Growing a Terrarium

Terrarium 6
This is a project that Dora and I actually started in the fall and for some reason I never blogged about it. This is actually one of those projects that I can honestly say went really well. Our terrarium is still thriving, in fact I need to figure out how to trim the plants as they have all reached the top of our jar, and that is with quite a bit of settling of the dirt and what not.
I had never grown a terrarium, but have been interested in them for some time. I also would like to own some poison dart frogs (which actually aren’t dangerous, as long as you don’t feed them spiders, ants, and other venomous bugs), but for now had to settle for plastic ones. After reading about growing terrariums at many sites, I settled on using the instructions from The Garden Helper. Were I to do it all over again, the one thing I would do differently is to make my layers smaller.
If you would like to grow a terrarium, it is very easy. First select your vessel. I chose one that had a lid, because I didn’t want to murder forget to water the plants. With a lidded vessel, the moisture says in the container and waters the plants for you. I’m sure I’ll need to water them some eventually, as it is not 100% airtight, but they have not been watered for three months now. Next, you need to select your plants. Our nursery had a special section for terrarium plants. Terrariums are meant to be grown in indirect sunlight, else the glass will focus the sun’s ray and fry your plants, so keep that in mind when selecting your plants.
Terrarium 2
Next you add a layer of gravel, sand, or small rocks for drainage.
Terrarium 3
Then you add a layer of activated charcoal, which can bought at an aquarium/pet supply store if they do not have it at your nursery. According to Garden Helper, this layer will help clean the air of the fumes caused by the decomposition of organic matter.
Terrarium 4
For the third layer, you add some sphagnum moss, which prevents the soil from sinking down to the bottom.
Terrarium 5
For the final layer, add potting soil. Then plant your plants and add any decorations you want to use. I found that chopsticks work very well for helping to arrange things. And voila, you have a beautiful, practically no-maintenance addition to your household.
Read the post at The Garden Helper for more help with choosing plants and maintaining your terrarium.

Labels: Nature Study, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff