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How to Make a Terrarium Planter

Would you like a rain forest in your bedroom? What about a sandy desert? Though you may not want to sleep in the rain or in the extreme weather of the desert, you can plant a terrarium to house any type of habitat you may want. And because it’s a small, contained habitat it can fit in your room without making a mess.

Terrariums (the word “terra” is Latin for earth) are small enclosures that can replicate habitats found in nature. In the terrarium you can add as much water as you would find in the environment you are trying to recreate. A terrarium with ferns and moss will need lots of water while a terrarium with cactus won’t need much water at all.

Depending on the type of habitat you want, you’ll need to decide if you want an open terrarium or a closed terrarium. An open terrarium is best for plants that don’t need lots of humidity (think of a desert habitat). A closed terrarium is best for plants that need lots of water (think of a rain forest habitat).

OK, let’s get started on these terrariums.

What You Will Need:

  • Glass container (big or small, closed terrariums will need a container with a lid or you can plastic wrap)
  • Small rocks
  • Sand
  • Potting Soil
  • Any rocks, shells, toys, marbles that you want to decorate
  • Plants
  • Closed Terrarium: small ferns, mosses
  • Open Terrarium: ivy, cactus, succulents
  • Spray Bottle for watering

Directions:

  1. Place a half inch or ½ inch layer of rocks and sand at the bottom of your glass container.
  2. Put a large layer of potting soil (depending on how big the container is). For an open terrarium mix some more sand with your soil so that the soil is customized to the plants you’re using.
  3. Plant your plants in the soil! For closed terrariums mosses should blanket the soil and small ferns can be plants in between the moss.
  4. Place any extra rocks or shells or glass you want to decorate your terrarium.

Taking Care of Your Terrarium:

Closed Terrarium:           

After planting your closed terrarium, use your spray bottle mist the sides of the container to clean off excess soil. Depending on the size of the container spray a couple of ounces into your terrarium. Close the terrarium with the container’s lid or use plastic wrap. Those first few days you should check the moisture level daily. If the soil appears dry, spray some more water, if it’s too moist take the lid to allow some evaporation. A well-made closed terrarium should not need water for four to six months!

Open Terrarium:

An open terrarium won’t need much watering but it will need more regular watering than a closed terrarium. Watering will depend on the type of plants you have, for example ivy is going to need more water than cactus. So research your plant’s water intake and water with your spray bottle accordingly. Open terrariums do best in good light, but not direct light. Next to a window is the perfect place.

There's also the opportunity to have animals in your terrarium! Chamelons, geckos, snakes, dart frogs, turtles or tarantulas are all terrarium animals. It's best to ask the pet store owner the optimal conditions for your animal so that you make sure the climate of your terrarium is just right for you new pet. Of course, you're not going to need to water your pet, but you will need to feed it!

Have Your Say!

What environment would you like to have in your room? Share it with us in our comments section below.

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