Connecticut Garden Journal: Make Your Own Terrarium | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Connecticut Garden Journal: Make Your Own Terrarium

Dec 31, 2015

Terrariums are popular again, and are great to enjoy with kids.

With the holidays behind us, gardeners are often looking for ways to keep their hands in the dirt. One old-fashioned growing technique is making a comeback and is worth trying, especially with kids.

Terrariums are popular again. You can buy pre-planted terrariums at garden centers or start your own, buying tiny house plants that fit in containers from jars to aquariums.

You can also get creative making terrariums inside glass jugs, salt shakers, or tea cups.

The first step is to decide whether it will be an open or closed system.

An open system will need more care, while a closed system is very humid, and has more chance of disease forming. Add layers of gravel for drainage, charcoal for mold prevention, and one to two inches of moistened, sterilized potting soil to the bottom of the terrarium.

Add rocks, wood, sand, and other objects to accent your theme. Get your kids involved, and let them add a few Star Wars figurines just for fun!

For plants, choose a theme, such as ferns, succulents, or foliage plants.

Choose plants with similar humidity requirements to match your style of terrarium and ones that will fit the space. Plants with low, dense foliage are usually the easiest to start with.

Credit Amanda flickr.com/photos/pinprick / Creative Commons

Credit kt.ries flickr.com/photos/kt_ries / Creative Commons

Credit FarOutFlora flickr.com/photos/faroutflora / Creative Commons

After planting, mist the terrarium and leave it open, even in a closed system, for 24 hours.

For a closed system, you’ll only need to water every four to six months. In open systems, water when the soil is dry. Only fertilize after one year.

Place the terrarium in a window with bright, indirect light, and enjoy!

Happy New Year. Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal I’ll be talking about new flower varieties. Until then I’ll be seeing you in the garden.