• Cranbourne
  • Melbourne
  • RBG

Build your own Terrarium

Terrariums are a low maintenance and eye-catching way to bring a little slice of nature indoors. Comprised of small and intricate plants growing in closed containers, terrariums will beautify and green-ify any space, be it your work desk, coffee table or another well-lit location. Easy to create, this simple guide will help you get started building a terrarium of your own to enjoy!

Supplies

Here's everything you'll need to create you terrarium

  • Container – A transparent glass container is your starting point! You can choose any shape or size, but ideally, go for one that's easy to place your plants into and which will make for a lovely view of your miniature garden! 
  • Soil – Your plants will need good soil, so make sure you have some standard potting mix on hand to use. A more specific type of mix might be ideal depending on what you're going to plant. 
  • Charcoal – A small amount of activated charcoal might be the most surprising terrarium necessity. Adding it will ensure that the water inside the terrarium will stay fresh and that bacteria are kept at bay. 
  • Gravel or small pebbles – Gravel or pebbles are essential! Using them as the first layer in your container will allow for excess water to drain off your plants, preventing the roots from becoming oversaturated and the plants rotting.
  • Plants – Plants like ferns, moss, peperomias, small begonias, sedums, cacti, succulents and air plants work excellently in terrariums. The plants you choose are up to you, but make sure they will fit nicely in your container, and to use an appropriate potting mix.
  • Spray bottle – This will help you gently water your terrarium without damaging or dislodging your plants.
  • Tools – Tools will help you get everything in your terrarium and keep it neat and tidy, and household items work wonders! Tweezers or chopsticks are great for placing plants in the terrarium, and forks, spoons and scissors will come in handy with raking, layering and trimming. Make sure to wear gloves while you work, especially when handling pricklier plants. 

Construction

Now you've got your supplies, here's a step-by-step guide to assembling your terrarium 

  • Begin by scattering a layer of gravel or small pebbles over the base of your container. Depending on the size of your container, you want between a couple of centimetres to an inch-thick layer. 
  • Next, apply a thin layer of your activated charcoal over the pebbles.
  • Now it's time to add your soil! Make sure you add a thick-enough layer of your potting mix that it will be sufficient for the roots of your plants to be well covered and have room to grow. 
  • Plant time! It's always a good idea to place your biggest plant first. Create a hole in the soil that is large and deep enough to accommodate the roots of your plant, and give the roots a light trim before dropping in your plant. Once the largest plant is in, you can nestle the smaller plants and moss around it, ensuring you don't overcrowd the container. 
  • Once the plants are in, you can scatter some pebbles on top, or place in some small, decorative trinkets to complete the look.

Aftercare

Now that you've crafted your own beautiful terrarium, all that's left to do is provide it with some low maintenance care every couple of weeks. Give it some water whenever you notice that the soil looks like it's drying out, about once a week or fortnight, and ensure it is placed in a well-lit location that avoids direct sunlight.


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