Home Gardening Techniques Creating an Orchid Terrarium: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting a Thriving Miniature Ecosystem

Creating an Orchid Terrarium: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting a Thriving Miniature Ecosystem

by Gregory
4 minutes read

The Art of Creating an Orchid Terrarium: A Beginner’s Guide


Orchid terrariums are enchanting miniature worlds that bring a touch of elegance and nature indoors. Creating one is a simple and rewarding project that can add a unique decorative element to your home.

Choosing the Right Container and Plants

The first step is to select a suitable glass vessel for your terrarium. Clear containers allow you to showcase the beauty of your plants. Nearly any glass container can work, such as a vase, pickle jar, or aquarium. Just make sure it’s clean and has good airflow.

Next, choose the right orchid for your terrarium. Miniature orchids are best suited for smaller containers. They should also thrive in high-humidity environments. Some popular choices include Aerangis, Cattleya, and Phalaenopsis.

Creating a Drainage Layer

A drainage layer is essential for preventing root rot in your orchid terrarium. Arrange a layer of small pebbles or terrarium gravel at the bottom of the container, about 1 to 2 inches deep. This will allow excess water to drain away from the roots.

Planting Your Terrarium

Now it’s time to add your plants. It’s recommended to keep your orchid in its clear pot to ensure proper airflow and easy maintenance. You can disguise the pot with moss, bark, or driftwood.

If you prefer, you can mount your orchid to a piece of cork bark covered with sphagnum moss. Secure the orchid and moss to the bark with fishing wire.

Arrange the other plants in your terrarium, leaving enough space between them for airflow and growth. Remember, the orchid should be the focal point, so keep the other plants smaller and less dominant.

Maintaining Your Terrarium

Watering: Add about an inch of water to the bottom of your terrarium. Position it in a bright room where the orchid won’t experience extreme temperature changes. Check the moisture level regularly and mist with distilled water as needed to prevent overwatering and salt buildup.

Fertilizing: Misting is also an effective way to fertilize orchids. Use a very diluted orchid fertilizer solution.

Placement: Avoid placing your terrarium in direct sunlight, as the leaves could burn through the glass.

Open vs. Closed Terrariums

Open Terrarium: This type of terrarium is better suited for orchids, as they need some airflow to prevent root rot.

Closed Terrarium: While closed terrariums are generally not recommended for orchids, there are some species that can tolerate them, such as Masdevallia orchids.

Companion Plants

Growing an orchid alone in a terrarium can be striking, but adding compatible companion plants can enhance its visual appeal and provide a more balanced ecosystem. Some good choices include air plants, baby’s tear, small ferns, and mosses.


Root Rot: This is the most common problem in orchid terrariums. Ensure proper drainage and airflow to prevent it.

Overwatering: Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.

Pests: Inspect your plants regularly for pests and treat them promptly.


Creating an orchid terrarium is a fun and rewarding experience. By following these simple steps and providing proper care, you can create a beautiful and thriving miniature ecosystem that will bring joy to your home for years to come.

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