If you’re like me, you live in a tiny apartment that won’t let you have pets. My housemates and I have taken to letting our neighbours cat into our place while they’re away, just to catch up on our quota of animal cuddles. If you are in the same furbaby-less boat as us, never fear! The age of plants as pets (and stylish room accents) is upon us.

A terrarium is a great way of having easy to care for plants that scream “I am capable of looking after a living organism” to houseguests. The best plants for these tiny gardens tend to be those that thrive in warm, wet environments, such as some succulents and spreading creepers (my spirit animal in plant form). Unlike a puppy, terrariums are set and forget; leave your plants to their leafy devices and you’ll have a mini-ecosystem to impress all your friends with. So, follow this guide to learn how to make a cute terrarium that will brighten up any space and never poop on your rug.

You will need:

  • Container
  • Activated charcoal pieces
  • Potting soil (enough to fill your container two thirds of the way up)
  • Gloves
  • Terrarium plants
  • Sheet moss
  • Watering can
  • Trowel

Start by building the base of your terrarium. Layer 3-5cm (1-2 inches) of charcoal at the bottom of your container. Then, mix your remaining charcoal and soil and fill your container one third full with the mixture. You want to lightly pack the soil as you go to avoid any large air pockets.

Carefully depot your chosen plants and place them in your container with enough space between them to let them grow big and strong. Pack soil around the plants and squeeze out any large air pockets, making sure that the plants are pushed far enough into the soil that their roots are covered and they don’t reach the top of the container.

Use your moss to cover the soil around the plants, like a tiny forest blanket of cuteness, then give your new creation a big drink of water. Place your terrarium in a well lit area with lots of indirect sunlight. Make sure to test the soil before you water your plants to avoid drowning the poor dears, and trim any branches that grow over the top of your container to keep things neat and tidy.

So there you have it! Your terrarium will be the talk of the town, as long as you don’t overwater it and it becomes a boggy slush. Make sure your personality shines through with a unique choice of container: the only limit is your imagination! Peep your local antique store or cruise some thrift shops to find a unique house for your plant babies. And hey; while it’s not a puppy, I’m sure you could cuddle it if you were that way inclined. I’ve made a gallery of inspiration below to get your creative juices flowing:

Rose gold is more on vogue than marble laptop decals, as are plants. With their powers combined, they are stylish and awesome.

Repurpose old items and give them new life by sticking plants in them! I absolutely love the idea of these babies running off the power of caffeine, just like me.

Go for a more open feel with stones and scattered plants. Look! There’s a baby deer! This is just too much.

Let me illuminate the possibilities with this adorable mini terrarium lightbulb; definitely one of the best ideas you’ll have all year.

This lovely terrarium features a cute fluffy… hang on.