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Choosing the Right Size & Shape for Your Terrarium
Choosing the Right Size & Shape for Your Terrarium

Choosing the Right Size & Shape for Your Terrarium

Selecting the appropriate size and shape for your terrarium is crucial for its success, as it can impact plant health, maintenance, and overall aesthetics. 

This article aims to help you make informed decisions when choosing the ideal terrarium size and shape to create a thriving, visually appealing miniature ecosystem.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the right size and shape for your terrarium, it’s essential to consider factors such as the types of plants being used, their growth habits, and the available space in your home or office. 

Additionally, consider the terrarium’s purpose, whether it’s for decoration, education, or housing small animals or insects.


To choose the right size for a terrarium, consider the mature size and growth rate of the plants you plan to use. 

Ensure there is adequate space for growth and movement, as crowded plants can lead to poor air circulation and increased risk of diseases.

Small terrariums are more accessible and cost-effective, making them ideal for beginners

However, they may limit the variety of plants you can include. 

Medium terrariums offer more space for plant growth and diversity but require more maintenance. 

Large terrariums provide ample room for a wide range of plant species and even small animals, but they can be more challenging to maintain and may require additional support for humidity and temperature control.


Terrariums come in various shapes, including round, square, rectangular, and unique novelty shapes. 

The shape you choose can impact plant arrangement and aesthetics, as well as factors like air circulation, humidity, and light penetration, which are crucial for plant health and maintenance.  

As such, choose a terrarium shape that allows for optimal light penetration.

Examples of Popular Terrariums

Here are some examples of suitable terrarium sizes and shapes for various plant types and combinations:

  • Small, round terrariums: Ideal for air plants, small succulents, and mosses. They’re perfect for tabletops, windowsills, or shelves with limited space.
  • Medium, square terrariums: Suitable for a mix of small to medium-sized plants, such as ferns, ivy, and bromeliads. These terrariums can serve as a focal point on a table or countertop.
  • Large, rectangular terrariums: Perfect for creating a lush, tropical environment with a diverse range of plant species or housing small animals or insects. They often require a dedicated space or stand.

To select the right size and shape based on your specific needs, preferences, and available space, consider the following suggestions:

  • Assess your available space: Measure the area where you plan to place your terrarium and choose a size and shape that fits comfortably.
  • Determine your desired plant variety: If you want a diverse range of plants, opt for a medium or large terrarium.
  • Consider maintenance requirements: Smaller terrariums are generally easier to maintain, while larger terrariums may require more attention to humidity and temperature control.


Square-shaped containers can be great for creating a modern and minimalist terrarium. Their symmetrical shape allows for easy placement and arrangement of plants and decorations.


Geometric containers, such as those with triangular, hexagonal, or octagonal shapes, can add an interesting visual element to a terrarium. They work well with a variety of plant arrangements and can be made from glass or other materials.


Fish tanks can be repurposed as terrariums and offer a large space for planting a diverse range of plants. The clear glass allows for easy viewing of the plants and their growth, and the water-resistant seal ensures that the terrarium stays humid and moist.


Demijohns are large, rounded glass containers that are typically used for storing wine or other liquids. They can be used as terrariums due to their unique shape and size, which allows for the creation of a miniature ecosystem with a variety of plants and decorative elements.

Mason Jar

Mason jars are a popular choice for creating small, self-contained terrariums. They are easy to find, inexpensive, and versatile. They also offer a rustic and charming aesthetic that works well with a variety of plant arrangements.

Wardian Case

Wardian cases are a type of terrarium that were popular in the Victorian era. They are typically made of glass and feature a closed, sealed environment that allows plants to thrive without requiring frequent watering or maintenance. Wardian cases are often used to display exotic or delicate plants, and they can be quite ornate and decorative.

In Conclusion…

Choosing the appropriate size and shape for your terrarium is crucial to creating a thriving, visually appealing miniature ecosystem. 

By considering your specific needs, plant choices, and available space, you can select a terrarium that meets your individual requirements and provides an enjoyable, successful experience. 

With careful planning and consideration, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful, healthy terrarium that brings nature into your home or office.

If you’re looking to find out more about terrariums, take a look at our ultimate guide to terrariums.