Growing A Terrarium: When I first entered terrarium gardening, I thought it would be simple. And somehow it is. Put on the ground and plants and you have a terrarium. But that garden won’t last long unless you know how to do it right. Over the years, by growing these small gardens, I have collected some useful tips for terrarium gardening that I would like to have at the beginning.
Cultivate a terrarium
A terrarium is simply a fully enclosed or largely enclosed container garden. An aquarium, for example, can be a terrarium, although it is open at the top. A cloche is a good closed terrarium. You can also find Victorian-style terrarium gardens, made of leaded glass panels and similar to miniature houses.
A closed terrarium is like a greenhouse, retaining moisture and heat. Only a few plants will thrive in this environment. An open container allows for a slightly wider range of plants, even succulents or cacti that normally need a dry environment.
Important tips for gardening in the terrarium
Learn from my mistakes and the wisdom accumulated in the garden when it comes to creating a lasting terrarium. It requires a good balance to do it the right way, but keep in mind that almost no closed garden will last forever, so if you come out a few months, consider it a success and start over.
- Choose the right plants. For a closed or mostly closed container, think tropical. Plants that love humidity and heat will thrive in this environment. Examples include aluminum plant, peperomia, polka dot plant, pothos, starfish plant and spider fern.
- Use indirect light. These tropical plants are used for the filtered light of a rainforest. Don’t put your terrarium in full light.
- Use moss as “herb”. Moss grows well in terrarium gardens because they love humidity. Find leaf moss in your garden and use it as a base for your plantations.
- Allow drainage. Unlike a pot, your terrarium will not have drainage holes. Put a layer of pea gravel or activated charcoal on the bottom, with the growing medium on top, for drainage and to avoid soaked and decaying roots.
- Use coconut fiber. You can use potting soil for the growing medium, but I have found that this coconut husk product is better for preventing soggy roots. Immerse it well before placing it in the terrarium.
- The variety looks better. If you have room for multiple plants, vary the colors, textures and leaf sizes for the best overall appearance.
- Use the right tools. A terrarium with a small opening can be difficult to plant. Use tweezers and kitchen tongs to assemble your garden and be patient; it may take a while to get everything right.
- Check it every day. The biggest problem in most terrarium gardens is excess moisture, which leads to rot and mildew. Check your plants daily to promptly detect these problems and to adjust irrigation as needed.
- Arieggialo. If the closed terrarium gets too wet, leave it open for a day or two to rebalance and dry out a little. Sometimes, I find that I have to open the top only one crack to get it right.