James Wong’s unconventional planting secret will transform your terrariums

The BBC presenter uses an unusual tool when designing – this is why you should try it too

Terrarium with cacti and other green plants
(Image credit: FotoHelin / Alamy Stock Photo)

Four-time RHS medal winner James Wong has shared the secret behind his successful designs – and you may already have his unusual tool in your garden shed. 

In an exclusive interview with Gardeningetc, James revealed that super glue is the secret weapon behind his planters – most especially his terrariums and aquariums. Sharing his indoor garden ideas, James explored the hidden benefits of super glue – and how you can use it to transform your indoor plant designs too. 

‘When you’re making things like terrariums and aquariums, one of the things that are quite tricky is creating a landscape for plants – and keeping them in place. So I use super glue,’ James confesses. 

Terrarium with a large mushroom and other green plants

(Image credit: Newport News Daily Press / GettyImages Contributor)

And, while the ethnobotanist’s indoor plant idea may initially seem unorthodox, James explains that his superglue technique was, in fact, developed for aquariums. So you can use his weapon with confidence. 

‘Terrariums are very similar, just without the water,’ he says. ‘As long as you have high humidity – which you will have inside a closed terrarium – then superglue works fine,’ he explains. 

James says that the glue allows the plants to grow on all surfaces – whether that's on rocks, woods or stone. 'As long as they are stuck into place and they have high humidity, then you have the flexibility to create any number of crazy designs,' he adds.

Terrariums and aquariums are amongst James’ best indoor plants, but the garden expert suggests that the rise behind all plants is unsurprising in the current climate. Using the example of a terrarium, he suggests there is no better time to experiment with greenery, as they allow you to create your own ‘mini-universe' – so you can escape the anxieties of the present world. 

Terrarium with cacti and other green plants

(Image credit: Thomas Moore / Alamy Stock Photo)

‘People are attracted to its therapeutic benefits. There is a desire to see green, to have control – and a need to escape,’ James explains. Plus, as James adds, Instagram’s most popular houseplants are responsible for the indoor garden trend – meaning terrariums and aquariums have never felt quite so popular. 

Plus, James has teamed up with TheJoyOfPlants.co.uk to explore the positives of biophilic design. All you need to do is stock up on super glue, fill your home with greenery and enjoy their benefits. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Gardeningetc, Livingetc, and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.