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Can you put plants in glass jars

I have a quite large clear glass vase, that I would like to transform into a plant pot. What are the problems that may occur? Are there any houseplants that I can grow inside the house, which won’t have a problem with the clear glass?

Can you put plants in glass jars

4 Answers 4

You can grow almost anything in a pot or vase but some of the issues are:

  • if there are no drainage holes in the bottom and you plant in soil there is a risk of root rot. Even if you have a drainage layer and soil separator it is tricky to maintain just the right amount of soil moisture.
  • many plants are quite happy to grow in water. This is easy if there are no drainage holes. However depending on light conditions you may find that algae builds up on the inside or that the aesthetic appearance of all those tangling roots is not what you were looking for.
  • glass is a considered to be chemically stable and should be waterproof. Roots don’t care what kind of pot they are in if there is sufficient room for them. Many vases tend to be tall and narrow with smooth sides. This will promote the roots circling around the inside of the vase wall as they grow out. For plans with a woodier stem this can cause the root ball to have a mass of roots at the periphery and none in the middle of the soil ball which makes it harder to keep all the soil at a consistent moisture level

Can you put plants in glass jars

Whether you are short on outdoor gardening space or just want an eye-catching indoor garden – glass bottle gardens are a carefree way to grow many of your favorite plants. Bottle gardens make excellent indoor focal points, especially when planted with colorful foliage and different textures. By following some basic tips, you will have your bottle garden planted and thriving in no time. Read on to learn more.

What is a Bottle Garden?

Gardens in a bottle are essentially the same thing as terrariums. Each one is a small greenhouse supporting a miniature ecosystem of plants.

The first step in creating glass bottle gardens is selecting the bottle. Clear bottles allow the most sunlight to enter, so if you choose a colored bottle, you need to select plants that tolerate medium to low levels of light.

Bottles with openings big enough to fit your hand through make planting easier. Otherwise, you will have to use chopsticks or a long-handled spoon to work the soil inside the bottle and plant. Just make sure the bottle opening is wide enough for the plants to fit through it. Likewise, you could opt for clear plastic soda bottles and simply cut an opening for your plants to fit in. Glass jars work well too.

Wash the inside and outside of the bottle and allow it to dry, as this removes any toxic substances that could harm the plants. Dry soil won’t stick to the sides of a dry bottle and you can remove any dust from the sides when you water.

Creating Gardens in a Bottle

Bottle garden plants require porous soil. This both reduces rot and allows air to get to the roots. You can improve your soil’s drainage by adding one inch of pea gravel to the bottom of the bottle and adding a small layer of horticultural charcoal on top. The charcoal reduces any sour smells created from decomposition.

Layer the gravel mixture with 2 to 4 inches of a rich potting mix. Spread the soil evenly over the gravel using a long-handled spoon. Using a rich soil reduces or eliminates the need for fertilizing.

Plant low-growing plants first, working your way up to the tallest. If it’s difficult to fit the remaining plants into position, wrap them in a paper funnel and slip them through the bottle’s opening and into position. Firm the soil around the plants.

Spray the plants and soil with tepid water until they are moist. Only water again when the soil becomes dry or the plants start wilting. Place the bottle out of direct sunlight.

Leave the bottle top open for several weeks to reduce condensation and then seal it with a cork or suitable top. The only other maintenance is removing dead foliage before it rots.

Suitable Plants for a Bottle Garden

Low-growing tropical vegetation make good bottle garden plants because they thrive in humid conditions. Be sure to use plants with similar needs.

Suitable choices include:

Flowering plants don’t grow well in bottle gardens, as the excess moisture can rot the blossoms.

Joyce Starr has owned and operated a landscape design and consulting business for 25 years. She is a previous certified horticulture professional and lifelong gardener, sharing her passion for all things green through her writing.

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Can you put plants in glass jars

A close-up on the mason jar garden. This entire garden cost under $50 to make, including plants, soil and materials like hose clamps. My dad brought mason jars from home, along with the wood.

The Mason Jar Garden holds a special place in my heart because it was the first DIY “living art” project that I got to do with my father. Since that time, we’ve done over a half dozen other DIY projects, and there’s no sign of us stopping!

The project really got its start and inspiration from a challenge from my father. My dad, a prolific gardener, gave me a hard time for not having any edibles on the vertical garden that I had previously installed in my bedroom. Naturally, I asked him if he would be down for building one with me in the kitchen.

Much to my surprise, he was up for the task, so we embarked on designing a mason jar garden. Now ultimately I should say that there wasn’t enough natural light for herbs over the longterm, so I moved the herbs into other areas of the home and even created some cool DIY herb projects with my father after this project. I particularly wanted a “living art” piece for this part of my kitchen wall because it was quite bare, and it’s the first thing you see as you walk into my door.

The key with mason jars (since they don’t have natural drainage) is to include stones on the bottom to help create “drainage” on the inside of the jar. The charcoal will serve to help ward off any bacterial build-up near the plant roots. Additionally, after about three years, I decided to compost the old soil and replace it with new soil. Plant soil can often use a little refresh, so all you’ll need to do is loosen up the hose clamps, remove the mason jars, and clean out the contents and put in new stones, charcoal and soil.

This was the very first DIY plant project that my dad and I embarked on, which was a tremendous amount of fun. I never got enough light in this area for herbs over the long-term, unfortunately, so I moved to only medium- to lower-light tolerant plants. Plus the plants outgrow their mason jar homes pretty quickly, so this creation does require some plant switches from time-to-time!

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Can you put plants in glass jars

This was the very first DIY plant project that my dad and I embarked on, which was a tremendous amount of fun. I never got enough light in this area for herbs over the long-term, unfortunately, so I moved to only medium- to lower-light tolerant plants. Plus the plants outgrow their mason jar homes pretty quickly, so this creation does require some plant switches from time-to-time!


You’ll need 10 key items in order to create your mason jar herb garden:

  • wooden boards
  • wall adhesive
  • Tapcon® screws
  • hose clamps
  • cable staples
  • wide-mouth mason jars
  • potting soil
  • activated horticultural charcoal
  • stones
  • plants

Can you put plants in glass jarsMason jars have been around since the 1800s. Yup, the 1800’s! Okay, that might not be such a big shocker, but they’ve recently come back in style in the 21st century, and they’re also commonly being used in the garden. Mason jars of all sizes seem like the perfect spot for some of our favorite plants, but not all plants can be grown within them. Yes, I know, you obviously can’t grow large plants in tiny mason jars, but it’s not just about the size.

Typically, mason jars only have one entrance, and it’s located at the mouth of the jar. This means, whichever plant you decide to grow in a mason jar shouldn’t need to be drained of water. This is because once you add water, there’s no way for any excess water to escape besides naturally being soaked up by the plant or evaporated into the air. This is why you need to know firsthand, what you can grow it in a mason jar!

1. Herbs

Herbs are probably the most common, and maybe the easiest plants to grow in a mason jar. However, it’s not ideal to start herb seeds in mason jars. This is because the seed starting process is much different from the general growth upkeep process, and mason jars aren’t suitable for beginning seeds. Drought-friendly herbs like lavender, sage, and thyme are recommended for growing in mason jars in case of mis-watering, but you can grow virtually any herb in a mason jar, so long as you’re not starting them off from seeds.

You’ll also want to be sure the mason jars your using have enough room for root growth because herb roots tend to grow slightly larger than their top growth. If you’re using a smaller mason jar, transfer them into larger ones when they’ve grown enough. Another trick to avoid mis-watering is to fill the bottom of the jar, before you add in the soil, with stones or pottery shards. Your choice!

These are the most compatible herbs to grow in a mason jar:

  • Parsley
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Rosemary

2. Succulents

Succulents are ideal for terrarium planting, as they take little care or supervision. You can create a terrarium in a single mason jar, or a variety of mason jars. Terrariums are great because they take very little supervision and care for upkeep.

You can spice up your terrarium with a variety of different kind of succulents. Fill your terrarium with pebbles or rocks at the bottom, then add your potting soil and plants. Add a few drops of water and seal up the mason jar.

3. Cacti

Cacti can also be grown in mason jars, as they too require little upkeep. You can also add them to terrariums or just have them alone in a single mason jar. These look awesome around the house and can last for years on end.

Mason Jar Ideas for the Garden


Use your mason jars in the garden as storage to store your potting soil or gardening seeds. If you store your seeds in mason jars, be sure you store the jar in a cool, dry and dark place. You can store your mason jar full of soil in your standard gardening storage area.

Canning Your Harvest

Mason jars are ideal for canning your harvest as well, as they can be sealed shut and stored for use at a later time. Using mason jars to can your harvest can lengthen its shelf life instead of letting it rot shortly after being harvested.

Mason jars have been around for a long time, and they are extremely versatile. Don’t let these options limit your usage of mason jars, because you can use them for all kind of things. We love using them all around the house and garden!


[…] as much attention as they need. Some plants need a lot of space to grow their roots in, while others will do just fine in a mason jar or small pot. If you plan on growing vegetable plants, consider getting containers that can carry […]

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I use mason jars for sprouting, canning and fermenting. This year I used them for starting my seeds for my green beans, black eyed peas and snow peas.

A hole new ball game: colanders, glass jars, cups and bowls make great pots. provided you pick the right plants to put in them. Photograph: Anders Gramer

A hole new ball game: colanders, glass jars, cups and bowls make great pots. provided you pick the right plants to put in them. Photograph: Anders Gramer

Take one colander.

Hanging baskets are deeply uncool but perennially popular, with good reason – if space is limited, they open up a whole new set of possibilities for growing. One garden at Chelsea this year featured a metal colander that had been pressed into service to grow trailing strawberries – a great idea. But for a year-round harvest, plant perennial herbs such as sage, chives, thyme, mint and rosemary, all of which will thrive in a basket in a sunny spot outdoors. Include at least one plant that will trail down the side – a creeping thyme or prostrate rosemary is ideal; and you can always make temporary additions, such as cut-and-come-again lettuce.

Find a colander – whatever takes your fancy, be it old blue-and-white enamel, modern metal or even brightly-coloured plastic – buy some hanging basket chains to hook into the topmost holes (or thread some rope or drapery cord through a hole and secure it with a couple of knots) and line with something to stop soil falling through the holes and retain moisture – a hanging basket liner or old compost sack with drainage holes cut into it will do, but best of all is an old woollen jumper cut to size.

Add handfuls of dampened, peat-free potting compost mixed with a sprinkle of water-retaining crystals until the colander is half-full, then position your plants, removing them from their pots and teasing out the roots. Add more compost around the rootballs and firm the plants in. Don’t overcrowd the basket – they will grow to fill out the space – then give the whole thing a good soak before hanging. And remember to water daily in hot weather and feed weekly. And “edit” the basket every few months, refreshing the compost, trimming the herbs and replacing any past their best.

Where to look Jekka’s Herb Farm, 01454 418878, and Plants With Purpose.

Take one glass jar.

Terrariums (aka bottle gardens) are the ultimate low-maintenance way of growing indoor plants: the closed environment of a glass jar keeps them cosy all year round and they rarely (if ever) need watering. Canny choice of container and plant is key – look for a lidded glass container with a wide neck, and avoid coloured or patterned glass: it could be a tall sweet jar or even a glass cake or cheese dome. Next, pick your plants: think small-leaved, slow-growing foliage. One taller plant and two lower-growing specimens are ideal: pileas, peperomias, fittonias, Ficus pumila, selaginellas and small ferns are all ideal, as are small specimens of the parlour palm, Chamaedorea elegans. You can use faster-growing plants such as Chlorophytum comosum ‘Ocean’ (pictured below), but be prepared to replant regularly to stop the terrarium getting overcrowded.

To build your garden, take a clean, 20cm-high jar (adjust quantities accordingly if yours is bigger), add a 3cm layer of washed gravel or small pebbles, then a similar depth of house plant compost. For each plant, make a hole that’s slightly bigger than its rootball, then lower it in, adding more compost and firming around the stem. Add a sprinkle of water and pop on the lid (though you may need to remove it for a while if condensation forms). Position the terrarium in a bright place out of direct sunlight, and preen every few months: the removal of dead leaves and overgrown plants and an occasional spray of water will keep it looking good.

Where to look For glass jars: Heal’s, 0870 024 0780; Lytton & Lily, 01271 372172. For plants: House of Plants, 01435 874874.

Take one teacup.

Unlike most house plants, carnivorous plants like to be waterlogged, so are ideal for more unusual pots without drainage holes, such as teacups and fruit bowls. Dionaea muscipula (venus fly trap), Drosera capensis (Cape sundew) and Sarracenias (pictured top right), will happily catch flies on a sunny windowsill if the soil is kept wet with rainwater (never tap). Pick a pot big enough to fit the plant’s rootball with ease and use a peat substitute (try Moorland Gold, from Tamar Organics, 01579 371087).

Where to look For plants: Little Shop of Horrors, 01823 681669. For china: Steptoes Dog, 0113-274 8494; Lavender & Roses, 01376 561189.