Terrariums:  You Can Create your Own Self-contained World

Terrariums are wonderful ways to recreate miniature garden scenes. With the right plant selections you can have a scaled down version of a woodland or a desert.

With the greenhouse effect of the enclosed container, your humidity loving plants such as the African violet and the maidenhair fern will thrive.  You will get immense  pleasure from having living decor growing and thriving under glass adorn your home.

You can create a desert scene by using cacti and succulent (low- humidity) plants. They prefer to be kept in a dry environment. Containers such as aquarium tanks, fish bowls, or plain glass containers will work for these as long as the top is uncovered.

How to Make A Terrarium

You must use plants that have similar light, soil, water, and fertilizer
requirements to be successful. A composition of plants with different heights, sizes and shapes, with some color for interest. You can create landscapes by making slopes or hills and decorating with rocks, shells, woods, and figurines.

         Materials Needed:

  • Large glass bottle, jar, bowl or other container
  • Newspaper or paper plate
  • Sterilized potting soil
  • Horticultural charcoal
  • Small indoor plants
  • Tool for tamping.  
  • Pebbles
  • Moss

You can use a cork or empty thread spool attached to a pencil to make a tamping tool.

1. Select a  clean glass jar or plastic container that is large enough for your hand to fit in.

2. Put some small pebbles into the container. Pour in enough pebbles to cover the bottom. You can use sheets of rolled newspaper or a paper plate to make a funnel. The pebbles will help with drainage, so your plants won’t stand in water.  This is necessary to prevent root rot which will kill your plants.

3. Use your paper funnel to add a layer of horticultural charcoal into your container to purify any excess water, so it doesn’t become sour.

4. Place a layer of moss over the charcoal, to help prevent it from floating around when you water.  Use your tamping tool to move the moss around.

5. Now use the paper funnel to add some potting soil into the container. The soil doesn’t have to be level. you can create a landscape by making a small slope or hill.

6. Remove your plants from their pots and gently loosen their roots. Place in the soil by using the tamping tool to gently firm the soil. Leave some room for growth.

7. Add another layer of moss around the plants to help retain moisture and Water lightly and gently. Make sure water doesn't settle on the bottom. Add small ornaments.

Avoid Direct Sun

Do not place in direct sunlight.  The heat will cook your plants.  Place in bright indirect light.

Plants in these enclosed containers are virtually care-free, not demanding when it comes to water since the condensation from the sides runs back down to the soil providing the necessary moisture for them to flourish.

Prune plants when needed and turn the terrarium occasionally for even growth if the leaves lean toward the light. With a little care, your new creation will last a long time.

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