Getting into gardening, creating your own magic forest inside your home, I think is one of the most amazing things that you can do for yourself and to improve your home environment. A terrarium for me is one of these super magical plant happenings, to see a tiny landscape contained into a glass container is just such a manifestation of living art. And the great news I have for you today is that setting up a terrarium is quite inexpensive, easy, and an opportunity for you to allow your creativity to come out and build this mini plant universe, and the best thing is that it can be something fun to do for gardeners of any age. It can be a cool project to have with your kids for example. If you are looking for a simple, relatively low maintenance gardening project, that doesn’t need much space, a terrarium is a good choice for you. Wondering about how to start a terrarium? Stick around because today I will give you all the terrarium tips, everything you need to know to understand how a terrarium works.
Before you start building your terrarium, you should decide where you will want to place it in your home. In the case of most plants, you will want to pick a spot where there is indirect sunlight because the rays will get magnified by the glass container. If exposed to direct sunlight constantly, the temperature inside the terrarium will rise too much. On the other hand, you don’t want to place your terrarium in a place that gets no sunlight. So once you have picked a place for your terrarium you can move on to the next step. Getting the supplies.
What Do You Need for a Terrarium?
- The first thing you will need is a glass container. Any container made of clear glass can work for making your terrarium, fish bowls, a big jar, an old aquarium, anything that will allow you space to build your miniature landscape.
- Potting soil. You won’t need a lot of it but when getting it keep in mind that it should be porous and lightweight. Peat-based, good quality, the potting mix will be a good choice as well. Also, in order to improve the water drainage, you can add a bit of sand to it.
- Pebbles or gravel. You want to have a layer of these at the bottom of your container, so get an amount that will be enough to cover this lower part, it’s also good to add a small quantity go activated charcoal, this will help maintain the terrarium fresh.
- Some sheet moss or sphagnum.
- Plants. When choosing the plants for your terrarium you should keep in mind that you want plants that won’t grow too much for the size of the container. Some sun-loving good options are Croton, pineapple verbena, boxwood, Joseph’s coat, and twiggy spikemoss. Shade-loving options include Scottish or Irish club moss, golden club moss, gnome ivy, and miniature ferns.
- You will need a few basic tools, some will be necessary for only certain types of the container so check what is need for you. Tools like: A funnel, so you can place the soil inside the container, spoons, scissors so you can snip the greens, long tweezers so you can arrange the plants and other materials inside the container, and maybe material to clean the glass with.
Terrarium Guide – How to Create a Terrarium?
The art of setting a terrarium up is quite easy to learn.
- Start by filling and arranging the bottom of the container 2.5 to 5 cm with pebbles or gravels, this will allow any water excess to be drained. This is something important for the terrarium because since they don’t have drainage holes if the water doesn’t get drained somehow, your plants might drown in there and die.
- After this layer of pebbles, the next thing will be to add the activated charcoal, a thin layer of it is enough, this will help maintain the air in the terrarium fresh and with a pleasant smell.
- Now you can add in the potting soil, an amount that will be able to keep the small plants’ root balls accommodated, something like 7 to 8 cm. You can also choose to have a depth variation to create different levels and add this kind of movement the different depths can bring to your terrarium. If you think of having a front direction for the landscape of your terrarium you can create a mound at the back of the container with the potting mix.
- And finally, after these steps, you have arrived at the planting time. Remember you are creating your own little landscape so you can really decide what way you want it to look like. My suggestion is that the plants that are taller are planted in the back and the short ones more in the front, but you can play with this and choose how you want it to look. Choose different varieties of plants, with different textures and sizes, and also will be great if they are slow growers. A plant that brings some color to the mix is a great addition to your terrarium family. There should be enough space between the plants in order to allow the air to circulate.
These are the terrarium basics, you are ready to start planting a terrarium, and I hope you have a great time doing it.
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