The South American country of Brazil is home to 30 percent of the world’s remaining rainforests. Ecosystems within rainforests are some of the most diverse in the world, providing a home to an extraordinary variety of plants and animals.
You can create your own rainforest in a jar by following the simple experiment below!
Rainforests are called so because they produce a huge amount of moisture. In fact, they don’t need very much rain to survive, because they make their own.
One canopy tree in the rainforest can create up to 200 gallons of water each year, which is why it is so humid in these habitats.
Create a Rainforest in a Jar at Home
If you can’t travel to Brazil to experience rainforests firsthand, you can create your own miniature garden or terrarium. Look more closely at the science behind these remarkable ecosystems by growing one inside of a mason jar.
- A large, clear mason jar (so you can see inside)
- A few flower or vegetable seeds
- 1/2 cup of potting soil
- 1/4 cup of water
- small piece of sandpaper
- Optional: A piece of moss (collect your own)
- Carefully pour the soil into the jar.
- Pour the water into the jar so that the dirt gets nice and moist.
- Rub the seeds with the sandpaper (gently!) to aid water absorption. Drop your seeds and moss sample into the jar.
- Place your terrarium in a sunny location.
Now watch your tiny rainforest blossom! Pay attention to the condensation on the sides of the jar. This is the same process that keeps rainforests wet, even when there isn’t a lot of rain. Your seeds will sprout and start to grow without any additional water.
Note: You can make rainforest gardens and terrariums in other containers as well. For example, you can try this project using a balloon, a recycled soda bottle, or an old fish tank.