care & design
Making a terrarium can be fun and exciting, but maintaining your little ecosystem can sometimes seem a little intimidating! If you know what to look for to keep your terrarium looking its best, then you should be able to avoid the most common pitfalls; so, letís talk about taking care of your terrarium and its new residents.
When you first begin tending to terrariums and miniature gardens, it can be tricky figuring out just how much water your plants need.
Our Succulent Soil Gritty Blend can be really helpful with water balance, holding just enough water to support the healthy growth for succulents and cacti.
Regularly check the color of your soil to determine when your brand new plant needs water, (before it starts turning brown and losing leaves). When you first get your plant settled in its new home, the soil will most likely be moist and deep rich brown. As water evaporates, your soil will be lighter in color, giving you an obvious sign that your plant needs water.
Your plant needs plenty of water to stay healthy, but overwatering can be harmful. Are there beads of moisture on the inside of your terrarium walls or on your plant? Mold and fungus are definite possibilities in a closed terrarium. If you see moisture accumulating, wipe down the walls and open the lid to allow water an escape hatch. We recommend using Horticultural Charcoal to improve drainage for your closed terrariums or Organic Perlite to aerate your soil.
How to Keep Your Terrarium from Becoming Unkempt
The best way to keep your terrarium under control is to refrain from fertilizing. Fertilizer causes plants to grow bigger faster. Since your terrarium is a tiny garden, you don't really want big plants in there. You want to keep them small, but healthy, for as long as possible.
If things have already gotten a little out of hand, you may be able to get the look you want back with a little pruning. Make sure that you use sharp snips to avoid damaging your plants. Alternatively, it might be time to empty and thoroughly clean your terrarium and start from scratch.
Ventilation will keep your terrarium looking great and keep your plants healthy. While airflow is guaranteed in an open terrarium, closed terrariums require a bit more oversight. Simply lift the hatch or remove the top lid of your terrarium to allow for occasional ventilation.
If you've had your terrarium for a little while and things are starting to look a little spotty or hazy, carefully wipe down the walls with rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, you can use a mild solution of soap and water to remove water stains.
Replanting and Rebuilding
Most terrariums have a shelf life of one to several years. After this time, your plants will outgrow their vessels and need to be replanted.
Planting Tip: When planting succulents, it's best to arrange them as closely together as possible! This will help slow their growing process and your design will last longer.
Terrariums housing cacti will last considerably longer than terrariums with other varieties.