Building a Terrarium


Recently I’ve been gardening a ton outside – when it isn’t raining that is. This weekend saw more gray skies and rain. While stuck inside I was craving a “green” moment so I got inspired to create a terrarium. I have a friend who is in a Garden Club and a few years back she was disposing of a Terrarium she had built as a club project and I told her I would happily take it off her hands. It sat (dried up and dead) in my basement for the last two years and then when I stumbled across some beautiful succulents this past weekend at the New Canaan Farmer’s Market I figured I would buy them and bring the terrarium back to life. Succulents are almost impossible to kill and are very affordable (these were $4 and $5). For those who aren’t well versed in terrariums here are a few details. Terrariums are usually sealable glass containers that can be opened for maintenance and to access the plants inside. However, terrariums can also be open to the atmosphere rather than being sealed. The glass walls allow for both heat and light to enter the terrarium. Sealed terrariums are more self-sustaining as the light and heat traps moisture inside the glass case and then that water runs back into the plants and keeps them alive. Sealed terrariums are good places to plant orchids, moss, and air plants (which have short roots and absorb nutrients through the air). Open terrariums generally are good for dry plants like succulents. Even though these plants do not need to be watered as often as others you still have to care for open terrariums and water them from time to time.

To get started I laid out my new succulents, a big bunch of moss, some pretty bark, a bowl full of a mixture of small pebbles and soil, and a Maidenhead Fern that wasn’t thriving in its own pot so I figured I would give it a new home in the terrarium. I lined a large glass vase/bowl with the moss that my friend had in it originally and then filled the center with the soil/pebble mixture. I then planted the fern and succulents within the soil and added a little more potting soil on top to secure them in their places. I packed the plants and soil under more moss and then decorated the top layer with some black stones and pieces of bark. I watered thoroughly and plan to monitor the terrarium weekly until I figure out how much water it needs to thrive. Now I just need to find it a home near a window…

DSC_2656 DSC_2657 DSC_2658 DSC_2660 DSC_2661 DSC_2663 DSC_2666 DSC_2668

Previous Post


Next Post


Leave a Comment