Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > January 2017 > IN THE GARDEN with DOUG - WINTER PROJECT: MAKING A TERRARIUM


This past weekend was our annual Kids Day in the Garden event.  One of the free activities that we provide for all the kids is making a terrarium.  It is so popular and I lost track of how many “big kids” asked about making a terrarium.
                Making a terrarium is a perfect indoor winter project.  Miniature gardens or landscapes can be created in goldfish bowls, aquariums, or in glass or heavy clear plastic water-tight containers.
                The idea of the terrarium comes from the efforts of the Victorian naturalists to bring new plant specimens back to England from their travels.  A London surgeon named Ward discovered that plants and seeds could be grown or transported viably in large sealed glass jars.  The 19th century jump from growing exotics for study to growing exotics in ornamental glass containers was the start of the contemporary decorative terrariums we know today.
                Whether you put one specimen plant in the center of a glass bowl, or many plants, follow the simple steps below to create and maintain your own miniature landscape or tropical rain forest.
  1.  Select a container.  Glass is my preference.  And, a larger opening is easier to work with than a narrow bottle neck.
  2. A soil-less potting medium like Pro-mix works best.  A layer of horticultural charcoal in the bottom of the container will help prevent the smell of stagnant water that can occur when water stands a long time.
  3. Select plants that require similar care requirements – especially when it comes to sunlight requirements and water.  In other words, you should not plant succulents with ferns.
  4. Once the plants are planted, give the terrarium tis initial watering.  This should be done by misting, which will both clean the leaves of the plants and moisten the soil.  Too much water can create a soggy environment that may cause root rot.
  5. Place the terrarium in a bright location, out of direct sunlight.
  6. Fertilizer should be used very sparingly, as you do not want plants to outgrow the terrarium quickly.
  7. Prune or replace plants as they outgrow your design or the size of the terrarium. 
As with outdoor gardening, don’t be afraid to make changes to your terrarium as you develop new ideas or find new plants to try.  Re-landscaping can be fun.
Come to the garden center and look at our selection of pixie plants that can be used in terrarium making.    We pride ourselves with our selection.
                                                                                                        Happy Gardening
Posted: 1/26/2017 by Doug Hensel | with 1 comment(s)
I made a terrarium yesterday with plants I picked up at the GBGH this weekend past. What fun! https://forestgardenblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/small-worlds/
1/31/2017 6:10:36 PM

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