Things to Consider Before Making a Terrarium

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By Ashley Hanson

Updated: May 31, 2024

8 min read

Making a Terrarium
Photo: @plantgayforlife

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    A terrarium is an aquarium without water that accommodates plants and sometimes animals, mimicking various landscapes like forests, deserts, or rainforests. These Ariums aim to replicate different terrains, offering limitless possibilities for landscape designs, like a basic terrarium designed in a desert style.

    The Beauty of Terrarium

    Terrarium in Jar
    Photo: @farmernick

    When it comes to enhancing indoor spaces with beautiful greenery, Terrariums stand out as a top choice. These captivating plants not only elevate the visual appeal of your living space but also emit a positive aura. Enthusiasts of indoor greenery often hold a special fondness for these elegant plants and possess knowledge of various terrarium plant varieties. With Terrarium Plants available online and offline easily, acquiring them is convenient for your home's comfort and decor.

    Also Read: 23 Indoor Plants to Grow With Purple Flowers and Leaves

    Optimal Care and Plant Selection for Open Terrariums

    Optimal Care of Open Terrarium
    Photo: @farmernick

    Terrariums with openings allow for increased airflow, similar to regular indoor plants. Ideal for arid environments, they suit plants like succulents and cacti thriving in desert conditions. Often used for decorative purposes such as hanging or tray arrangements, air plants are particularly suitable for hanging terrariums due to their minimal water requirements.

    Plant Selection for Open Terrariums
    Photo: @farmernick

    Maintenance wise, open terrariums generally demand less attention, thriving in direct sunlight with occasional watering through spraying to keep the soil moist without saturating it. A watering schedule of every three to six weeks is recommended.

    Creating an Ecosystem by Enclosed Terrariums

    Enclosed terrariums utilize lids to trap moisture, fostering a humid environment similar to an ecosystem. The water cycle within them involves evaporation during the day's warmth and condensation at cooler night temperatures. Ideal for humidity-loving plants such as starfish plants, ferns, mosses, and other tropical varieties, they can thrive on indirect sunlight to prevent overheating. Due to internal moisture recycling, there is infrequent watering, typically once a month.

    Creating an Ecosystem by Enclosed Terrariums
    Photo: @theplantbuff

    Nevertheless, compared to open terrariums, closed ones demand more attention to prevent issues like root rot from excess moisture.

    Regular maintenance, such as weekly cleaning to address algae buildup and pruning leaves, is recommended. Alternatively, introducing microfauna can transform the terrarium into a bioactive system aiding in natural decomposition of dead plant matter.

    Making a Terrarium for Your Space

    Acquire a specialized terrarium enclosure or design one by yourself from materials like a soda bottle, fish tank, fishbowl, or vase. Next, pour soil into the bottom of your chosen container, filling it halfway to the desired depth. Some opt to start with a layer of rocks at the bottom, though this is a matter of personal preference.

    Making a Terrarium for Your Space
    Photo: @farmernick

    Arrange any large rocks or driftwood pieces you wish to include in your terrarium. Create a hole in the ground big enough for the plant roots. Take the plant out of its container, being careful with the roots. Put the plant in the hole and cover it with soil, gently pressing down to match the original height of the root ball. Exercise creativity by mixing and matching plants of various colors and sizes.

    Advantages of Terrariums

    Terrariums offer several benefits, including facilitating the growth of plants that struggle in dry environments, providing confined space for miniature gardens, efficiently utilizing artificial light sources like LED or fluorescent bulbs, and requiring very little water.

    Maintaining Healthy Terrarium

    Maintaining Healthy Terrarium
    Photo: @farmernick

    Terrarium are easy to care for, but here are some tips to ensure their longevity and health. If you opt for ferns, prune their leaves regularly to prevent excessive growth. Keep an eye out for yellow or brown leaves or any other plants, as they could indicate disease or pests. For open terrariums, watch out for pests like gnats or mealy bugs, if you have closed terrarium, consider occasionally opening the lid to allow fresh air in.

    Low Maintenance

    The flora within terrariums are typically resilient and don't demand frequent watering. Additionally, the enclosed environment of terrariums conserves water rather than releasing it into surrounding air like regular indoor plants.

    Watering Process

    For closed terrariums, watering may occur approximately once a month on average, though this can vary based on several factors. Open terrariums benefit from watering every three to six weeks.

    Choosing the Right Light

    Many require either direct or indirect sunlight, though artificial illumination is also an option. There are three categories of light suitable for terrariums - direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, and artificial light. It is advisable to go for fluorescent or LED bulbs; if opting for direct sunlight, consider removing the lid from a closed terrarium to prevent excessive heating to the terrarium.

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