How to Build a Bottle Garden: A Comprehensive Guide

Well, we’ve got just the thing for you – we’ll show you how to build a bottle garden! These little guys are all the rage these days and for good reason. Not only are they super cute and stylish, but they’re also a sustainable way to grow plants indoors.

What is a Bottle Garden?

Now, if you’re wondering what exactly a bottle garden is, it’s basically a self-sustaining garden enclosed in a glass or plastic container. Check out what our friend @judithjelena shared recently on our IKEA Hack Instagram page.

These things are like little ecosystems that recycle their own water and nutrients, which means they’re pretty low maintenance. Plus, they’re great for small spaces, so if you’re living in a tiny house or apartment, this is the perfect gardening solution for you.

Benefits of a Bottle Garden

There are several benefits to building a bottle garden:

  • Bottle gardens require minimal space, making them ideal for small apartments or offices.
  • They are low maintenance and require very little watering and pruning.
  • Bottle gardens are self-sustaining, which means they recycle their own water and nutrients, creating a sustainable ecosystem.
  • They add a touch of beauty and nature to any indoor or outdoor space.
  • Bottle gardens can improve air quality by reducing toxins in the air.

Types of Bottle Gardens

When it comes to bottle gardens, there are two main types: open and closed. Open bottle gardens are, well, open to the air and need regular watering to keep the plants happy. On the other hand, closed bottle gardens are sealed and require very little maintenance. That’s why closed bottle gardens are the most popular – they’re a self-sustaining system that doesn’t require much effort on your part. Just sit back and let nature do its thing!

Credit @judithjelena

Choosing the Right Container

When it comes to building a bottle garden, choosing the right container is key. We recommend a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid to create a closed system. Make sure the container is big enough for your plants to grow comfortably and allows for proper air circulation. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the shape and size of your container – make sure it’s suitable for your plants. With the right container, you’ll be well on your way to creating a stunning bottle garden.

Choosing the Right Plants

Next, you’ll need to choose the right plants for your bottle garden. This is where things get fun because you can let your creativity shine here. We love using ferns, mosses, succulents, and cacti in our bottle gardens. These plants thrive in a closed environment and add a lot of personality to your garden.

How to Build a Bottle Garden

Building a bottle garden is easy. Follow these steps to create your own bottle garden:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need the following supplies:

  • A glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid
  • Gravel or pebbles
  • Activated charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Small plants suitable for a closed environment
  • Decorative elements (optional)

Step 2: Prepare Your Container

Thoroughly clean your container with soap and water, and let it dry completely. If you’re using a recycled container, make sure it’s free of any residue or chemicals that could harm your plants.

Step 3: Add Your Layers

The next step is to add your layers to the container. Start off with a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom, which will act as drainage for excess water. Then, add a layer of activated charcoal on top of the gravel – this little miracle worker helps absorb any toxins or odors. Finally, add a layer of potting soil on top of the charcoal. With these layers in place, your bottle garden will be off to a great start!

Step 4: Plant Your Plants

With your layers in place, it’s time to get planting. Choose small plants suited for a closed environment that will fit comfortably inside your container. We recommend ferns, mosses, succulents, and cacti – they’re all perfect choices for a bottle garden. Use a small trowel or spoon to dig small holes in the soil, and gently place your plants inside. Be sure to space your plants evenly and avoid overcrowding. With a little love and attention, your bottle garden will soon flourish with beautiful greenery!

Step 5: Care for Your Bottle Garden

Now that your bottle garden is complete, it’s time to give it some love and attention. First off, make sure to place your bottle garden in a location with indirect sunlight – too much sun or too little light can harm your plants. Avoid placing your garden in a dark corner, as your plants still need some light to thrive. When it comes to watering, be sure to do so sparingly. The closed environment of a bottle garden recycles water and creates its own humidity, so you won’t need to water as often as you might think. Finally, keep an eye on your plants and prune them as necessary to prevent overcrowding.

Final Thoughts

Building a bottle garden is a fun and rewarding way to add a bit of natural beauty to your home or office. With minimal effort and space, you can create a self-sustaining ecosystem that requires very little maintenance. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to create your very own bottle garden in no time! So go ahead and give it a try – we promise you’ll love the unique beauty and benefits of this sustainable gardening trend.


Can I use any container for a bottle garden?

While you can use any glass or plastic container for a bottle garden, choosing a container with a tight-fitting lid is important to create a closed system.  Do bottle gardens require a lot of maintenance?

Bottle gardens are low maintenance and require very little watering and pruning.
Plants that thrive in a closed environment include ferns, mosses, succulents, and cacti.  What types of plants are best for a bottle garden?

Plants that thrive in a closed environment include ferns, mosses, succulents, and cacti.  Can I add decorative elements to my bottle garden?

You can add decorative elements such as stones, shells, or figurines to your bottle garden.  How do I know if my bottle garden is healthy?

A healthy bottle garden will have vibrant, green plants and a clear, odor-free environment. If you notice any discoloration or unpleasant odors, it may be a sign that your bottle garden needs attention.

Share the Post:

Visit the IKEA Hack Directory

Find the best ideas, products, and resources to nail your next IKEA Hack.