A terrarium is a fully or partially enclosed indoor gardening container, generally constructed of glass, that allows heat and light to enter while keeping moisture contained. Terrariums can be completely closed, however, they are frequently left slightly open to enable air to circulate. Even for those who consider themselves plant-challenged, a terrarium, sometimes known as a “garden under glass,” is a delightful and attractive present.


What are terrariums, exactly?

For particular plants, they are a tiny, confined habitat. Consider it a little greenhouse. Terrarium gardens are usually housed in transparent containers, such as glass or plastic.

There are two sorts of terrariums: sealed terrariums and open terrariums. The lid of a sealed terrarium can be removed, but the lid on an open terrarium cannot.

Closed Terrariums

Given the right circumstances, may live indefinitely. The additional soil, plants, and water, planted and sealed inside closed vessels, create their miniature ecosystem, recycling the water, moisture, and humidity inside their glass worlds. Terrariums are what I like to think of as living snow globes (minus the snow, of course). If you will call them “grow-globes.” They bring a little piece of nature within. Continue reading to discover more about terrariums and how to construct your closed terrarium!

How To Water A Closed Terrarium?

It’s typically simpler to keep a terrarium than it is to keep a potted plant alive. To avoid scorching the roots and disrupting the bacterial balance, use dechlorinated filtered water. Distilled water is also beneficial and helps to minimize mineral deposits.

How Much Should I Water My Closed Terrarium?

A healthy terrarium has damp but not saturated dirt. It is critical that roots have access to water and nutrients while also being able to breathe. Root rot can be fatal if the soil is wet.

Look for symptoms of wilting or yellowing on the leaves. If one of these things happens, inspect the soil to determine if it’s dry or damp. Wilting in dry soil indicates that the plant requires water, but drooping in damp soil indicates root rot.

Because of the humidity in a closed terrarium, the plants are more susceptible to moisture-related problems, so keep an eye on them. Because faults may destabilize a system, it’s better to detect them early. If you suspect an issue is brewing, take the following steps:

Keep the terrarium well ventilated until the dirt has dried to the right level. Vegetation that has decayed or is rotting should be discarded. Check for swollen stems, which indicate underlying root rot.

Replace mold-covered stones or other fixtures after rinsing them. Re-water the soil only once the decayed parts have dried completely. Also, during the dormant season, remember to be waterless.

It’s also crucial to consider how you hydrate. One way is to moisten the soil top sparingly and tilt the container so that it distributes throughout the medium if you have a tiny, densely planted terrarium. Examine the soil saturation via the glass to ensure that the moisture is spread evenly.

Water the plants individually with a syringe, dropper, drinking straw, or tiny scoop for sparse plantings or larger terrariums. Overwatering may be avoided with the use of a spray bottle with a coarse stream.

To avoid fungal infections, leave the top open after watering until the plants are completely dry. If you accidentally overwater the terrarium, tilt it so that the water collects in one spot and wipe it up with paper towels.

Cleaning A Closed Terrarium

Clean the glass regularly to maintain your terrarium looking fantastic and allow light to stream through. Commercial window cleaner can be used on the exterior, but non-toxic chemicals should be used on the interior. You don’t want to contaminate your confined space.

Mineral deposits, especially if you use tap water, leave a white residue on the glass over time. (If you have a very difficult source, distilled water will save you time.) Clean the residues using a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar; rubbing will be required. If your hands are too big to reach a small place, wet a paper towel with the mixture and wrap it around a chopstick.

Remove any grit or slime-covered hardscaping and clean it to give your terrarium a sleek look. Wipe or spritz any leaves that have become dirty as a result of your efforts. Before resealing the terrarium, let the surface wetness dry.

Fertilizing A Closed Terrarium

Fertility in your terrarium’s soil isn’t necessary — in fact, it might be harmful. You want the plants to stay tiny and enclosed since it’s easier to keep the system running if the greenery develops slowly.

As a result, most terrariums do not require fertilization in their first year. It’s also not a good idea to add a lot of rich organic matter to the soil. The leaves will let you know when they need a boost: when they do, they will turn pale. Fertilize using a balanced mix and a diluted 14 solution of the normal dosage sparingly.

Beauty And Health Maintenance

Death and decay are unavoidable. Remove any leaves, stems, or flower pieces that are wilting. You don’t want a lot of organic matter to accumulate and cause decay. Remove any plants that have outgrown their surroundings. You can replace them with plants of comparable size to keep the landscape from being substantially altered.

It’s also critical to get rid of any plants that appear to be sick. You don’t want it to spread disease or mold, which might harm other plants. So that other plants aren’t disturbed, carefully dig it out with a spoon or other utensil.

Pest Problems

Humidity attracts insects, but don’t be alarmed if you encounter a few little creatures. There are also a few helpful critters that contribute to the terrarium’s ecological balance. Springtails are frequently utilized because, for example, they consume mold. Millipedes and pillbugs eat decomposing materials.

Little tracks left in the condensation are one evidence of insect life; however, the ones you need to be concerned about stay primarily on the plants. Spiders, moths, beetles, and other non-plant-eating insects may find their way in, but there is typically little food for them, so they don’t stay long.

Plant-eating bugs are a more serious issue. Only use non-toxic pesticides. Remove any plant that exhibits indications of serious infection-fighting an infestation in a closed system is difficult.

Is it possible to grow succulents in a closed terrarium?

Of sure, you can, but the humidity will work against you. In an open terrarium, succulents thrive.

Is it possible to keep air plants in a confined terrarium?

Yes, air plants thrive in the moist environment of a terrarium. Because they don’t need to be planted in the ground, you may put them on rocks and other hardscapes. Simply ensure that they are totally dry after watering. Some growers remove them from the terrarium to water and dry them more thoroughly.

In my closed terrarium, should I add charcoal?

To help eliminate poisons and smells in a closed terrarium, horticulture charcoal (not briquettes!) is advised. In a closed system, a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer of moss or topsoil between the bottom drainage material and moss or topsoil acts as a moderate buffer, absorbing orders, toxic chemicals, and germs.

Is it possible to construct a terrarium out of a glass jug?

Small enclosed terrariums can be lovely, but if you’re using a container with a small aperture, you’ll need patience. Special instruments, including long-handled scissors, scoops, tweezers, and waterers, will be required to build and maintain them (basters work well).

How long does a terrarium stay closed?

Terrariums may be kept for a long time. That isn’t to claim that the same plants can remain in a closed system perpetually, but a healthy terrarium may endure as long as you keep it clean.


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