How to Make Your Own Terrarium

Terrariums – those striking little ecosystems inside glass containers – have become one of the hottest and fastest growing gardening trends. These ‘gardens under glass’ are perfect for constructing your own unique world and are one of the most cost-effective, creative and simplest ways to brighten up any dull looking space.

When to Consider a Terrarium

  • Perfect for those with a serious case of black thumb, anyone with demanding jobs and busy schedules, or simply someone that wants to brighten up a space without too much hassle, terrariums are suitable for almost every occasion.
  • These booming creations are hardy – so they’re ideal for environments without much light and don’t need to be watered as regularly as other plants.
  • Terrariums also make great centrepieces for interior decorating, to place on wedding tables or in reception areas or for the office. Because there’s no limitations for how creative the designs can be, terrariums can be mixed and matched to seamlessly fit in or enhance any setting. 

Want to build your own mossy serenity?

Here’s a foolproof guide to planting your own terrarium:

1. Gather the Materials

Before creating your own DIY terrarium, make sure you have access to all the right materials. You’ll need:

  • A glass container with a wide opening is best.
  • Miniature plants.
  • Activated charcoal (from pet shops or nurseries).
  • Decorative pebbles, gravel, stones or sand.
  • Potting mix or succulent soil (with a small amount of sand is ideal).
  • Sheet moss or sphagnum moss.
  • Decorative figurines.
  • A spoon or hand spade.
  • A spray bottle.

2. Choose the Home

For the beginner terrarium maker, a deep glass container with a wider opening is best. This is to allow enough room to create and manoeuvre while planting. You can use anything as the vessel from a mason jar, fishbowl and glass canister or get more creative with a light bulb, spice jar, wine bottle, glass jug or hanging lantern.

Closed containers hold more humidity which will craft that jungle-like atmosphere, whilst open containers are best for cactus and succulent gardens. Whatever you choose to use as the terrarium’s home, make sure it’s made from clear, smooth glass so you can clearly see the garden inside.

3. Create Layers

Clean your chosen vessel inside and out with a paper towel or cloth and glass cleaner. Do this before you start planting! The first layer is all about drainage and should consist of pebbles, gravel or stone. About 2-4 cm is good as this will allow for proper water drainage to ensure the roots of your plants don’t rot.

Layer two is for hygiene and will be a thin, even layer of activated charcoal. This layer helps to keep things fresh within the container by releasing a carbon into the soil once its watered. It’s important you don’t overdo this later – just use enough to cover the stones or pebbles.

Layer three is to prevent soil settling at the bottom of the glass vessel. Use the sheet or sphagnum moss to create a barrier between the charcoal and soil. For the final layer (the growing medium), add fresh healthy soil (preferably with a little bit of sand in it). Potting mix or succulent soil is best, but check with your local nursery what is the ultimate soil option for the plants you choose for the terrarium. Add moisture to the soil without saturating it and use the soil to get creative by adding hills, valleys or anything else your glass container jungle needs. Squish the soil down as much as possible to eliminate air pockets.

4. Add Greens: Selecting the Right Plants and Succulents

The most common plants for terrariums are air plants, succulents, cacti and houseplants. Air plants are great for providing an impressive range of colours and styles and work best in humid environments. Air plants thrive on bright, indirect sunlight and vary in hardiness according to what species you choose. Most air plants need to be dried out before they should be watered again.

Succulents are great for terrariums because they are super hardy. Cacti is one of the most popular species to plant and are designed to be able to go weeks without water. Make sure you get creative when positioning your plants in the terrarium to build your own inspiring jungle!

5. Give Your Terrarium Some Swagger

This is the fun part! Get your creative juices flowing and use accessories and figurines to give your terrarium some unique swagger. Use things like old toys, crystals, shells, shiny glass or metal objects, coloured sand, rock layers and colourful stones to create your own little world. There is no wrong way to make a terrarium; but considering where you want it to go (or, if it’s a gift, who you want it to go to) will help determine its design.

6. Know What Your Plants Need

Terrariums don’t require much more than the occasional watering and trimming. You can monitor its water needs by how dry the soil is, just keep in mind not to water unless the soil is completely dried out. Avoid placing your terrarium in direct sunlight as this will scorch the plants and if any parts of the plants dry out or wilt, remove immediately to keep the rest of the plants healthy.

How to Make Your Flowers Last Longer

Now that you have your lovely arrangement from Manic Botanic, you’ll want to enjoy it for as long as possible.

Here are some little things you can do to help your fresh cut flowers last a bit longer:

  1. Cut the Stems

Use secateurs or sharp scissors to trim one to two inches off. Cut at an angle, which allows for better water intake since they aren’t sitting flat on the bottom of the vase. After the initial cut, give your bouquet a trim once every few days.

  • Remove any leaves below the water line

This will not only make your bouquet look better, but will also prevent bacterial growth. Check your flowers daily for dead or loose leaves and remove them.

  • Remove Outer Petals

Some flowers, like roses, have guard petals which are the two or three outermost petals of the flower. Removing these will allow your flower to open up fully.

  • Clean Vase and Clean Water

Clean your vase with detergent or bleach and fill it with water at room temperature. Clean the vase again and change the water every two to three days.

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight, Heat, Drafts – and ripening fruit!

Avoid displaying your flowers in direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat. Try to also avoid drafts from open windows, heating or cooling vents and ceiling fans as they can cause the flowers to quickly dehydrate. Funnily enough, your flowers won’t last as long if they are close to a bowl of ripening fruit.  This is because ripening fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which will reduce the longevity of your flowers .

  • Keep them Cool

There is a reason florists keep their flowers in the fridge! Your cut flowers will last longer in a cooler room, or even in the fridge overnight if it’s not set too cold (keep it above 10deg C)

Choosing the Perfect Flower for Every Occasion

Finding the perfect flower for a friend or loved one goes well beyond what simply looks good. Of course, choosing something pretty is a must – but the ultimate blooms crave a little more thought than just visual appeal. Thinking outside the box when it comes to flower choosing is a talent not everyone naturally acquires, but with some understanding about what the perfect flower can achieve you can now more easily find the right bunch.

They say that for every job, there is a right tool and flowers and occasions are no different. But just because a bunch of blooms look fresh, pretty and colourful; it doesn’t mean to say they’re right for the occasion. Beware! Flowers are fluent in their own language and have the power to send the wrong message as well as the right one.

Date Nights

Date nights are crucial to detach from the busy lives most of us live. Whether it’s just dinner and few vinos at home or a romantic night out, being surprised with a bunch of flowers just tops it off. If you’re only a few dates in and want to show your interest, keep things pleasant but not overwhelming. Perhaps a Posy/bouquet Florist’s Choice or a Blossom Jar, for example . For those couples who’ve been going steady for some time, the traditional Half Dozen Red Rose Market Bouquet is always a winner or opt for something like our Pink Box of Love.


Seasonal blooms are great for anniversaries because you can take the pick of the crop for that month. Spring and summer are loaded with vivid colours whereas the cooler months showcase the deeper, warm tones. There’s also specific flowers for each anniversary month and year which you can choose. For example; carnations are the first year anniversary bloom because they represent vows of commitment and joy for the next few years. The strength and loyalty of sunflowers represent third year anniversaries and 11 years go hand-in-hand with tulips – the bloom of love, devotion and deep passion. Here is a list of traditional anniversary flowers by year:


Call us and we can put together the perfect arrangement featuring your perfect flowers! Check out our Love Page suggestions!


Like anniversaries, wedding flowers tend to be very seasonal. The colour is usually picked based on the choice of dresses and overall colour theme of the event and the flower type dependant on the month you’re getting married. Calla lilies, peony roses, tulips, hydrangeas, sweet peas and gardenias are some of the most popular options for weddings. To choose the best flowers for your big day, you’ll want to consider the style of your wedding (elegant, rustic, casual…) and the colours of your bridal party. Using accent colours that complement each other will work better for photos. Bouquets should be comfortable and hardy too, after all – you will be holding it for most of the day!


If you know the recipient’s favourite colour or flower, start with that. For those that don’t there are lists of flowers that correspond to each month for birthdays, just like birthstones. If you’re unsure it’s always a good idea to go with a specific birthday bloom. June’s birthday flower is the honeysuckle or the rose, marigolds for October, daffodils for March and violets for February, just to name a few. Be aware though that these were traditionally Northern Hemisphere ideas, so they may not be readily available here Down Under at the right time of year!

Valentine’s Day

The month of love! The colour side of things should be easy here – think vivid reds and bright pinks. If the relationship has just begun, purple lavender roses are ideal. For the longer heart throbs, red tulips communicate love. Roses have become a popular choice for Valentine’s Day because they symbolise love, both the colour and the flower choice. If you want something a little different though, pink blossoms are ideal or the Peruvian lilly which is long-lasting and easy to find. Try and pick a flower that reflects your date’s personality to add a unique touch and avoid yellow blooms as these symbolise friendships.

Mother’s Day

Like V-Day, reds and pinks are great for Mother’s Day to show love and admiration. Carnations, pink roses, white daisies combined with pink tulips or lilies make for a great bunch of blooms. Have a look at our Mother’s Day page for some suggestions!

Get Well Wishes

When someone is sick, bright and cheerful flowers are always bound to cheer them up. Add healthy greenery to the bunch to give it an extra touch too. If they’re in hospital, be careful with flowers that are highly fragrant. Assorted arrangements are a safe option if you don’t know them too well. If sending to a hospital, we suggest a vase o, box or posy jar arrangement which is easier to transport than a bouquet. Have a look at our Get Well page for inspiration.

Funeral and Sympathy

White and green arrangements, including favourites such as roses, lisianthus and chrysanthemums are traditional sympathy flowers. Many, however, choose to send bright happy colours, or select the favourites of the loved one who has passed. Culturally there may be do’s and don’ts to consider, so if in doubt ask a family member or someone close. Here are some ideas on our Sympathy page, but do not hesitate to call us or visit us in store to ask for help and advice.

Just Because…

Sometimes we don’t even need a special occasion to surprise someone with flowers – and everyone should get even a small  bunch sometimes, just because! Choose your blooms based on the recipient’s favourite colour or favourite flower. If you don’t know the details, find out flower meanings and choose something that represents this along with their personality and it’s hard to go wrong. Have a look at our instagram page @manicbotanicperth for inspiration, or simply contact us here at Manic Botanic and we are more than happy to make suggestions!

Why Do We Give Flowers as Gifts?

The art of giving flowers is something that has been encouraged in every culture. A fresh bunch of blooms has easily been one of the top choices for gifts to give for centuries and it’s easy to see why. Any occasion is appropriate for giving flowers because they provide the perfect way to brighten someone’s day. The way flower bouquets are arranged, the colour and the type of bloom you give all work together to convey multiple messages. And it’s amazing how much these messages can differ from flower-to-flower. So why do we give flowers as gifts? And why has this tradition been so treasured since prehistoric times? Here’s a few reasons why:

To Communicate Emotions

The biggest reason we give flowers as gifts is to connect with an emotion. Whether its love, joy, affection, appreciation, sympathy, romance or apologies; flower giving communicates the deepest feelings in the most elegant manner. It’s been said that no tradition is as effective in communicating human emotions as gifting flowers or bouquets is. And there’s decades of research and culturally inspired mythologies to back it up.

Depending on the type of bloom, its colour and how it has been arranged will ultimately dictate the emotions conveyed between the giver and receiver.  As a generic sentiment, flowers are a symbol of love and care. But these can easily be amplified or better distinguished to tailor the gift for any occasion.

Immediate Happiness

One of the best things about receiving flowers is the immediate happiness you feel. Even as the giver, the feelings of joy are invaluable. This instant sense of happiness that’s portrayed through flowers demonstrates true delight and gratitude creating an instant smile on someone’s face. It’s this immediate happiness that goes hand-in-hand with gifting flowers for special occasions. Celebrating a special day; like a birthday, anniversary or Mother’s Day calls for emotions like extreme happiness!

When there’s happiness, there’s positivity too. Flowers have the ability to make people less lonely and sad. This positive effect on people’s moods is a game changer – and one many of us have tapped into by giving flowers to communicate various emotions. Research shows that we feel less anxious, agitated and depressed after receiving flowers. So it’s no surprise that gifting blooms leads to feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction.

To Visually Inspire

The visual effect of blooms impacts long after the gift is given. Used as part of interior decorating, flowers can provide a stunning attraction to any space. Even after the blooms have died, drying flowers out can provide aesthetically pleasing results. Flowers are notorious for brightening up a space which keeps those feelings of happiness and positivity lasting longer. Adding flowers to your work or home space can boost productivity, clear the mind and promote a healthier and happier environment. They can be used as centrepieces or to add colour to interior or exterior decorating and visually inspire the creative minds.

To Encourage Intimate Connections

Because flowers are generally used to communicate certain emotions, they’re very encouraging of intimate connections. Anyone who has ever received flowers can agree there’s something touching about getting them. Especially if they have been tailored to suit your favourite bloom, colour or emotion, they show someone has taken the time to think of you.

The art of gift giving has always been in the details and flower gifting is no exception. Intimate connections are encouraged by the giver remembering intricate specifics about a person’s likes and dislikes. When flowers are delivered to a recipient, it can really show the attention they’ve paid and the level of care they feel.


Gifting flowers comes with convenience and accessibility. Whilst they can be very personal in terms of colour, type and arrangement; they’re also an easy gift to send when you’re not quite sure of what to purchase. If you’re not familiar with a person’s likes but wish to congratulate them or thank them – send flowers. Just be sure to do a little research prior to avoid sending a bloom that may convey the wrong message.