How To Take Care Of A Terrarium – Plants Care


There is a wide range of terrarium designs. Some terrariums have an open top, while others are always completely closed. The upkeep and care of terrariums are fairly easy. Gardeners must, however, pick their plants wisely. For plants that flourish in humid, even tropical, conditions, these planters are ideal. Glass around terrariums aids in producing a particularly humid environment. Due to the risk of rot, unless they are left open, most terrarium care guides advise against using desert plants like cacti or succulents.

What Is A Terrarium?

A terrarium can be one of two types. While open containers are exposed to the outside air and dry out more quickly, closed systems provide plants with a consistent humid environment. We concentrate on closed systems.

A closed terrarium can take some time to get into balance, but once it does, maintenance is simple and water usage is minimal. A healthy terrarium can go months without watering without experiencing any negative effects.

How Do Closing Terrariums Operate?

Observing how nature creates and maintains a living microcosm is one of the attractions of a terrarium. You can correctly maintain a closed system by having a working knowledge of how it operates.

Living plants are nourished by a beneficial microbial activity supported by the soil in the terrarium. Moisture from evaporation and plant transpiration recirculate as condensed “rain” droplets that keep the soil moist.

An active cycle that maintains the quality of the air is powered by photosynthesis. The terrarium’s plants use light to create oxygen, which is then used at night. Photosynthesis produces carbon dioxide during the day, which is then used by respiration in plants during the night. It’s quite amazing!

An ecosystem that has already been established in a terrarium can adapt to minor changes and maintain a generally stable balance. However, even though a terrarium’s ecology is mostly taken care of by nature, it isn’t complete. Light and the sporadic offering of assistance are required.

How To Take Care Of A Terrarium?

The growing popularity of terrariums allows homeowners to create miniature but perfectly formed botanical worlds.

The goal is to build a self-sufficient environment in a container that can support the plants that inhabit it. The open terrarium and the closed terrarium are the two varieties available.

The closed terrarium cultivates a fully functional ecosystem and resides in a lidded container. Condensation can build up on the walls of the enclosed area and water the plants.

1. Create your layers

In your vessel, neatly arrange each layer in the manner shown above.

2. Think of a design for your terrarium:

  • Do you prefer a flat or erratic landscape? A buildup of moss and soil can be used to make “hills.”
  • What do you want your primary focus to be?
  • What plants are you going to use? Aim for no more than two different plant species in your design so as not to detract from the rest of your landscape. However, even one plant can stand out magnificently in a terrarium. There are no set guidelines, so use your imagination.
  • Do you want to include any additional adornments? Use blue sand to make a stream, or add dollhouse miniatures to make a village.

3. Planting

Create your miniature garden as soon as possible. When planting, take the tiny plant out of its container and carefully scrape away some of the extra soil from its roots. To make a tiny hole in your soil for the plant, use a pointer tool or your fingers.

4. Create your landscape

With your fingers, break up the moss loosely to fit the design you want, then scatter it over the soil or rocks you want to cover.

5. Add decoration

  • Create a shallow trench line in the ground with your fingers for rivers and pathways, then fill it with pebbles, sand, or stones.
  • Different types of rocks, such as beach pebbles, black polished river stones, aquarium rocks, and so forth, can be used to create mountains and cliff sides… be creative!
  • Including both people and animals. To add realism and character to terrariums, miniature railway models are ideal. The possibilities are endless; you could use sheep to graze on the hillsides, people to sit on benches next to the riverbed, etc…

Factors Affect Terrariums To Grow

1. Too Much Light

The majority of terrarium-friendly plants don’t need very strong light. The glass of a terrarium can magnify light and burn plants if it is exposed to direct sunlight or other intense light. The terrarium’s temperature can quickly increase, and before you know it, it might be as steamy as a sauna. It’s best to keep terrariums out of the direct sun as the majority of plants can’t stand this heat.

2. Too Little Light

Even though too much light can be problematic, the majority of plants require at least some light to survive. Use grow lights or fluorescent lights to add extra light to your terrarium if it isn’t getting enough indirect light, or move it closer to a window that gets plenty of indirect light.

3. Too Close To Heat Sources

Your plants may die quickly from the heat from a radiator or heating vent. The majority of terrarium plants won’t survive if you place your tank next to, or on top of, a radiator or other heat source.

4. Overgrown Plants

You want to be able to admire individual plants and see the other decorative elements inside the terrarium, so try not to let the terrarium plants become lanky and overgrown. Trim your terrarium plants when they become overgrown and have crowded the terrarium to keep it neat and orderly. In order to keep their roots small, you can also prune them.

5. Failure To Remove Dying Plants

Use a small shovel, terrarium tool, chopsticks, or long spoon to remove the plant, being careful not to disturb the roots of other plants. If a terrarium plant appears to be sick, dying, or not doing well, remove it right away because its problems can infect other plants. Change the plant for one with the same size, moisture, and light requirements. Make sure to completely cover the roots with soil, leaving no air spaces.

6. Dirty Glass

Clean your terrarium’s glass on the inside and the outside once in a while. Light will have a hard time getting to your plants if the glass is too dirty or foggy. Use a damp piece of newsprint or a lint-free cloth. Use gentle cleaning supplies outside of the terrarium because harsh cleaning supplies contain chemicals that could harm your plants.

7. Over Watering

Using a spray bottle in place of a watering can is one way to avoid overwatering. In the event that you overwater, use a paper towel to absorb the excess water. Till your terrarium has dried out, leave the top off. If you plan to keep mosses in your terrarium, you might want to consider a closed system because these moisture-loving plants can thrive in a lidded terrarium and an enclosed rainforest-like environment.

8. Over Fertilizing

Most plants in terrariums don’t require fertilization. Avoid feeding terrarium plants because they will quickly outgrow their small container, which is what you want to do in order to limit their growth.

9. Choosing The Wrong Plants

Choosing plants that will thrive in the type of terrarium you are creating is crucial, even though almost anything can be grown in a terrarium.1 If you are designing a closed terrarium, choose plants that prefer a moist environment. Additionally, be sure to combine plants that require the same amount of light. In general, low-light plants perform best.

Why Is My Terrarium Foggy?

In a manner akin to natural rainfall, a closed terrarium circulates water. Water droplets formed during condensation fall back into the soil repeatedly. When your terrarium is balanced, droplets should start to form close to the top; otherwise, the glass will be clear.

The presence of too much water in the system is indicated by the foggy glass. It can happen whenever you overwater, but it frequently occurs in new setups. Simply opening the terrarium and allowing fresh air to circulate will solve the problem.

Re-closing the system is possible after ventilation has cleared the glass, but keep an eye on it. Condensation is what you want to happen, but if fog returns, you’ll have to reopen the terrarium and clear it out once more. Repeat the procedure until the terrarium’s glass is clear but there are condensed droplets at the top.

Closed Terrarium Planting Tips

Here are some helpful tips to keep maintaining a closed terrarium simple.

  • Before putting your plants in the terrarium, carefully rinse them. Insects, mold, or unnatural chemicals should not be added.
  • To prevent introducing pests and mold spores into a closed system, make sure your soil is clean. Commercial mixes are usually acceptable, but if you have any doubts, sterilize it by baking.
  • Your landscape will soon be completely covered with plants, so leave space for growth. By allowing the plants room to grow, you can reduce how often you need to prune and groom the plants.
  • To maintain a smaller plant, prune the roots. Given that this occurs naturally, most plants can tolerate having their roots pruned. Just the thread roots that branch off from the large tap roots should be cut.
  • A good general rule of thumb is to schedule annual plant replenishment. You might be fortunate to find a slow-grower that lasts longer than that, but most thriving plants eventually outgrow a typical terrarium. You can maintain a well-groomed landscape with yearly replacements.