We love creating unusual mini gardens inside glass containers,they invite you in for a closer look and can provide an indoor garden for even the smallest house or room . Terrariums are easy to care for and don't require any special skills for success as long as you follow some simple steps.
When choosing a container, remember that closed containers hold more humidity and create a moist atmosphere and are well suioted to indoor tropical plants however open containers are more suited for cactus and succulent gardens, as well as other plants that prefer less humidity. Clear, smooth glass offers the best view of the plants.
Be ready with a pair of tongs, long handled tweezers or even chop sticks (if your a talented chop stick user!) this may help position the plants easier, especially if they are spiky cactus
When choosing plants, select varieties that will thrive together and in the location that you plan to display your terrarium. How much light will the plants will receive?
- Ferns and most indoor plants like filtered light
- Succulents and cacti like sun.
After light requirements, I consider the suitability of plants for life in a container. Ideally, the plants will grow slowly or remain small,look for a mix of textures, colors and growing habits. Be sure to choose pest-free plants; even snails and slugs can wreak havoc in a terrarium.
The first step in assembling the terrarium is to select the correct planting medium, cacti & succulents will prefer a special well drained specialty succulent mix whilst ferns and indoor plants will require a quality indoor potting mix which has more peat moss within the blend.(We sell and recommend the Debco brand and find these the best available)
- Moisten the soil with water in a wheel barrow and mix with a trowel if need be
- To ensure good drainage we add a layer of horticultural charcoal in the bottom of the terrarium, this will also help any extra water from going smelly
- Cut a piece of weed-mat or window screen to completely cover the charcoal (this helps keep the soil from falling into the gravel however isn't always necessary)
- Add your soil , step back and make sure that the proportion of soil within the container is pleasing (the deeper the container, the better it looks with more soil and If I plan to view the terrarium from one side, I may slope the soil so that it's deeper at the back to make the landscape more interesting)
- Before setting plants into the terrarium, move them around and decide on the best combination and arrangement.
- Start with the largest plant, gently tease the roots out and transfer , you may need to trim overly long roots to help fit them into the container. I like to place the tallest plant toward the back or off-center to create an asymmetrical design.
- Some pots may have more than one plant in them. You can divide these and place the smaller plants around the terrarium to create symmetry in your design.
- Living sphagnum moss looks ideal when creating a fern or indoor plant terrarium however gravel will work better with Cacti & succulents
- If using living moss you can break it into smaller bits and tuck it into pockets throughout the terrarium.
Terrariums don't require much more than occasional watering use a small watering can or a little cup to water down the inside surface of the container, so that you don't disturb the soil or the plants. Watering is the main factor with a successful terrarium , if your terrarium has a lid you will find it may self water (we usually take the lid off one day a week to allow the plants time to refresh)and if growing succulents consider that they wont need as much water as ferns and houseplants. Becareful that the water doesnt build up in the base,as the soil will become saturated and your plants roots may rot.