CARING FOR YOUR TERRARIUM
Terrariums are an amazing, relatively low maintenance, living decoration - a miniature world or self-contained garden. Caring for your terrarium is easy.
Where to place your terrarium
Terrariums look great indoors on a shelf or table in a light room where it can be viewed from all sides. The terrarium should be placed where there is adequate sunlight so, somewhere with filtered or reflected light is perfect, but not direct sunlight - otherwise the plants may overheat and cook in the container. Check at different times of the day to make sure the sun hasn’t moved and is shining directly on your terrarium.
Extremes of temperatures should be avoided. Do not place right next to a fireplace or heater either, as this will have a similar effect.
Each day or so, rotate the garden a quarter turn, otherwise, the plants will keep growing in the same direction towards the light source, giving a lop-sided and unnatural look.
When to water your terrarium
Closed terrariums - Terrariums need minimal water because they are (mostly) enclosed ecosystems and there is minimal water loss through evaporation. Depending on the conditions and plants, you may not need to water for up to four months!
If your terrarium is closed, take off the top at least once a month to air it out. If you see lots of condensation or have added too much water, leave the top off until it has had a chance to dry out.
Open terrariums - Check every couple of weeks to see if your terrarium needs water. Feel the soil to see if it is dry and add water if it is. Water very sparingly -- you would rather under-water than over-water, which will cause root rot. Lightly mist ferns and similar delicate plants every few days to keep fresh if terrarium is in a dry atmosphere.
Care of the plants
You will need to trim or prune the plants in your terrarium. Because of the confined space, your plants will quickly fill the space if left unpruned. Snip off any leaves that show signs of yellowing or damage to keep your plants looking fresh. Trim or prune plants if they grow too large. Trim any extra long or elongated growth. Trim off any dead fern fronds (especially if fern has dried out) and new ones will grow.
Most importantly if plants look like they are rotting or terrarium smells bad, stop watering, remove lid (if covered) and allow terrarium to dry out a bit.
Don't fertilize your terrarium plants! You don't want to promote growth because of the constrained space. The lack of fertilizer will hold back the growth of the plants. To provide the nutrients that your plants need, you can replace a little of the soil with fresh potting mix a couple of times a year.
Cleaning your terrarium
Do not use chemical glass cleaner in your terrarium. A little damp kitchen paper is all you need to clean the glass if it needs it.
Clean out any dead insects or other small items that may have fallen in with tweezers taking care not to disturb the plants too much
Terrariums are prone to developing a white line of lime-scale just above the soil line. To keep your terrarium looking like new, you'll need to clean this every now and then. How much lime-scale forms will depend on your water supply. To clean lime-scale from your glass container, take a wood satay stick and wrap a piece of moist kitchen paper (either moisten with water or a little non-toxic cleaner) and wipe around the inside of the container, cleaning away the lime-scale.
Enjoy your little plant world!
Chill Designs Terrariums
Caring for your Plant Terrarium
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6 March 2013
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