The most detailed guides on the internet for plant and terrarium maintenance, creation and care.
How to Create and Maintain an Edible Terrarium
How to Create and Maintain an Edible Terrarium

How to Create and Maintain an Edible Terrarium

Have you ever considered that owning a terrarium could also mean having a self-sustainable source of food? 

Meet the edible terrarium – a unique blend of indoor gardening and home decor that provides a sustainable, fun, and aesthetically pleasing way to grow food. 

Not only does it serve as a captivating addition to your interior design, but it also creates an environment-friendly option for fresh produce, reducing your reliance on grocery stores.

Step-by-step guide on building an edible terrarium

Materials needed

supplies needed to build a terrarium including tools

Creating an edible terrarium requires a few basic materials:

  • A glass container (with or without a lid, depending on the plants you choose)
  • Small pebbles or gravel for drainage
  • Activated charcoal (to keep the terrarium smelling fresh)
  • Potting soil
  • Variety of edible plants (herbs, small vegetables, edible flowers)
  • Small gardening tools or utensils

Step 1: Choose the right container

This can range from a traditional terrarium case to a mason jar or even an aquarium. 

Remember that larger plants require more space, so choose a container that will accommodate your selected plants’ growth.

For edible plants, the more light the better – so be sure to pick a container that allows as much light as possible. You can read more on picking a terrarium container here.

lots of variations of terrariums in long containers

Step 2: Layering materials

Start with a layer of pebbles or gravel at the bottom for drainage, followed by a thin layer of activated charcoal to prevent unpleasant smells. 

Then, add a generous layer of potting soil – deep enough to accommodate the roots of your plants.

close up image of waterlogged drainage layer in a terrarium

Step 3: Choosing the right edible-plants

Select a variety of edible plants according to their size, growth rates, compatibility, and care needs. 

All plants will need good access to light, space to grow, and a good supply of water.

Recommended edible plants

mint plant with bushy leaves

Mint (Mentha spp.): There are several types of mint such as spearmint and peppermint. Mint prefers moist environments and indirect light, making it perfect for a terrarium. It’s ideal for culinary uses such as flavoring dishes and drinks.

image of parsley on white background

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): Parsley is a compact herb that can thrive in a terrarium with adequate light. It’s used in numerous recipes worldwide.

cut chives stalks

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Chives have a mild onion flavor, are easy to grow, and don’t require a lot of space, which makes them suitable for a terrarium.

flowering oregano

Oregano (Origanum vulgare): Oregano is a versatile herb often used in Italian cuisine. It can grow in a terrarium, but it requires good airflow and light to thrive.

photo of thyme plant in garden

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Thyme is a lovely herb with a pleasant aroma. It grows well in a terrarium given proper light and air circulation.

Viola sororia

Violets (Viola spp.): Not only do violets add color to your terrarium, but they are also edible. They can be used to decorate salads or to make syrups.

potted strawberries

Alpine Strawberries (Fragaria vesca): These miniature versions of the traditional strawberry plant are an excellent choice for a terrarium. They require a good amount of sunlight and yield small but flavorful berries.

Maintaining your terrarium

An edible terrarium requires regular care to flourish. Depending on your choice of plants, they may need to be watered sparingly as terrariums can easily become too humid. 

The terrarium should also be placed somewhere with appropriate light. Trimming and harvesting the plants will help promote growth and maintain the terrarium’s appearance.

If you encounter common problems like overwatering, inadequate light, or pests, make sure to adjust your care routine accordingly. 

You can find out more in our ultimate guide to terrariums or care and maintenance.

man watering a terrarium open from the top

Examples of edible terrariums

Feeling inspired yet? From elaborate, multi-tiered edible landscapes to simple herb gardens, the possibilities are endless when it comes to edible terrariums.

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