There is a reason why so many of us learned how to create, and tend to, a basic terrarium when we were in grade school. Not only are terrariums an excellent hands-on lesson in science and botany, but they are simple enough for a person of any age to create.
Because they are so customizable and resilient, terrariums are an excellent choice for those who are new to indoor gardening or are on a tight budget. But they can be equally enjoyable to veteran green thumbs who like the low-maintenance aspect of terrariums. Additionally, terrariums are a unique way to add color and life to any home decor.
This article will take you through the basics of what a terrarium is and detail different types of DIY terrariums that will spruce up your home or office. Don’t forget: they also make great gifts!
What is a Terrarium?
A terrarium is the epitome of indoor gardening, as it’s a small, enclosed environment to grow plants. Generally, the containers used for a terrarium garden are transparent, much like a miniature greenhouse. The enclosed nature of a terrarium creates an appealing and viable growing space for many different types of plants. As the plants and soil release vapor water, it trickles down the walls of the container and back into the soil.
Next, this article will outline some of the many varieties of terrariums to select from that you can add to your indoor garden repertoire.
Sealed and Open Terrariums
As the name suggests, sealed terrariums have some sort of lid while open terrariums don’t. This is due to the slightly different nature of the purpose of each. A sealed terrarium is self-sufficient. Due to the processes of condensation and photosynthesis, sealed terrariums are able to nourish and grow the plants with little to no maintenance. These are best for plants that thrive in an enclosed space with more moisture, much like a tropical forest (baby ferns, vines, begonias).
An open terrarium allows for a drier environment with more air circulation. This type of terrarium is excellent for plants such as succulents, cacti, and aloe. While they are still low-maintenance, tend to and water them occasionally.
These are a popular choice for gardeners, kids, and home decorating enthusiasts who enjoy the minimalist look of hanging terrariums. Varying in size and design, hanging terrariums can spruce up a space of any size. They’re great for dorm rooms or even office spaces. Hanging terrariums can also be used as beautiful and sustainable decorations for parties, weddings, and other events.
These terrariums can be either open or sealed but are focused on growing succulents. Because succulents thrive in a dry, enclosed environment, these types of terrariums are often the most low-maintenance choice. The interesting shapes and textures of succulents makes them stand out against any style of decor, and they become almost like works of art.
As mentioned previously, terrariums draw people of all ages because they can be quite fun to assemble and care for. You can even add small items and decorations, to your terrarium to create a personalized little plant paradise. Terrarium themes could include fairies, elves, gnomes, holiday, pop art, and much more.
Because terrarium containers can be most any size and shape, indoor gardeners can have fun selecting recycled materials for terrarium containers. Popular choices include mason jars, coffee pots, holiday ornaments, baby food jars, and small aquariums. Accessorize with more upcycled materials such as rope, stones, twine, moss, glass beads, and so on. Your upcycled terrarium looks beautiful and has less impact on the environment.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
Perfect for the gardener on any budget, terrariums can be created for under $10. Let your imagination run wild with what types of plants, containers, and accessories you’d like to include. Containers can be glass or plastic and may be upcycled, or purchased online, in home goods stores, or at a garden supply shop. Also consider pre-packaged terrarium kits for super easy setup. You’ll then need to select your plants. Do some research to see what type of terrarium best suits your gardening style. Once you’ve selected your plants, you’ll then need to purchase soil, gravel or pebbles, and charcoal for filtering. Long tweezers can be helpful for placing the plants and decorative elements into the terrarium container. Once you’ve assembled the terrarium, check on your terrarium plants periodically to assess moisture level.
Indoor gardeners of all ages and experience levels enjoy creating and curating terrariums that fit their personalities and grow spaces. They add color, life, and a fresh new look to any space.