Terrarium Aeonium Bromiliad Sedum In A Glass Bowl

Salad Bowl Terrarium Project

I was so excited to get a review copy of Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds , probably more excited than is considered ‘normal’.  Flipping through the 50 projects, there was clearly lots of inspiration.  After a brief introduction on materials and techniques, Terrarium Craft stunning photography showcases forest, beach, desert, and fantasy terrarium ideas.

Terrarium Craft Book

After reading the book cover to cover, I was so inspired to try some projects I have all but put my seed starting on hold and transformed my corner window grow-op into a terrarium building site.  Air plants, succulents, shells, rock and found objects abound as terrariums are a nature lover’s doll house.  For my first project I fashioned a woodland-inspired terrarium out of a salad bowl, moss, Aeonium, Sedum, Bromeliad and a tiny felted owl.

How to make a salad bowl terrarium

Salad bowl turned terrarium


  • Glass salad bowl
  • Indoor cactus soil
  • Polished river stones
  • Branches, lichen, found objects


  • Aeonium
  • Sedum
  • Bromeliad
  • Spanish Moss (epiphyte)
  • True Moss (bryophyte)




DIY Terrarium Project Using a Salad Bowl - full instructions and a review of the book Terrarium Craft for more ideas

1. Fill the bottom 1/3 with cactus soil (note: the book suggests using sand or moss balls to plant your terrarium, but I don’t mind the look of soil and I’m not worried about drainage because I’ll carefully. The book’s projects do look cleaner with the sand so it’s all personal preference).

2. Place true moss around one side of the bowl.  Shake soil gently off the root ball of the aeonium, sedum and bromilad.  Dig little holes in the cactus soil and place plants.  Back fill with soil and place moss around plants on the moss side.  Add some river stones to the other half to cover the soil up to the moss level.

3. Add fun personal elements that will add personality to your “mixed salad”.  Shown here are Spanish moss (which is a type of Tillandsia or air plant so it should float above the soil), a twig with bird’s nest mushrooms I collected back in the mushroom foraging days of autumn, and a felted pocket owl that I bought from Etsy which has it’s own story.

Tiny Felted Owl in a Woodland Terrarium

How to Make a Terarrium

 Salad bowl terrarium project.

The final result is a quirky terrarium that reminds me of days waking thought the woods with the dogs, hoping to spot a real owl like these, and collecting gems from the forest floor.

 Making a terrarium from a salad bowl

There are a few other projects that I’d like to try from the book, like suspending plant roots in a moss ball inside the terrarium, but for now I best get on my seed starting or I’ll be very sad and/or broke come heirloom tomato season.

If you have tried a terrarium, or plan to try one, please let me know.  I would love to see photos of this very personal art form.

About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Shelley@2jacs
    [email protected]March 24,12

    Another great project! This is so (can I say…cute?)…! My son is actually really good at these! I have to show him this one. Thanks for this Stevie! Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

  2. Rogene
    RogeneMarch 25,12

    That turned out very nice. Makes me want to try one… if I can just keep my cat out of it.

  3. Melanie
    MelanieMarch 25,12

    I was inspired to make a terrarium when I first read about them over on, Far Out Flora. Now that I’m reading your post I’m inspired to look tomorrow for a glass bowl to make my own. Great post Stevie!

  4. Nicky @dirtandmartinis
    Nicky @dirtandmartinisMarch 27,12

    I love this project Stevie! Actually, I have that same bowl…it kind of reminds me of a huge stemless martini glass. After seeing this post I’m going to turn it into a terrarium. So cool!

  5. A Few Pennies
    A Few PenniesMarch 29,12

    Such a cute idea! I’ll keep an eye out now for large glass bowls at the resale shops–pretty posting.

  6. rosekraft
    rosekraftMarch 29,12

    Designing and planting terrariums is great fun.
    Here is one I put together last year and entered in a contest…
    Finding unusual containers is part of the adventure!

  7. Helen at Toronto Gardens
    Helen at Toronto GardensMarch 31,12

    What a neat idea, and I like your choices. Sounds like an interesting book.

  8. Gleeful
    GleefulMarch 31,12

    I absolutely love terrariums. Yours is so pretty! I have been wanting to make one with succulents for a while. I passed an award on to you – stop by if you are interested. Have a great weekend!


  9. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
    Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.April 1,12

    very cute and definitely on my to do list!

  10. Nicole
    NicoleMarch 17,13

    Exactly what kind of aeonium and sedum did you use? I already made one of these for myself but had to use different plants as I could not find the exact ones and the greenhouses asked the specific sedum I wanted. Now I am making a second one for a friend and was wondering the exact plants you used?!

    • Stevie
      StevieMarch 18,13

      Hi Nicole, I made it so long ago and unfortunately the specific aeonium and sedum names weren’t listed. Even if they were, there is a good chance that they would be hard to find in another city as the variety names can change with different brands. I bought mine at Western Independent Greenhouses (WIG) in Burnaby BC. If I had to guess, I would say that they were Aeonium arboreum ‘Black Cap’ or Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ and the sedum were a few varieties, possibly Sempervivum ‘Blood Tip’ and Sempervivum ‘Noir’. If you get the chance I would love to see photos of your completed projects! Please email me if you have some to share…stevie (at) gardentherapy (dot) com.

  11. Barb Rosen
    Barb RosenOctober 5,13

    What a sweet little garden, Stephanie! Just in time for the indoor gardening season for many of us : )

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