A great option for gardening in a container is the ever crafty and creative terrarium. They can be very complex adding multiple plants and decorations, yet they can be satisfyingly simple as well with some colorful pebbles, the dirt and your favorite plant. Follow a few simple steps to creating your very own terrarium.
Choose your container.
Terrariums can come in all shapes and sizes, but we think why not go big? We suggest the 1 or even 2 gallon Heritage Hill Jar. These jars are classic with tall, straight lines and glass lids. We love the Heritage Hill jars for its versatility and because it fits in with any décor. Another favorite is the 1 gallon footed cookie jar.
Line the bottom of your container with a generous layer of pebbles, rocks or stones. This allows for excess water to drain to the bottom in order to prevent your roots from rotting. You will find an array of rocks and decorative stones available for purchase with multiple color options, size options and you name it. However, how much fun would it be to actually go on a walk with the kids along a stream or go to the lake and collect your very own rocks to use in your terrarium? This makes for a wonderful activity to get the kids involved to help pick the perfect rocks!
On top of your rocks, it is advisable to use horticultural charcoal as well. Horticultural charcoal helps improve drainage and absorb harmful impurities in potting soil. Just a small amount added to your planters helps keep a clean, healthy, well-balanced environment for your plants to thrive in, even for those containers which do not have drainage holes, like terrariums.
Add a thick layer of good potting soil on top of your rocks. The soil that already comes fertilized will keep your plants looking healthy long after you’ve gotten your hands dirty, plus you decrease the need to fertilize on a regular basis saving you time and money in the long run. Fertilizing your soil is an important step, however, because it will keep your plants healthy and beautiful for a long time. If they soil you choose is not pre-fertilized, be sure to pick up some plant food while you’re shopping for soil.
You’ll need enough soil to cover the roots of your plant(s), so plan accordingly.
Select the plants
Choose durable plants that will thrive in wet soil. You can’t put holes in the bottom of your glass containers, so it’s a good idea to choose your plants wisely.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Peperomia provides a welcomed contrast to terrarium plants that may offer variations of color. It’s leaves are green with ripples and wrinkles. The plant usually stays about 6 inches tall and thrives in low but regular light and moist conditions under the glass of a terrarium.
2. Pilea - Aquamarine is the perfect terrarium plant. It has small leaves and doesn’t grow tall, but likes to spread. It enjoys humid conditions. Works well as a base for other taller terrarium plants.
3. Succulents are a wonderful plant option for your terrarium. They are extremely versatile, will grow in and on practically anything. And they come in so many variations, you will surely find one to suit your taste and style.
Decorate (if you wish). Fairy Gardens are very popular. Once you start looking for fairy garden accessories, you will be surprised to find just how much is out there for you to choose from. A friendly little garden gnome is a cute accessory for your fun terrarium. You can even get a little friend for him or a place to call “home.” Your décor options are as endless as your imagination!