open a place for each plant, set it in and press the soil back around the roots.

  3. Lightly water each plant. DO NOT OVERWATER!

  4. Close the container. If too much water accumulates in the container, it can be opened for short periods of time.

  5. Place the terrarium anywhere in indirect sunlight.
Terrarium Plants:
Artillery Fern Baby Wandering Jew Gold Spot Dracena
Miniature Palms Neanthabella PalmPeperomium
Pitcher PlantSpider Plant