Confession: I am a serial plant killer. Flowers, ferns, vegetables, and even succulents die under my care. Over-watering, under-watering, too much sun, not enough sun – I just can’t get it right! A few weeks ago, when my latest Jade plant died after a year and a half of suffering, I started to look for my next victim. A friend suggested terrariums, and I was game.
What is a terrarium, you ask? A terrarium is a habitat, or ecosystem, for plants. The idea is to find a glass container, fill it with your goods, and put a loose lid on it. The moisture from the soil and the plants “breathing” keeps everything healthy and happy, only requiring very little care and attention.
Pretty much right up my alley.
I went to my nearest nursery and picked the brains of the experts there. I got my plants and other supplies and made two terrariums in less than an hour. This is how I did it.
What you’ll need:
Three or four small plants, a large glass container, potting soil, pebbles or decorative rocks, and a few knick knacks for decoration.
Of course, I accidentally threw out the names of the plants I got, but the woman at the nursery said that any plant with a “hard leaf”, meaning not soft and fuzzy, will do fine. Succulents are better for an open container terrarium without a lid.
Ferns are popular, and the other plants I chose I based on color and size. I decided to try some decorative rock and purchased four bags of each kind from the dollar store.
The knick knacks were just a few toys and things I had laying around the house that I thought would be fun.
Start with a clean glass container. I picked one of these from Marshall’s and one from Walmart for a pretty good price.
Carefully pour in your rocks and/or pebbles. Some of the research I did indicated that charcoal was necessary for moisture absorption, but my nursery expert said she uses any kind of pebble for drainage, and if the glass gets foggy to leave the lid ajar for a few hours.
Add your potting soil. I was a little disappointed that the blueish decorative rocks didn’t show well, but since my container was on the short side, I couldn’t add more for visual appeal. Make sure to add enough soil to cover the roots of your plants.
Add your plants, arranging them so that the leaves don’t touch the sides of the jar, which can cause them to rot.
I used my fern for the taller container and split the other plants for the short one.
I placed my knick knacks, and presto! Terrarium!
I especially love this one with the little lamb. So cute.
I added a few tablespoons of water and I probably won’t need to water them for a few weeks. They don’t require a lot of sunlight, especially in the first few days where filtered light is ideal.
Now they sit happily on my table and add some green to my decor and fresh air to my home! These make great gifts and can be catered to any room with the different knick knacks you put in them.
I think my serial plant killing days are over, and these tiny ecosystems will thrive.