A terrarium is a clear glass or plastic container filled with plants and/or small animals (frogs, turtles, or lizards). They resemble miniature gardens. Terrariums are attractive and easy to care for--just plant it and forget it. And because a terrarium recycles its water, it need very little attention.
All you need to build a simple terrarium:
If the container does not come with a lid, a sheet of clear plastic or glass makes a suitable cover. Small openings in the top of the container may require water be added periodically. Containers with large openings or without covers can be used, but will require more frequent watering.
Choose plants with similar requirements for water, light, and temperature. Slower growing plants require less trimming. Miniature flowering plants fit particularly well into terrarium arrangements.
Before beginning your terrarium, decide whether you prefer a tropical, woodland, or desert theme. Keep in mind the temperature and light conditions in the location where you plan to place the terrarium. Select plants that are suitable for that location.
If the terrarium will be viewed from only one side , place the larger plants in the back. If it will be seen from all sides, the larger plants should be placed near the center, surrounded by the smaller plants.
Closed terrariums. A closed terrarium requires a minimum of care if it is kept sealed. It typically does not need to be watered because plants recycle the moisture they use. Water lightly only if it gets dry. Open the lid only to allow excess moisture to escape.
Open terrariums. The open terrarium requires more frequent watering, but there is less disease buildup.
General. Place the terrarium in a bright location, but not in direct sunlight. A little direct sunlight can cause temperatures in an sealed terrarium to rise rapidly.
Remove any dead plants and leaves. Prune back excessive growth as needed. When a plant gets as big as you want, pinch it back to encourage bushier growth.
Adding fertilizer is generally not necessary since the plants should not grow rapidly. Good potting soil should contain enough nutrients. Over time, the soil can be "refreshed" by scraping off the top layer of soil and adding some fresh potting soil. This will add a small amount of nutrients. If the leaves begin to yellow after a few months, add a little water soluble fertilizer.
Require little attention, terrariums will grow successfully on their own for several years.
Gardens Under Glass, do it yourself network
Terrarium Time, Home & Garden Television
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