Build your own terrarium in just a few steps
Terrariums are tiny gardens held in glass or plastic containers. They are great alternatives for anyone without the time or space for a larger garden and they can be real eye-catchers! Many think that these tiny gardens take a lot of effort to make, but it's actually really simple. With the following instructions, you'll be able to create a mini-ecosystem in no time.
First, you'll have to get your hands on a glass or transparent plastic container to house your little world. This could be a mason jar, a wine bottle, or even a Poké Ball!
Make sure your container is completely clean before using it.
Now select the plants you want to include in your terrarium. Any type of indoor house plant should work. It's a good idea to include related plant groups. Here are some ideas to get you started: cacti, succulents, ferns, mosses, or violets.
Next, you'll need to gather appropriate soil and decorations. These include:
Potting soil: Try to find an airy soil that drains water well. Look for a soil that already includes a little peat moss.
Gravel/rocks: These will help form a drainage system in your garden.
Activated charcoal: If you're using a container that doesn't already have drainage holes, it might help to put a small layer of charcoal in the bottom.
Moss: Similarly, a layer of moss will soak up extra water like a sponge.
Decoration: Make your terrarium your own! You could include special stones, shells, gnomes, or even statues.
Here's how to build it:
Begin with your clean container and pour a 1-inch layer of gravel and charcoal into the bottom.
Next, add a layer of moss as an additional means of absorbing water and as a protective layer for your stones. Put soil on top of the moss. Depending on the length of your plants' roots, you'll want to add 2-4 inches of soil. Lightly press the soil with your fingers to get rid of extra air pockets. Now you can dig tiny holes where you want your plants to go.
Time for the plants! Loosen the soil around your plants' roots and set them into the holes you've created. Gently cover the roots with soil.
Now you may fill any empty spots with decorative stones or garden ornaments. All that's left to do is water!
It's important to remember to regularly water your garden (note: cacti and succulents only require occasional watering, ~1-2 times per month!). It's especially important to water if your terrarium is open air.
Pay close attention to the health of your plants. If one is looking wilted or ill, you have to remove it immediately to save the other plants. Same goes for any signs of mold or weeds.
If you choose to have a closed terrarium, make sure to open it every once and awhile. A bit of fresh air can solve many problems.
Whether in a coffee pot, a baking dish, or something else entirely, terrariums will make a beautiful addition to any home. There are no boundaries to the creativity you invest in your mini-garden. These also make fantastic gifts!