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How to Create and Maintain Your Own Terrarium


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Want an indoor garden? We’ll tell you how to create and maintain your own terrarium, one of the most unique floral arrangements available to home gardeners.

Terrariums are wonderful, magical environments. Make your terrarium even cuter by turning it into a Fairy Garden! These miniature scenes are all the rage and add interest and imagination to any terrarium.

Decorative, attractive, and easy to care for: you just plant and forget. Because terrariums recycle their moisture, they need very little attention. A closed terrarium can often go a month or more between watering. They actually thrive on neglect! Now even people who tend to neglect plants can develop a "Green Thumb." For beginners, starter kits are available with the items you'll need. For those experienced with houseplants you may already have all the supplies you need.



Terrariums can very in size, shape and container, however all must be in a closed or enclosed container. Build your own terrarium kits are available with the supplies you need to get started.

Any clear container can be made into a terrarium. The main requirement is that it be watertight. Choose something that is large enough to accommodate the plants, and has a cover, lid, or door to keep the moisture from escaping. Jars, bottles, and aquariums are some of the more common containers used. More elaborate designs made from Acrylic Plastic, Leaded and Stained Glass, and Glass Block, can add an elegant touch to your home decor. Whatever the container, a humble pickle jar, or a Contemporary Glass Sculpture, you can bring an easy to care for touch of nature into you home.

Many plants do well in terrariums, and it is best to choose the ones that will fit the size of the container. Slower growing plants require less trimming, and are less likely to take over. If you are willing to pay more attention to them, you can experiment with more aggressive plants. They require more frequent trimming, but will allow you to have more variety in your terrarium.
If you follow these instructions, you will see how easy it is to create and enjoy these miniature eco-systems. Making a terrarium is also a wonderful way for children to learn about nature.

Planting Instructions

Place a 1/2 inch layer of small gravel in bottom. Sprinkle some activated charcoal on top. (Optional)
good draining potting soil.If soil "clumps" when squeezed, add some Perlite to lighten it up. These can usually be found in garden shops. Install plants. The number will depend on the size of the plants, and the container. Don't overplant. Leave room to grow. Push the soil aside, place a plant in the depression, and firm the soil around it. Repeat for each plant. Water lightly. (3 or 4 ounces).


Neglect It! Water lightly only after it gets dry once every few weeks, depending on conditions. NEVER OVERWATER! Place in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight. You should have enough light to read by. When plant gets as big as you want, pinch off the newest growth to encourage bushier growth. Then Enjoy! Do not fertilize. As the nutrients get used up the plant's growth will slow down, helping to keep them under control. Over time the soil can be "refreshed" by scraping off the top layer of soil, and adding some fresh potting soil. This will add a small amount of nutrient, as well as freshening up it's appearance.
Some plants suitable for terrariums are:
Pilea (Aluminum Plant)
Soleirolia (Baby Tears - a very aggressive grower)
Ardisia (Marlberry or Coralberry)
Podocarpus (Buddhist Pine)
Aeschynanthus (Lipstick Plant)
Very small ferns
Miniature African Violets
Rubiaceae coffea (Coffee Plant)
Buxus (Boxwood)
Zebrina pendula (Wandering Jew - an aggressive grower)
Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig - an aggressive grower)
Hedera (Ivy)
Fittonia (Mosaic or Nerve Plant)