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How to Build a Terrarium

How to Build a Terrarium

Benefits of Terrariums:
A terrarium has many benefits. It helps grow plants that have difficulty growing in dry air. Terrariums create a warm, humid environment which is preferred by many mosses, tropical and carnivorous plants. These containers are low-maintenance and do not need to be watered very frequently.

The Origin of Terrariums:
Terrariums originated in the Victorian age when plant exploration was at its peak. The original terrarium was invented by English botanist, Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842. He made the discovery of the terrarium by accident while raising moth pupae in a sealed glass jar. Ward noticed that moss and ferns were thriving in the environment he had created for the moths, thus, the first terrarium was born! Terrariums became extremely popular in the Flower Power era of the 1970’s. They are also seen as unique art pieces that are a collage of natural elements.

Terrarium Plant Recommendations:
Arguably the most fun step in creating a terrarium is choosing the stars of the show. Pick a variety of different plants that have different patterns, textures, and heights to make for a full, unique environment.

○ Ferns
○ African Violets
○ Mosses
○ Creeping Fig
○ Calatheas
○ Baby Tears
○ Polka Dot Plant
○ Pileas

Important:
Make sure that all the plants selected for your terrarium have the same watering needs!

Materials
○ Glass Terrarium
○ Terrarium Plants
○ Pebbles
○ Activated Charcoal
○ Sheet Moss
○ Soil
○ Terrarium Tools

Instructions:
• Choose Your Container
○ This is half the fun in creating your terrarium–choosing the home for your plants to live in! You can use any clear container, such as a bottle, fishbowl, vase, etc.
• Lay the Ground
○ Though terrarium plants typically like to stay moist, they still need some drainage to thrive, so, layers need to be added to the terrarium.
• Add Layers:
○ To begin, add a layer of activated charcoal.
• This will help the longevity of your terrarium, as activated charcoal absorbs odors, as well as helping with drainage.
○ Place a sheet of moss on top of the charcoal to keep the potting soil (next layer) from mixing in.
○ Add a layer of damp potting soil on top of the charcoal.
• Make sure the layer of soil is at least a couple inches deep, allowing room for plants to grow.
○ Add or plant your plants.
• Make sure they are not too condensed and have a little room to grow.
• Feel free to get creative and play around with the plant textures.
○ Once everything is to your liking, add the pebbles on top of your soil.
• This layer is mostly used for aesthetic purposes.

Care + Maintenance Recommendations:

How to Water a Terrarium
○ With a spray bottle or small watering can wet the soil so the layers are damp, but not soaking wet.
○ Remove soil particles stuck to the glass with a spray bottle or damp paper towel.
○ Every 2-3 weeks, check the moisture in your terrarium by touching the soil to see if it is damp.

*Important:
Never fertilize the plants in a terrarium. Terrariums provide their own nutrients through the natural decay of the potting mix.

Benefits of Terrariums;
A terrarium has many benefits. It helps grow plants that have difficulty growing in dry air. Terrariums create a warm, humid environment which is preferred by many mosses, tropical and carnivorous plants. These containers are low-maintenance and do not need to be watered frequently.

The Origin of Terrariums:
Terrariums were originated in the Victorian age when plant exploration was at its peak. The original terrarium was invented by English botanist, Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842. He made the discovery of the terrarium by accident while raising moth pupae in a sealed glass jar. Ward noticed that moss and ferns were thriving in the environment he had created for the moths, thus, the first terrarium was born! Terrariums became extremely popular in the Flower Power era of the 1970’s. They are also seen as unique art pieces that are a collage of natural elements.

Terrarium Plant Recommendations:
Arguably the most fun step in creating a terrarium is choosing the stars of the show. Pick a variety of different plants that have different patterns, textures, and heights to make for a full, unique environment.

○ Ferns
○ African Violets
○ Mosses
○ Creeping Fig
○ Calatheas
○ Baby Tears
○ Polka Dot Plant
○ Pileas

Important:
Make sure that all the plants selected for your terrarium have the same watering needs!

Materials
○ Glass Terrarium
○ Terrarium Plants
○ Pebbles
○ Activated Charcoal
○ Sheet Moss
○ Soil
○ Terrarium Tools

Instructions:
• Choose Your Container
○ This is half the fun in creating your terrarium–choosing the home for your plants to live in! You can use any clear container, such as a bottle, fishbowl, vase, etc.
• Lay the Ground
○ Though terrarium plants typically like to stay moist, they still need some drainage to thrive, so, layers need to be added to the terrarium.
• Add Layers:
○ To begin, add a layer of activated charcoal.
• This will help the longevity of your terrarium, as activated charcoal absorbs odors, as well as helping with drainage.
○ Place a sheet of moss on top of the charcoal to keep the potting soil (next layer) from mixing in.
○ Add a layer of damp potting soil on top of the charcoal.
• Make sure the layer of soil is at least a couple inches deep, allowing room for plants to grow.
○ Add or plant your plants.
• Make sure they are not too condensed and have a little room to grow.
• Feel free to get creative and play around with the plant textures.
○ Once everything is to your liking, add the pebbles on top of your soil.
• This layer is mostly used for aesthetic purposes.

Care + Maintenance Recommendations:

How to Water a Terrarium
○ With a spray bottle or small watering can wet the soil so the layers are damp, but not soaking wet.
○ Remove soil particles stuck to the glass with a spray bottle or damp paper towel.
○ Every 2-3 weeks, check the moisture in your terrarium by touching the soil to see if it is damp.

*Important:
Never fertilize the plants in a terrarium. Terrariums provide their own nutrients through the natural decay of the potting mix.