Saturday, 3 February 2018

How to Make a Terrarium

A Terrarium is defined as an enclosed indoor garden typically made of glass so strictly speaking, this isn't one. However, whether you wish to construct a real terrarium or just one like I have created, the principles are the same.


 You will need: a container, gravel/pebbles, sphagnum moss, activated charcoal, soil and plants. All of which can be found in garden centres or online. This can easily be done within an hour and is a simple, fun way of spending an afternoon.Your typical online terrarium can range from less than £5 to about £100 so this is really a skill worth acquiring. 

Deciding upon a container is the first step in creating your own. This stage is crucial as it determines the overall aesthetic of your finished product. Popular shapes include prisms, globes or glass fishbowls like the one I have selected. If you wish to save money, plastic fishbowls intended for drinking are available at Poundland and Morrisons for a fraction of the price. They provide a similar outcome.

The process is very similar to creating the Christmas gifts I have blogged about previously (click HERE for a more detailed and clearly illustrated version). The first required layer is the gravel. This acts as a drainage system as the container does not have a hole like a typical plant pot. about 1/3 of your layers should be dedicated to this.

To prevent mould forming, and to keep the terrarium healthy, activated charcoal is vital. A thin layer should be added on top of your drainage system.

Many are of the opinion that Sphagnum moss should precede this layer of soil in order to soak up water at the bottom, however it is not of the utmost importance. As long has you have both layers you should be okay. I choose for this terrarium to add the soil first.

Your plants come next. I chose one little aloe plant and two others. I will have to replant these when they get too big for my container. It is easy to look up online which plants are suitable for a terrarium and choose accordingly, whichever takes your fancy. Though I wouldn't recommend overcrowding it; each plant needs sufficient room for it's roots.


Finally I added the moss as a more decorative element. The sphagnum moss aids in soaking up water for the plant to use as required, it makes it harder for you to overwater and drown them. Currently these plants live happily on my windowsill and have added a pleasant element of nature to my room. Despite being relatively easy to create, the effect is wonderful.

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