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Shelf Life


Watch plants grow before your eyes with a bookshelf terrarium.


  • Gravel
  • 1/4 inch of ground charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Peat
  • Builder's sand
  • Glass jar
  • Plants, such as sweet flag or Chinese elm


  1. Step 1

    Cover the bottom of a jar with gravel, then add 1/4 inch of ground charcoal. Mix 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts peat, and 1 part builder's sand; add to jar.

  2. Step 2

    Dig small holes for plants, such as sweet flag or Chinese elm. Spray completely with water before putting on lid. The terrarium should retain moisture, so rewatering won't be necessary, but you should check the soil periodically to be safe.

Martha Stewart Kids, Winter 2006

Reviews (2)

  • LisaJ79 12 Mar, 2013

    Would this work with seeds?

  • sillysoph 20 Mar, 2008

    what other plants could i use? any ideas?