Upcycled Craft: Grow Your Own Terrarium

Isn’t it interesting how weekends never seem to last long enough? Yet, when there is time to relax, I am suddenly…bored.

So if you are like me, here is a beautiful and simple project you can do at home to keep the weekend blues away. And really enjoy yourself ♥

How to Grow Your Own Terrarium
A plant terrarium is a container (usually glass) designed to hold small plants in a controlled environment. This is an easy and beautiful project that can add to your home decor. Requires relatively low maintenance.

Approximately: 60 mins or less

Step 1: Choose a glass container. Look around your house and try to find something dramatic and unique. Or go to your local Thrift Shop. Fish bowls, cookie jars and brandy snifers are most commonly used. Think outside-the-box and create yourself a ‘talking piece’ of home decor. Interesting items I have seen used are old light fixtures, bird cage enclosure, and even a glass kettle.

Step 2: Select your plants. Have a variety of plant selection with different heights, leaf texture, shapes and colors to make for an interesting arrangement. Use only plants that require low to medium sunlight. If your terrarium is closed, plants that like warm tropical moist conditions works best. Plant suggestions for closed terrariums include african violets, episcia, gloxinia, ferns and moss. If your terrarium is open, go for succulents like cacti and other desert plants.

You can buy miniature potted plants for your terrarium at any local florist or nursery. Here is a listing of nurseries in Singapore.

Step 3: Place a layer of stones.  There are no drainage holes at the bottom of the container, so you need to create space for excess water to flow down to. Some people may put a layer of sheet moss before putting in the stones to soak up extra water. Lay at least 5cm layer of stones. 

Step 4: Put in the soil. Start to fill your container with potting soil. You can add as much as you want. At least 10-15cm, or up to half your container. Start thinking about how you want  your terrarium to look before the next step of adding the plants. Do you want your terrarium with just a front-view or an overall view from all sides? Do you have the tallest plant at the back or in the center? You can also contour your soil to create a landscaped effect.

Step 5: Pot the plants. Remove your plants from their original plastic pots and loosen the roots. You may also cut off some of the roots to retard the plant’s growth in the terrarium. Use a spoon or your hands to dig a hole in the soil. Place the plant in the hole and fill up the cavity. Once you have finished with the terrarium design and laid all your plants, gently pat down the soil to an even compact layer. Make sure there are no air pockets between the roots and the soil. If the opening of your terrarium is too small, you can try using a chopstick, or long tweezers to plant.

Step 6: Add water. Water the plants with a moderate amount of water using a spray bottle. Do not water until soaking wet. Damp is good.

Step 7: Relocate. Place your ready-made terrarium to an area of moderate or occasional sunlight. On a window sill, by a bathroom window, as a kitchen centerpiece, on a coffee table or even hanging from a partly sheltered balcony.

That’s it. Done. You have your very own & first natural terrarium.

How to care for your terrarium? Super easy. Check every two weeks or so if your terrarium needs water. Do so by touching the soil. If it is damp, leave it. If it is dry, spray some water on it. If your terrarium is closed, open the top and let it air out once every 2-3 months. If there is a lot of condensation, it is a sign of too much water. Keep the top off until it has had a chance to air out.

Photos of interesting & beautiful terrariums I have seen:

Glass bottle moss terrarium

Lightbulb terrariums

Lightbulb terrarium (2). Made as a Christmas hanging ornament

Coffee pot terrarium

Teardrop hanging terrarium

Birdcage terrarium

Go creative and have fun!

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