April 18, 2010

Terrariums: The Simple How-To

We all know that plants make a house feel like home. They add life and character. One of the best ways to stylishly liven up your home is with a terrarium...and they're definitely making a comeback in a very fresh and modern way! The best part is...they need very little care and need to be watered infrequently.

So, I set out to build a terrarium for my space. I thought I would bring you along for the ride and give you the how-to!

Step 1: The materials...
  • a fun glass container (I got this funky one at Marshalls for 12 bucks!)
  • plant of choice: ferns are a good option...as well as any houseplant that does well with moisture and indirect lighting. Stay away from succulents, as they struggle in the moist environment of a terrarium. (Keep in mind when choosing a plant, and when watering, that terrariums with lids will stay moist longer and need plants that will thrive in these conditions.)
  • small rocks or pebbles
  • charcoal
  • moss
  • potting soil
We start with the drainage layers: put down a layer of moss to absorb water and a layer of rocks to provide drainage and separation between the soil and the container bottom.

The charcoal is added next to absorb any odors and aid in drainage. Another layer of moss is added to keep the soil from falling between the charcoal and stones.

Next comes the soil. Add as much as you can: enough to supply room for the plant's roots yet keep the plant away from the top and sides of the container. Feel free to make the soil uneven to add character.

Then add your plant friend. It's a good idea to break up the root ball, spread the roots out, and perhaps clip them a bit to keep the plant from growing too large for its new home!

I added some moss and a few rocks here and there. And thus you have the finished product:

After a few weeks, I decided to try a different look. I removed the moss on the surface and used only rocks with a few cute fungi friends I found on etsy. I like the color contrast of the dark rocks, the bright green and red.

Make sure the soil is evenly watered, but don't over-water. Terrariums don't need to be watered all that often. If they have a lid, they need to be watered even less! With a lid, condensation will build up. When it does, remove the lid for awhile until it dissipates.

And there you have it. Terrariums 101.

Enjoy! But be careful, they're addictive and darn cute! :)

If you make one, please share a picture!