Garden in a jar

The perfect solution to bring some of the nature into your home. And it only takes a few things.

Tracie and I both love the outdoors and in our new home in Germany we are lucky to have a big garden directly behind the house. We are both pretty new to gardening, but enjoy it very much. It is so satisfying to work outside in the nature and to see the results of your hard work in the form of beautiful flowers and greens. We are planning to grow some vegetables this summer and we will keep you updated on how this will work out.

The garden in a jar is one of our latest projects and I want to share with you how I made this garden and what I have learned so far.

What you need:

Things you need for your garden in a jar
  • A jar
  • Potting compost
  • A few pebbles for drainage
  • Plants
  • Optional: a few bigger stones, ornaments for decoration

The jar

When using a jar with a lid, you will create a greenhouse like environment. The water will condense on the sides of the jar, drip back into the compost and water the plants. This way you do not have to water very often. Likewise, you can also use a jar without a lid, you might have to water a bit more regularly. I have used a jar from a well-known Swedish furniture shop and found it to work very well.

The potting compost and pebbles

I have used fresh planting compost which I bought in a DIY and Gardening store. The fresh compost is still full of vital nutrients for your plants. The pebbles are necessary to create a drainage on the bottom of the jar, so the water does not accumulate. If this would happen your plants may receive too much water and will rot.

The plants

You can choose whichever plant you like there are no limits. For my garden in a jar I have used some ivy which I just took from an existing ivy plant. It is easy to propagate ivy, make the cut above a leaf and keep about one inch of the stem. You can plant this directly into the compost. The stem will start to sprout and grow new roots within 6 to 8 weeks. Furthermore, I have used some moos which I also just took from our garden. The moos can be a good indicator for watering. As long as it is mellow and green you won’t have to water. It is time to water when the moos begins to lose its bright green color. I have also used some house leek which is a type of succulent. These plants are very easy to look after. They do not need to be watered often and will withstand periods of drought. If you choose to plant succulents in your garden jar you must make sure to open the lid every so often so some moist air can leave the jar ensuring not to over water the plant.
I think it is fun to experiment with different plants and see which ones are working best for you. Let us know in the comments which ones you have been using.

The steps to create your garden jar

Start with the first layer by adding the pebbles. Ensure to cover the whole bottom with a few centimeters.


Next add a bit of the planting compost.

The last step is to add your plants. You can arrange them any way you like. I have added some parts off an old ceramic pot that was smashed. You can also use some bigger stones or other ornaments. They will also assist you when watering the garden. Let the water drip onto the stones. This will protect the leaves and roots of the plants.

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