Terrariums are proof that nature is the art of god. Their discovery by Mr Ward in the most polluted parts of the world, was a eureka moment. In the toxic environment where plants could not survive, terrariums formed their own unpolluted sealed ecosystem and thrived. Terrariums are miniature gardens, housed inside small – and usually sealable – containers like bottles and jars. Many people crave for greenery in their homes but with the quick paced life, little time and space starved homes, maintaining a full garden becomes hard. Low maintenance and beautiful terrariums have become a go to option for many, to add that coveted green corner to their homes.
Components of a Terrarium
- Rocks: Coarse pebbles at the bottom help with drainage.
- Activated charcoal : as a filter that pulls toxins and bacteria from the soil and water and deodorizes the terrarium.
- Potting soil : Best soil suited for the plants you are using.
- Small plants of different colours, shapes, & textures. Try to get miniature plants that aren’t going to grow too big for the container.
The science behind terrariums
The plants and the soil in the terrarium release water vapor – essentially recycling water. The vapor is then collected onto the walls of the vessel and trickles down to the soil. Terrariums are self-nourishing, which is why they require little maintenance, if sealed.
Types of Terrariums:
Although the true essence of a terrarium is a self-sustaining ecosystem, which is possible in jars with lids, but terrariums can be both closed or open. Closed terrariums have lids or covers and feature plants that love the moist and humid environment that is created. Open terrariums do not have any lids and feature plants that are more arid and need additional air circulation.
Plants suitable for terrariums
Typically, foliage plants and plants that grow slowly work best. Fast grown plants should be avoided.
The plants suitable for open terrariums require a drier environment and a proper circulation of air, which include cacti, aloe, succulents, and air plants.
Some of the most popular and ideal plant choices for closed terrariums, that love and prefer moist growing conditions, include plants such as mosses, ferns, ivy, and fittonia.
Maintenance and care
An open terrarium is open to the surrounding air around it which means that it doesn’t exactly have a water cycle. Therefore, these need to be watered more frequently, at least once a week or sometimes more than that in situations where the leaves begin to droop and the soil starts drying up.
In a closed terrarium setup, plants do not dry out or wilt easily. This is essentially due to the fact that the water vapor that condenses inside the closed glass container falls back to the soil and the plants below. This results in a constant supply of water that always keeps the plants and soil properly moist and damp, preventing them from drying out. In case of excess water, there is condensation of water on the walls of the container. In such a situation simply open the lid till the water evaporates. One important thing to keep in mind here is to make sure that you never leave these closed containers out under direct sunlight because they can actually heat up and end up burning the plants.
Terrariums in a nutshell : “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace”