This post and photos may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through any link I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
In my life I realize I have been called a lot of different kinds of lady that always features the word crazy before my obsession. My nephews called me a crazy craft lady and, in the eyes of the general public, I’m most definitely a crazy dog lady and a crazy cat lady. And now, just the other day my grandmother called me a “crazy plant lady”.
It went like this. “Why didn’t you answer your phone?!?” me: “I was out in the garden and my hands were covered in dirt.” “How many plants do you have now? This is getting crazy! When did you even get into this?” Well, I’ve got quite a few plants now and I’ve always liked to garden. I just haven’t always been great at keeping my plants alive. “You’ve turned into a crazy plant lady!”
She’s one to talk, by the way :) With the prettiest garden I’ve ever seen my grandmother was constantly working out in the yard. And when we would drive around town she’d stop and knock on people’s doors to ask if she could “take a piece” of their really pretty rosebush. Or she’d straight up tell people they needed to thin out their bulbs and, wouldn’t you just know it, she was offering her services in exchange for the bulbs that were thinned out :)
But back to the crazy plant lady thing…
I’ve really always loved gardening but I’ve not always had great results. So far, I’m pretty happy to say that I’ve kept all but one plant doing relatively well. Did you see all of my pretty plants? I wrote all about my non-toxic houseplants safe for cats and dogs here. Way back in 2014 I wanted a houseplant but had trouble keeping them because of my cats eating them. And so my very first water terrarium came to be and lived on my dresser for, I think 6 years. And in all of that time it looked just as it did the first day, it was amazing. And so today this crazy cat lady is making another gorgeous bottled water plant. Want info to make your own?
Caring for your Closed Water Terrarium
The care for your water plant is super simple. Firstly, don’t place in direct sunlight. Someplace with good, indirect light works best. Now this is the brilliant part about having a totally closed terrarium… besides dusting the darn thing on occasion, making sure it isn’t in direct sunlight is literally all you need to worry about! You don’t have to water anything because the cork keeps the water from evaporating. There isn’t any need to clean it because there’s no air circulating to introduce anything to get gross.
That’s it… don’t let it be in direct sunlight and enjoy! See, even a houseplant somebody with a totally black thumb couldn’t kill! :)
Supplies Needed to Make a Closed Water Terrarium:
- Glass Carafe with a Cork Stopper (at Amazon)
- Aquatic or Semi-Aquatic Aquarium Plant (Java Fern)
- Aquarium Gravel
- Wood Skewer or Chopstick
- Purified Water
The glass carafe:
For this terrarium you’ll need a glass vessel. I found my carafe with a cork stopper at IKEA where I paid$4.99 for it. (a steal!) I’ve also seen similar in store at Target for $9.99. If using something different, a lid is imperative if you want this to be a closed water terrarium that you never have to clean. I prefer the look of the cork topper and know from experience that after some time the cork is incredibly difficult to remove. If you try something different and share it on Instagram tag us @dreamalittlebiggerblog! I’d love to see this done another way! :)
Any pet store with a fish department should have a selection of living aquarium plants. When selecting the plant for your closed terrarium be sure to check if it is an aquatic or semi-aquatic plant. Aquatic plants need to be fully submerged and semi-aquatic needs to be only partially submerged to thrive. At some pet stores the plants will be clearly marked as aquatic or semi-aquatic. If not marked I’d strongly suggest asking an employee for guidance.
Because I know absolutely nothing about saltwater aquariums I am using a freshwater plant. To be honest, I’m not even sure if they had saltwater plants at the store I went to. Once I saw that adorable frilly top on my plant I was sold.
Putting together your water terrarium:
Carefully slide a handful of rocks along the side of the glass to the bottom. Because this is glass don’t just chuck the rocks down in the bottom!
Continue sliding rocks into the jar over and around the plants roots to set it in place.
If needed, gently use a wooden skewer or a chopstick to push the foliage around so that you can slide rocks down into the bottom without hitting the plant’s delicate foliage.
Depending on whether your plant is aquatic or semi-aquatic, either partially or fully fill your carafe with purified water. You can find purified water in both grocery stores and convenience stores.
Push your cork stopper into the carafe as tightly as you can by hand. Don’t smack it or hit it with a hammer, finger tight, as they say, is good enough.
Isn’t that just lovely?
And as a houseplant it totally plays well with others :) Doesn’t it look pretty next to my Burro’s Tail and my Purple Waffle Plant? It really is such a fun trio.
Ooh, and what I love specifically about this little Java Fern is how it looks different at different angles. Even when you’re not looking straight at my water terrarium it’s still a gorgeous sight. The curve of the carafe acts like a fish-eye lens or something and I just love walking by the book case it sits on.
Lovely, easy and unique. Not bad home decor for a few minute’s work!
DIY No Care Water Terrarium
- Glass Carafe with Cork Stopper
- Aquatic or Semi-Aquatic Aquarium Plant (we used a Java Fern)
- Aquarium Gravel
- Purified Water
- Carefully slide a handful of rocks along the side of the glass to the bottom of your glass carafe. Add the plant and then gently slide more rocks down the sides over the plant's roots. If needed, gently use a wooden skewer or a chopstick to push the foliage around so that you can slide rocks down into the bottom without hitting the plant's delicate foliage.
- Either partially or fully fill your carafe with purified water depending on whether your plant is semi-aquatic or aquatic.
- Push your cork stopper into the carafe as tightly as you can.
- Don't place in direct sunlight. Someplace with good, indirect light works best.