Up for a challenge? Try your hand at terrariums and then build a Coffee Table Terrarium.
Terrariums are all the rage.
We don’t mean the ones with spiders, bearded dragons or some other form of creepy crawly!
We are talking about the art of an enclosed, wonderfully humid, self-sustaining, and enchanting indoor decorative terrarium.
A Terrarium can be an exciting challenge for even the most adept gardener because it is all about balance. Finding the right plants, growing medium, container and moisture level will in all likelihood take some tweaking, but the reward makes it so worth it.
If you do it right, a terrarium should be able to be left to its own devices for months, even years, giving you long lasting and fulfilling growing joy, one tiny drop of micro-climate rain or new leaf at a time.
Any sterile glass or Perspex container that can be sealed airtight and that is big enough to give your plants room to grow and allow you to have good views as they do.
We like large fat bellied bottles with corks, sealable fish tanks or bowls that you no longer use, large mason jars (Console glass bottles) or any other type of aesthetically beautiful container that you can see yourself keeping in your house long terms.
The plants need to be able to thrive in the warm humidity of a terrarium, not grow to fast or big (Yes you can prune but it is better if you don’t have to) and also deal with the minimal airflow of your closed terrarium.
The growing medium.
“Coco – coir, peat moss or houseplant soil works with most plants, besides succulents which prefer a well-drained inorganic medium. Some people choose to make their own soil but if you’re short on time, garden store houseplant soil works just fine. For succulents, you’ll need soil with a sand or gravel mixture.” – Source
- You can add small stones or pebbles for drainage and appearance.
- Activated charcoal will help keep your water fresh and stop bacteria growth.
Start by layering your growing medium. Layer in this order: Pebbles, activated charcoal and then potting soil. Next, you can add some patches of moss, and finally start with your plants. The biggest plant goes in first and then the rest. Leave your plants some room to grow. Don’t smush them up against the glass.
A spray bottle works well. Gently mist your terrarium until the soil is moist but not drenched. If you see a bit of condensation forming its ok – but is your glass fogs up completely, you have over watered. Leave the lid off for a couple of hours until it has dried up a bit.
Keep your terrarium in an area full of natural light, but not in direct sunlight and keep an eye on it until your plants are established. Now the fun starts. Watch this little sealed micro-climate grow and thrive without human intervention!
How long can they last?
If the growing conditions are perfect, terrariums can last ridiculously long. David Latimer claims to have a Spiderwort terrarium in a sealed glass bottle that is 60 years old, and was last opened in 1972, simply to add a bit of water.
However, because perfect conditions are so hard to create, most terrariums usually only last between four months and two years.
Don’t let that dissuade you!
With a bit of practice, some research and tweaking, you can just get better at it – soon you will be creating awesome microclimates and become your social circle’s growing Guru!
Elevate the trend.
Once you have perfected your terrarium skills, you can even approach this more challenging DIY project.