Closed Terrarium Ecosystem
Mon, Sep 06, 2021

Creating of a Closed Terrarium Ecosystem: Choosing a Container and Plants

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Closed Terrarium Ecosystem

The closed terrarium ecosystem has recently gained particular popularity among those who want to diversify the interior with an interesting decorative element. The boring approach to interior landscaping as the time when plants were only displayed on the windowsill, is long gone.

With the active introduction of beautiful flowers into the design of our homes and the recognition of their great role in creating a cozy atmosphere and microclimate, the range of plants and methods of their use has expanded significantly. Along with new trends, seemingly long-forgotten traditions and floristic techniques have returned. And one of these “relics of the past” is floral enclosed terrarium, which is again becoming fashionable and in demand. This fun way to use plants in our homes has been around since the Victorian era. Let’s find out more about this.

Description of Terrarium

Terrariums with flowers are compositions of plants that can be content with minimal resources, initially succulents, planted in a special container made of transparent glass or plastic. Until recently, terrariums were perceived primarily as capricious and rare crops placed in glass vessels to create a special microclimate.

But today they have regained their former glory again. And flower terrariums are again viewed more broadly: as single crops or plant compositions placed in glass containers. These are real landscapes in miniature.

Terrariums are used in the photo design of both home and office interiors. They combine art, botany, and floriculture into a single unique complex that recreates a part of wildlife in your interior. It is impossible to overestimate the atmosphere of such beauty.

They are unique in terms of comfort, energy, and the art of attracting attention. The home garden behind glass is a self-sufficient element of interior and can either completely become an alternative to the collection of living plants, or complement them and be a natural decor and luxurious accessory.

We owe the resurgence of the fashion for flower terrariums to American designers. It was they who, along with the return of vintage to interiors and the reliance on natural materials, remembered Victorian compositions of succulents that can be used to decorate any room.

How to Create a Closed Terrarium

How to Create a Closed Terrarium

Step 1: Choose a Capacity

No need for an expensive mini greenhouse or a spacious aquarium. Almost any vessel would be ideal: from small plastic containers for bulk products to around aquarium, in which goldfish are usually kept. For a sealed garden, even a bottle is suitable. Here you are limited only by fantasy.

Disinfect the future terrarium to remove potential moss spores or substances that could be harmful to plants. Leave the container for 1-2 days to dry completely, and then start filling.

Step 2: Take Care of the Soil

When choosing a substrate, keep in mind that terrariums do not have drainage holes. As one of the options, you can lay a layer of gravel 3-5 cm thick on the bottom of the container. Before adding earth, you can place burlap or sphagnum moss to prevent the suspension from caking or falling between the stones. If you decide to use moss, be sure to rinse it and remove various weeds and insects. We recommend that you stack the moss in small pieces.

You can use charcoal as the next layer, which would be useful for neutralizing and disinfecting odors in case you accidentally overflow the terrarium.

Well, next comes the turn of the land. A layer of about 6 centimeters should be sufficient. Of course, the amount of substrate can vary, depending on the depth and width of the terrarium.

Step 3: Plant the Plants

As a rule, between decorative deciduous and flowering plants for terrariums, they choose in favor of the first ones. Today, many flower shops offer a wide selection of miniature plants. The most popular of these are ferns, scindapsus, and ivy, as well as decorative moss species. When choosing plants, keep in mind that they should all have similar needs for watering frequency and lighting.

Also, for a more interesting solution, you can use various branches and stones. And to create a terrarium with a plot, you can make small benches, add figures of people, animals, and small copies of objects.

By the way, if you do not want midges to appear in or near the terrarium due to high humidity, just cover the through-holes with gauze and secure them with an elastic band.

Step 4: Take Care of the Plants

Maintain optimal humidity levels in the enclosure to avoid acidification or drying out of the substrate. Replace watering with spraying immediately after planting. Then, from time to time, and if it seems to you that the flowers need more moisture, you can water them, but do it in moderation. Do not forget that excess water in the terrarium causes the development of fungal diseases, the appearance of mold, and plant rot.

How to water a terrarium with succulents? The terrarium should be watered every couple of weeks with a little water. Water a small or a medium-sized terrarium with several ounces of water at a time, and let it dry completely between watering.

If you notice fungus on the surface of the plants or the ground, then cut back on watering. Some types of fungus can be removed with wooden sticks or tweezers. And do not forget to get rid of dried leaves and inflorescence because when they rot, they often lead to the appearance of a fungus. Apply a dumb granular fertilizer twice a year, and remember to trim the plants to keep them from overgrowing and interfering with each other.

Now when we have figured out how to prepare a container, let’s talk about suitable miniature plants for closed terrariums.

Best Plants for Closed Terrarium

Best Plants for Closed Terrarium

Mini Ferns

Asplenium, Pteris, and maidenhair are good in any form. And when they are placed with other ornamental plants, they look like a great addition to denser tropical crops.


Most often, classic sphagnum is chosen for terrariums, which creates a dense and very bright coating. But it can be possible to grow mosses in terrariums only if constant humidity is maintained. It is also advisable to use acidic soil, which must be laid over the general substrate. But the mosses go well with most other moisture-loving plants.


The brightest in the colors of the patterns is the kind of decorative deciduous crotons for terrariums. They are known to most flower growers as rather large plants, but in addition to varieties with massive leathery leaves, there are also more compact varieties with narrow and finer greens.


A charming plant that is famous primarily for its compact size. But for terrariums, Selaginella is ideal because of its ease of control: it adores high humidity, and only in the terrarium fully reveals its beauty.


They can boast an enviable variety. If the most popular species “put up with” indoor conditions, then the rarer species require a very specific environment. And the easiest way to grow capricious orchid species is in terrariums. Of course, it is possible to mix orchids with other plants, but most often they are grown either in the company of fellows or in proud loneliness.

Mini Violets

They look great in a closed jar terrarium, where they bloom profusely thanks to stable conditions of moderate humidity. And their cute flowers in the company of stone chips, decor, and other plants seem like a precious accent.


Capricious, but such beautiful plants with unusual butterfly flowers and very beautiful leaves open up completely new possibilities for decorating a closed terrarium since cyclamens in such conditions can bloom literally for almost the whole year. They go well with all decorative deciduous plants.


Rhododendrons in florariums transform into something especially beautiful. Getting a more stable environment, they conquer with a more saturated color of dense glossy leaves and a longer and more abundant flowering. We highly recommend that you take a closer look at these sealed terrarium plants, you would not regret it!

A sealed terrarium can become a real highlight of any interior, it would add originality to any room and emphasize the extraordinary taste of the owners. Terrariums are suitable for small apartments where amateur gardeners do not have enough free space and opportunity to place bulky flower pots or flower arrangements. The indisputable advantage of such decorative elements is their compactness: they would take up a minimum of space on the windowsill or countertop.

Creating your own terrarium

Creating your own terrarium is a real flight of fantasies that is not limited by anything! So do not be afraid to experiment and create beauty around you, because this is the only way to create unique compositions. The main thing is to comply with all the needs of the plants and avoid severe waterlogging. And the incredible decoration would bloom and delight you and your guests!

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