If you have very little space for a garden or to have a touch of green, a great way of incorporating a tiny garden into your house is through a terrarium. This is an ecosystem contained in glass but there are so many different varieties you will come across.
Terrariums are generally enclosed glass containers that have a mini garden inside. There are open and closed terrariums. An open terrarium is basically just a bowl. You can choose whether to go for an open or closed terrarium depending on the requirements of your terrarium plants. For plants that prefer humid environments, a closed terrarium is best. An open terrarium can be used for plants that need airflow. You have to select plants that prefer a certain environment to ensure their health is maintained.
In a closed terrarium, there is a lot of humidity that causes condensation to occur on the inner walls of the container. These water droplets will trickle back down providing much needed moisture to the plant and contributing to the recycling of water. You don’t have to water closed terrariums as often as open terrariums. It will be great to create a terrarium with your child as they can watch an ecosystem come into being before their very eyes. It can be very exciting to check how the terrarium grows.
There is a lot of planning involved when it comes to terrariums as you have to select the right plants that will thrive in a specific environment. You also need to select the right base layers and the right size container for them to grow well. The first stage of creating a terrarium is the selection of plants. And you will need to avoid plants that require a lot of sun as the glass in the container will filter out UV rays.
So you will need to select plants that prefer low light conditions and shading. You will not be able to mix plants that are suited for an open terrarium with those suited for a closed environment. The minimum size of a terrarium is about 1 foot by 1 foot to allow the plants to grow sufficiently but this can change according to the type of plants you have.
The base layer of a terrarium needs to have rocks, pebbles and gravel for drainage and aeration. You will also need activated charcoal for closed terrariums especially to prevent the build-up of odours. It will help purify the water and air. To help with water retention, you will need to add some moss. Check out some tutorials that will teach you to find the plants you need in your own backyard. You can also buy the supplies from a garden centre or an online store. The topsoil of the terrarium should have the right composition.
A triple mix with equal parts of sand, soil and peat moss is recommended. With the base layer, moss and topsoil, you will come up to about 7 inches of depth and then you can start to plant. You can decorate the terrarium with miniature figurines, fairy lights, bark wood, succulents etc.