How to Care For and Maintain a Terrarium
Terrariums are a gardening trend that are becoming increasingly more popular as they allow people to have beautiful miniature gardens within their own homes. These small botanical worlds are elegant, eye-catching, detoxifying, and lend a sense of serenity to the rooms they are in. Live terrariums (terrarium that have living plants) do require maintenance, but not as much as some houseplants do. Once you learn how to properly maintain and care for your terrarium, you will be able to enjoy the benefits it brings for a long time to come.
Open and Closed Terrariums
The central idea of a terrarium is to create an environment that is for the most part self-sustaining. Maintaining a terrarium depends on which kind you’ve got. There are two kinds: open and closed. Closed terrariums are inside a closed container and are a functional ecosystem unto themselves. The sealed nature of the container allows condensation to form on both the plants and the container walls. Open terrariums, on the other hand, have no ecosystem but do have an irrigation system and as such, they require watering.
Care Tips for Closed Terrariums
Terrarium care for open and closed terrariums differs in some areas but doesn’t in others. For example, both types of terrariums will require access to natural light. Light that is bright and indirect is best – putting them in direct sunlight can lead to too much heat as the glass magnifies the light.
Because a closed terrarium possesses a functional ecosystem, it will be able to keep up a steady level of moisture on its own. However, if you spot excess condensation on the interior of the container, you can wipe it out with paper towels. Allowing excess moisture to remain can lead to rotting. You can also ventilate the terrarium by opening up the container for short periods of time every day. Leaving the lid off for any longer can negatively impact the ecosystem inside.
If on the other hand the container interior seems too dry, you can add small amounts of non-chlorinated water through a baster or a funnel. Don’t pour it in – let it trickle in slowly, and once you’re done give it some time to see if a moisture cycle begins.
Care Tips for Open Terrariums
Terrarium care for open terrariums mostly requires watering. As most open terrariums include either succulents or air plants, watering is not as frequent as it is with some regular houseplants. Typically with succulents the rule of thumb is to water thoroughly and do not water again until the soil is completely dry. There’s a fine line between dry and too dry, however, so be sure to be aware of that distinction.
Watering an open terrarium should be done by funnel or baster, and always around the base of the plant. Never pour water directly over the succulents or mist them, as they often do not respond well to that. As with closed terrariums, the water used for open terrariums should be non-chlorinated.
Open terrariums also require access to indirect bright light. If you reside in a low light area, a special growing light will suffice.
Air plants need a bit more attention than succulents do. They should be watered at least once a week and this is done by soaking the plant for 15-20 minutes. Once that’s done, allow it to dry completely by placing it on a paper towel. The leaves will be hard and stiff when full of water. When the air plant requires watering, the leaves will be lighter and softer to the touch. If you notice the leaves are rolling or wrinkling, it’s a sign that the air plant needs watering. You can mist an air plant provided you don’t leave it sitting in standing water.
Take Good Care of Your Small Indoor Gardens
Open and closed terrariums are beautiful and add visual focal points and hints of colour to whatever location they are situated in. If you would like to own a live terrarium but aren’t sure where to start, Bloominbee has a DIY Terrarium Kit that’s easy to assemble and lovely to look at. This terrarium would be a perfect addition to any room in your home or your office at work!