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How To: Terrariums

Posted by The Sill on

If you're feeling a little time-challenged, terrariums are a great way to add life to your space without the hassle of a watering schedule. Its own ecosystem, terrariums make it possible to grow things in places that aren't exactly conducive to growth. There are two types of terrariums and it is crucial you choose the correct plants for inside based on type: 

1. Open
An open terrarium provides ample air circulation and lower levels of humidity, than an enclosed vessel. Choose varieties of plants that prefer a drier environment. Open terrariums are the only type of terrariums we'd recommend for drought-tolerating succulents and cacti. 

2. Enclosed
An enclosed terrarium is water-tight, has a cover or lid, and functions by creating its own ecosystem. The plants inside release moisture, which condenses inside the vessel and trickles back into the soil. Choose varieties that are compact and thrive in humidity, for example ferns and mosses. We're big fans of the delicate looking asparagus fern (Asparagus setaceus). 

Find suggestions for terrarium plants based on light here

Our Top Terrarium Tips: 

  • Pick slow-growing plants that require less trimming and are less likely to outgrow the container quickly 
  • If you are mixing plants, choose varieties that thrive in the same environment -- i.e. prefer the same amount of light, humidity, and watering schedule 
  • Choose a clean, glass container with an opening that is big enough to squeeze your hand inside  
  • Before filling your terrarium with soil, place a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom of the terrarium followed by a thin layer of charcoal to create drainage 
  • Lightly press the potting soil down to remove air pockets 
  • When placing plants, do not overcrowd -- make sure to leave room for growth 
  • Use a paintbrush to remove any soil from the sides of the container or leaves of the plant 
  • Put your terrarium in indirect light -- full sun can fry the plants inside 
  • Water directly at the base of the plants 
  • Do not overwater -- an open terrarium can be watered once about every one to two weeks, while a closed terrarium can be watered once about every two to three weeks 
  • Let enclosed terrariums breath by opening the lid for half a day every two weeks or so 
  • If you see dead or dying plants, remove them immediately 
  • Rotate your terrarium so plants grow upward 
  • For visual inspiration - scroll through our dedicated Greenhouses & Terrariums Pinterest Board



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1 comment

  • love this site so informative .

    Carol on

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