Instructions on how to make a terrarium, plus material and recommended plants. Also, tips for terrarium maintenance.
A terrarium is a great way to nourish that green thumb during those winter months. You are able to get a little dirt under your nails and revel in the satisfaction of watching something grow under your care.
That being said, don’t limit yourself to only planting and nurturing a terrarium when it’s cold out! A well-planted and well-maintained terrarium will thrive year-round for many years! My closed terrarium is 5 months old and thriving! The only maintenance required is minimal, infrequent watering and trimming back my wee jungle.
While terrariums are very easy to make and maintain, there are few critical elements that are necessary for success.
You first need to know if you want an open or closed terrarium.
As you would guess, the difference is that one is open and one is closed. But more importantly, whether your terrarium is open or closed will determine what kind of plants you can use. For an open terrarium, consider plants that will tolerate dry conditions like mini-cactuses, air plants, and succulents.
The opposite is true for plants that will thrive in a closed terrarium.
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Plants that thrive in moist and humid environments will be most successful in a closed terrarium. For my 2 gallon jar, which is 7.5″ in diameter and 14″ tall, I used 3 plants (2.5″ pots) and 1 clump of moss.
My local garden center carries a variety of these mini terrarium plants, sometimes also called fairy garden plants, year-round.
Consider some of the following for your closed terrarium:
Building a terrarium is really quite easy once you have all your supplies.
These indoor gardens require very little maintenance.
Add a little bit of water when you notice that there is no condensation on the lid or sides of your jar. It seems that I add water every 4-6 weeks and then only about 1/4 cup for my 2-gallon container. You will need more or less depending on the size of your jar.
The ONLY problem I have ever had with my terrarium was when it was brand new and I over-watered it. As a result, I lost 2 plants. If you do overwater, simply keep the lid off for a bit to let it evaporate.
Resist the urge to fertilize. You want your plants to stay small and manageable.
You will need to pop in with your scissors and trim your plants. I trim my peperomia at least every other week.
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