Help These Moisture-Loving Plants Thrive With An Easy Cookie Jar Hack

Hypoestes phyllostachya are living proof that plants can be cute. Its scientific name gives nothing away, but this plant's adorable common names — freckle face or polka dot — hint at something special. Small, delicate leaves mottled with eye-catching green and pink, purple, or red make polka dot plants stand out among other houseplants. As you might expect, such special plants also require special care. Suffice it to say that it can be quite challenging to successfully grow a polka dot plant. These tropical denizens need some serious moisture, and even a short lapse in watering can cut their lives short.

Follow TikToker @beautifaaplant's lead by crafting your own closed terrarium for Hypoestes phyllostachya out of a clear cookie jar. A combination of the jar's tight-fitting lid and high, clear sides effortlessly creates the perfect environment for these precious plants to thrive. As yours settles into its new space, the terrarium will require little care. With the right attention, you can set your polka dot plant up for a long and lovely life.

How to turn a cookie jar into a closed terrarium

You might think that a sealed container would stifle a plant since they need air to survive, right? Well, nature also does its magic in terrariums. Carefully planted in a clear jar, moisture-loving polka dot plants will create their own ecosystems. There are lots of different types of terrariums, but a closed one is best for your polka dot plant. In a clear, sealed container, moisture and air circulate like they would in a natural environment. However, it's still important to set up your cookie jar terrarium carefully for your Hypoestes phyllostachya. 

Start with a clear jar since tinted glass makes the light too weak. If your plant is small, you can also turn an empty candle jar into a terrarium using another trendy TikTok hack. Clean the jar with soap and hot water first, rinse, and then allow it to air-dry completely. Drainage isn't a concern in terrariums, so you can add potting soil and the plant directly to the jar. Fill it with enough soil to cover the plant's largest root ball. Give it an initial watering, cover the opening, and then set the plant in an area that gets plenty of bright, indirect light.

Keep an eye on your jar as it establishes its own rain system. There should be some slight condensation on the sides. If you don't see any condensation, give your plant a light watering just to be safe. However, once the jar's rain system begins, the polka dot plant will essentially water itself for up to six months.