Bottle gardens, or terrariums, are enjoying a revival, and they're easy to create.


The key is to combine small plants that thrive in similar growing conditions – usually either damp shade or drought.

You can plant a bottle garden in virtually any glass vessel, though closed ones are best for moisture lovers and open ones best for plants used to drier conditions. Don't worry if you can't find what we used – look in charity shops, garden centres, your kitchen cupboard or on the internet for something that appeals.

You Will Need

  • Vintage glass bottle, (we picked this up from eBay for £10
  • Horticultural grit
  • Peat free houseplant compost
  • Moss, (from the lawn)
  • Spathiphyllum 'Chopin'
  • Fittonia verschaffeltii
  • Syngonium 'White Butterfly'
  • Chlorophytum comosum 'Ocean'
  • Peperomia rotundifolia

Total time: 20 minutes

Step 1

Adding horticultural grit to the bottle
Adding horticultural grit to the bottle garden

Put 5cm of horticultural grit in the bottom of the bottle for drainage. Add houseplant compost till the bottle is about a third full – breaking up any lumps with your hands. Choose lush foliage plants that thrive in low light and humidity.

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Step 2

Planting the bottle garden
Planting up the bottle garden

Position the plants one at a time, planting them as you would in a container – firm the compost around them. Fill gaps between plants with a layer of moss.

Step 3

Watering the bottle garden
Watering the bottle garden

Water sparingly down the sides of the bottle as the curved sides will prevent a lot of evaporation. Ensure the compost doesn't dry out or become saturated with water. Place in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.

Alternative plants for a bottle garden