How to start your first Terrarium project?

What is a terrarium?

This is often called a garden in a glass. It looks very much like a decorative item and is commonly used as a gift or present. A terrarium is a container for indoor gardening. It is made of glass mostly.

Is a terrarium concealed?

The terrarium is enclosed either partially or fully. This is to allow heat and light to get into the space while moisture can be contained within its walls. While some terrariums are fully concealed, they are better to be partially open so that airflow can be preserved.

Who can start a terrarium project?

Terrarium projects are easy to start and maintained. It can be done by anyone, even if you are not a seasoned gardener.

How long will it take to complete a terrarium project?

To complete a terrarium project, it should take you not more than an hour.

Are terrarium projects expensive?

No. you only need some inexpensive items.

What do I need to make a terrarium?

To make a terrarium, you will need:

  • A large spoon (or a trowel used for gardening)
  • Garden snips
  • Spray bottle
  • Container – glass or transparent
  • Smalls tones (gravel used in aquariums is fine)
  • Charcoal
  • Sheet moss
  • A sterile potting mix
  • Items for decoration
  • Terrarium plants

What type of terrarium container should I use?

The first thing you should do is to decide which container you want to use. You can find these containers at DIY shops which come in different shapes and sizes. Start with something inexpensive and then work your way up to the more expensive ones. You can either buy a terrarium container or a normal transparent case that has a wide opening. A lid is optional.

Look around your house and probably have a lot of these containers lying around such as bell jars, apothecary jars, glass cookie containers, goldfish bowls or Wardian cases. You want a container with a large mouth so that your hand can fit into it.

Should I use an open instead of a closed terrarium?

Open containers are better as they are more convenient and you will have fewer problems when maintaining your garden.

What type of plants should I use for the terrarium?

In choosing the plants for your terrarium, you are aiming for miniature ones.  You should have no problem finding them at gardening or DIY stores. Go for those with different heights and foliage forms. The rule of thumb here is to find plants that can fit into the container without touching its sides. In terms of leaf sizes, you might want to consider a mixture of size, color and texture.

Make sure you use plants that do not grow fast and those that can grow in low to medium-lighted environments. Bear in mind that your plant will grow in a humid environment, so avoiding cactus will be a logical move.

What types of plants are most suitable for terrariums?

You can consider small ferns, the African violet, Polka Dot plants, nerve plants, club moss, prayer-plants and creeping figs.

What should I do after choosing the plant and container?

  • Now, you will need to create a drainage system. This needs to be done within the container.
  • You start with creating a layer of gravel (about 1.5 to 2 inches) at the bottom. If your terrarium is a tall one, then the drainage level needs to be deeper.
  • Then, add a layer of activated charcoal above the gravel level. This should be about half an inch.
  • Now, you want to add a layer of sheet moss on top before you put it in the potting soil.
  • You can then add the potting soil in. Bear in mind that you do not need to add any fertilizers in. when putting this in, remember that you need space to put the plant in later.

How to put the terrarium plant into the container?

First, remove the plant from the original packaging. Trim the roots if necessary so that it does not encourage too much growth. Remove the damaged leaves if needed.

It is important to design your terrarium and decide which plant goes where. Once you have done that, dig a small hole for the plant and then placing it in before patting the soil to compact its surroundings. Use a tweezer if the terrarium is narrow. After that, you can decorate it with items you think is nice. Be careful not to overcrowd the container.

So, now that I have a terrarium what should I do next?

Water the plant with a  small spray bottle. Make sure its just damp and clean the sides. Never use glass cleaners as they are harmful to the plants.

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