Houseplants & Terrariums

I love nature. I love being in and around it, whether it be going to specific eco parks, having picnics under a nice big tree, going on jogs just so I can pass that one specific spot where the pine scent overwhelms my senses, or simply sitting in my dad’s garden in the morning so that I feel the sunlight on my skin and focus on that one particular leaf or flower that catches my eye.

That being said, life is busy and hectic a lot of the time. It helps that my father loves gardening, so it just takes a quick glance out of my windows to see a lot of greens and bright colours. Growing up, I remember my family and I used to take entire Saturdays just to go visit different garden centres and greenhouses, coming back each time with a trunk full of plants.

Since moving to Guatemala, my dad has tried – on and off – to grow another garden but it never really stuck. However, since the ending of last year he has really been focusing on it and honestly, it looks amazing. I think seeing this inspired me because I decided to take on some responsibility and get myself some houseplants (or should I say room plants?) so that I can have a bit of nature in my bedroom.

That’s right, I went to a garden centre and bought some succulents to make a terrarium and a Mañanita plant (also known as Portulaca) to repot and put in a cute little wooden crate.

Then, I went to two hardware/homeware stores to get some other materials. The first one was Novex, where I got the glass bowl for the terrarium. Secondly was Cemaco, where I got a heaping bag (about x1000 more than what I needed but it was all they had) of gravel, also for the terrarium, and the little wooden crate previously mentioned.

Since my dad has been in his gardening kick lately – and the fact that he’s actually a really handy person who has a toolshed filled with any and everything needed for diy’s – I already had everything else I was going to need at home.

So, let’s get on with it. These are the materials and instructions you are going to need:

To repot the Portulaca


  • Scissors
  • Small shovels
  • Potting soil (I used a mixture of black soil, sand and gravel)
  • Flower pot (choose a size slightly smaller than the wooden crate, so that it fits. Since it will be inside the crate, it doesn’t have to be particularly decorative. A simple one will do)
  • Wooden crate (the size depends on your preference and where you will be placing it)
  • Garden gloves
  • Plant of choice


  1. Using a shovel, create a base for the plant by placing a layer of about 2 inches of the potting soil in the flower pot. Place aside.
  2. Since plants bought in garden centres usually come in a black plastic bag of sorts, you will have to cut it open using the scissors and gently remove the plant.
  3. Using the edge of a flat shovel (if you don’t have one then you can use a spare knife or anything with a flat edge) trim the soil until it’s a size that fits your flower pot. Be careful not to trim off the roots, only the excess soil.
  4. Place the plant in the pot and proceed to fill the rest of the pot with the potting soil.
  5. Place your newly potted plant into the wooden crate and there you go! You now have a decorative plant for your space!

For the terrarium


  • Clear glass container
  • Gravel
  • Charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Small shovel (or object with a flat surface)
  • 2-3 succulents


  1. Place a 1 inch thick layer of gravel at the bottom of your glass container.
  2. Over the gravel, layer ½ an inch of the charcoal.
  3. Create a layer of 2 inches of the potting soil. Then, dig three little holes about 1 inch deep and equally spaced apart.
  4. Using the small shovel, scoop out your succulents from their little pots, place in the holes created previously and refill.
  5. Use some of the gravel or any ornamental items you have on hand to decorate your terrarium!

And there you have it! You are now the proud parent of two sets of houseplants! When it comes to decorating your bedroom with it, it all depends on the layout of your bedroom. I chose to put the terrarium on my bookshelf, in between some books, and the Portulaca has the honour of being the centrepiece for my little living area (basically a sofa bed and my record player hahaha).

When it comes to plants, remember that they all have specific needs. However, regarding the Portulaca and succulents, they tend to be very low maintenance plants. The key with these is to check the soil between watering, neither of them particularly needs a lot of regular watering, about once a week should do.

Also, whereas succulents like the sun, they shouldn’t be exposed to full sunlight or very high temperatures. The Portulaca, however, does thrive in the sunlight. What I try to do is, in the mornings, place them by my window where the sunlight filters in, slide it open and leave them there for a while.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed it!

Also, here’s a picture of another plant I have on my writing desk! I just bought this on the day I went for the others. LOOK AT THAT CUTE LITTLE POT! I couldn’t resist. Okay, byeee!



* Photography by Anelie May

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