Cost of housing is increasing every year while the spaces get smaller and smaller. These smaller spaces are forcing us to come up with novel ways to make the most of what we've got.
One thing that many people end up sacrificing because of this is indoor gardening. But a little bit of green can go a long way, from producing fresher air, to just having something beautiful and green in your home.
A good alternative to indoor gardening is the terrarium. These are self-contained gardens that use glass homes and ultimately produces its own climate to grow.
The best thing about terrariums is that they are completely customizable, and you can decorate it so that it fits to your aesthetic completely. Want little toy dinosaurs to rule your terrarium? No problem. Want it as minimal as possible so that the greens are the star of the show? That'll look great, too.
Here's how you can build a terrarium for your home.
- Glass container (either open or closed, depending on what you're growing)
- Charcoal (activated)
- Potting soil
- Terrarium plants
Choosing your plants' home
To choose which container to use (open vs. closed), you need to first decide what you're planting. With an open terrarium, your plants must be able to tolerate direct sunlight.
Closed terrariums should be placed somewhere that receives a lot of bright light, but absolutely no direct sunlight. You don't want your plants to cook!
Choosing the right plant
Once you decide what container to use, you’ll obviously have some constraints in terms of how big your plants can grow. Here are some popular and low maintenance plants for your terrarium:
Moon Valley Friendship Plant (12 inches tall and wide)
Variegated Spider Fern (16 inches tall and wide)
Starfish Plant (6 inches tall and wide)
Nerve Plant (12 inches tall and wide)
Variegata (6 inches tall and wide)
Golden Clubmoss (6 inches tall and 2 feet wide)
Aquamarine (12 inches tall and wide)
Air Plant (8 inches tall and wide)
Minimus Aureus (14 inches tall and 6 inches wide)
Black Mondo Grass (15 inches tall and 12 inches wide)
Asplenium Bulbiferum (2 feet tall and 4 feet wide)
Strawberry Begonia (8 inches tall and 6 inches wide)
Put it all together
Now that you’ve gathered everything, it's time to build! Here's how to do that:
- Cover the bottom of your glass container with a layer of gravel (or pebbles or rock). This will encourage drainage for the plant roots.
- Add on top a thin layer of activated charcoal. The activated charcoal keeps the water fresh, and will also prevent mold and bacteria.
- Add a layer of potting soil.
- Lastly, place your plants in the terrarium. Make sure to start with your largest plant first.
Terrariums are easy to maintain, but there are a few things you should be wary of.
One major cause of dying plants in a terrarium is too much heat. Be sure to never place your terrarium by a heat source, or in direct sunlight for too long.
A newly planted one should stay in the shade for roughly a week. Most do best in filtered or artificial light rather than direct sunlight. But keep in mind: too little light is bad for the plants, too!
To water your plants, check for moistness first. The soil should be moist to the touch. If it isn't, then give it a little bit of water. Too much water can cause mild.
If there's too much condensation building up in your terrarium, feel free to keep it open until it clears a bit.
Make sure to keep your container as clean as possible and wipe off excess moisture and any dust or algae that collects. Removing any dead leaves is also good practice.
Make it your own
Customizing is the best part of making a terrarium. As long as your container is glass, the possibilities are endless.
Check out these unique and creative terrariums that uses cool glass containers and fun decorations!
Of course, you won't be able to grow any food in a terrarium, as that's why they're as low maintenance as they are.
A good alternative to that if you want to plant your own fresh and healthy greens? Grow with an Urban Cultivator!
Got tips on how to build a terrarium? Have some cute ideas for your succulents? Let us know in the comments section below!