24th October, 2022
Terrariums are an enclosed, sealed glass ‘indoor garden’ housing plants that love clean air and humidity. They develop their own ecosystem and require very little maintenance, day to day you can leave your terrarium to do its own thing. If one plant gets too large you can cut it back and remove the debris. You’ll need clean, sharp, long bladed scissors and a pair of equally long tongs to remove the cuttings.
Bacteria is the enemy within terrariums, you must make sure everything you use is clean, and the plants are healthy and vibrant.
- Glass jar with a close-fitting lid, it needs to seal the top. You can buy cork tops in various sizes to go on a glass vase you already own.
- Clay pellets
- Charcoal fertilizer
- Sphagnum Moss
- Perlite or horticultural grit
- Houseplant compost
- A selection of small plants suitable for terrariums
- Cuttings of easy growing creeping plants that have small leaves.
- Bun Moss
- Cork wood
- Stones/Pebbles, these will need to be washed and sterilised in boiling water.
Depending on the size of the terrarium you are making will depend on how much of the above you need, but you do not want to over crowd your terrarium; you need to leave space for the plants to grow, you’re creating a miniature landscape.
Mix your soil and perlite or grit, you want a 60/40 split.
Clean your terrarium glass jar and dry thoroughly.
Add a layer of clay pellets to the bottom of the jar, followed by a layer of sphagnum moss; this needs to be broken up into pieces and scattered across the pellets.
Over the moss add a fine layer of charcoal fertilizer, and then a couple of inches of soil. You will need to pack the soil down, and if you want to sculpt a ‘mound’ to create interest add more soil. Take your time, a good foundation is key to a good long-lasting terrarium.
Clean any soil from the sides of your terrarium and clear away any mess. You are now ready to design your masterpiece!
Layout your plants, bun moss, wood and pebbles how you’d like them to look inside the terrarium, think about colour, shape and form. And don’t overcrowd things, remember the plants are going to grow.
To plant each plant, use a cane or something similar to make a hole to the size of the root ball, pop it into the hole and firm in the soil around the plant. Each plant needs to be anchored and not wobbling around. Take your time.
Your bun moss needs to be damp, and eased into place, you can use a small paintbrush to push it into gaps.
Add your stones and pebbles, carefully, you don’t want to break the glass! Small pebbles look good pushed into the moss.
Once you are happy with your creation, give it all a good clean, and polish up the glass. Pop the lid on, it takes a few weeks for the terrarium to settle; it might create too much condensation initially, if the sides are very wet, remove the lid for a few hours, remembering to replace it!
Your terrarium will need to be in a soft light area, north facing is ideal and if you’re working at home, it’s a great addition for your desk!
Once your terrarium has settled don’t be tempted to keep removing the lid, it has formed its eco system and the less disturbance it has the better. When maintenance is required, make sure your tools are clean and sterilised, and any debris cut is removed.
If your fancy making yours within a masterclass keep your eyes open for our Terrarium workshops held at our Shrewsbury shop on a Thursday evening.