If you’re feeling green-fingered, why not have a go at making a terrarium to bring a touch of the outdoors into your home!
In association with Sproutsouth
Lots of us have fallen in love with indoor houseplants over the last year or so. So if you’re feeling green-fingered, why not have a go at making your own terrarium? It’s a fun project that’s a great way to bring a touch of nature into your home.
A terrarium is a decorative mini garden housed within a glass container. It’s really easy to make a terrarium and once you’ve set your terrarium up, they require very little maintenance.
You can use all sorts of glass containers as long as the one you choose is transparent. Choose the container you like best and then decorate it your way, adding your own personal touches with unique terrarium accessories.
Setting up your Terrarium
One of the advantages of terrariums over other types of indoor houseplant arrangements is that they contain their own mini-ecosystem. The specific environmental conditions created inside a terrarium means that the plants inside don’t require as much care as regular houseplants.
So these guidelines will help you to set up a terrarium:
- The container needs to allow good drainage and shouldn’t be too heavy so you can move it around easily. You can add small stones or gravel at the bottom to help with proper drainage and add some larger stones to the top to complete the terrarium.
- For better fertilisation, you can add moss to your terrarium. You can mix it with vermiculite in a ratio of 3:1.
- Activated charcoal is used under the soil to absorb any excess water and help keep the soil moist for longer. If there is a hole at the bottom of your container, which allows it to drain water, you don’t need to add activated charcoal.
- You can also add shells, stones, and similar decorative accessories that won’t contaminate the water.
Choosing the best Plants for a Terrarium
When it comes to plants, you’re only limited by your own imagination. However, there are a few guidelines for choosing the best terrarium plants.
It can be a good idea to go for smaller plants as these will fit better in a small container and won’t grow too big. You should also select plants that have similar requirements for soil and irrigation. For example, you could add succulent plants to a cacti terrarium or use a mixture of ferns and tropical plants.
If you’re planting succulents and cacti, use cactus soil which is specially mixed to suit drought-tolerant plants. For all other types of plants, you can use ordinary potting soil.
Finally, remember to choose plants in different sizes and colours to make the entire terrarium more pleasing to the eye.
6 Simple Steps to Making a Terrarium
You’ve picked your container, chosen your plants and made sure you have the right soil and accessories. Now it’s time to make your terrarium!
Step 1: Prepare the container
Wash the glass container or terrarium thoroughly so that no unwanted residues are left on the inside. These could affect the well-being of your plants.
Step 2: Distribute drainage
Fill the bottom of your container with a drainage layer of about 1 to 3 inches of drainage material, such as pebbles or leca balls. This is to make sure that the roots of the plants aren’t left lying in any excess water.
Step 3: Add soil
Add enough soil to your terrarium so that the roots of the plants have plenty of room to grow, remembering to use the right soil for the plants you have chosen.
As a general rule of thumb, the soil layer should be as deep as the pot that your plant was in when you bought it.
Step 4: Position your plants
Now it’s time to think about how you place the plants in the container. Take each plants out of its plant pot and break up the soil lightly with your fingers so that you can see the roots. Go ahead and cut the roots if they’re a bit too long as they’ll grow back, but if you choose to divide your plant into smaller plants, take great care not to damage it.
Place the plants in shallow holes in the soil and add more soil around the plants. Press the soil down around the plants.
Step 5: Decorate your terrarium
Now comes the fun bit – decorating the terrarium. This is where you can put your personal touch on your mini garden.
You can dress your terrarium container with stones, bark, moss or any other decorative accessories that suit your taste.
Step 6: Clean the container and water the plants
Remove any dirt and other debris from the sides of the container to keep it completely clean and give the plants some water.
Making a terrarium is definitely worth the effort. Its a creative project that lets you express your own creativity by adding fun decorative elements. And of course a terrarium brings a touch of greenery to your home whether you place it on a table, hang it from the ceiling or simply display it on a shelf.
Terrariums are a trend that’s here to stay – why not have a go at making your own terrarium?