Indoor Plants: Terrarium DIYCategory: Free Craft Tutorials
Indoor plants really make a room, they bring life, texture and colour year round. Terrariums are becoming increasingly popular, wonderful little mini glass houses filled with small plants. Today's post gives you step by step instructions to create your own one.
The first thing you need to make a decision on is the glass container you want to use. There are tons of different ones available from high street shops to vintage markets or ebay. You can even make a terrarium in a nice glass jar. The important thing to ensure is that whatever you buy has:
- A Solid base (so water won’t pour all over your counter)
- There needs to be a hole or space at the top so you can water it and it can breathe (otherwise it will become very steamy)
What you need
A Terrarium (I got mine from Urban Outfitters)
Charcoal suitable for aquariums or ponds (this is used to stop your terrarium smelling like a rotting pond…yuck)
Moss (I just nicked some from my garden but you can buy it online or at your garden centre)
Small plants (depending on the size of your vessel but I wouldn’t go for anything bigger than 15cm high). See below re plant selection or discuss with your garden centre who can advise
Some small logs (I collected some in our local park)
How to do it
Step 1. When buying your plants you need to decide if you want a tropical plant look (e.g. ferns) or succulents/cacti. If using succulents and cacti you need specific soil I went for a tropical forest look. You want to buy indoor plants from the indoor section of your garden centre. I would actually suggest taking your terrarium along with you so you can place pots in it and see how they work together. You should try to get ones with different textures e.g. fine leaves, flat leaves, long leaves and also different heights. In terms of plants good options are:
Fittonia (Red Vein)
Babies Tears (a good ground cover and alternative/combo with moss)
Step 2. To prepare the terrarium, first start with your charcoal layer. Create an even layer about 1-2cm deep. Then layer your stones on top (1cm) and then a thin later of compost (1cm).
Step 3. Time to plant. Take your plants out their pots and place them inside, move them around until you like the look. Typically you would have taller plants at the back or in the centre (where the roof is highest) and smaller ones on the sides so you can see in. I also used a little log so I put that in too to see where I would want it. When youre happy with the arrangement start adding more compost to pack the plants in tightly. Make sure you push down with your fingers so there is compost around all the roots and against the sides. If you don’t, no matter how much you water, your plants will die as soil is what transfers the water to the roots. If it’s not tightly compacted with compost it will also mean things will subside and move.
Step 4. Once you have planted everything in, place your log in it’s spot and start to layer moss over the soil. I also used a little babies tears too (just taken out from between some paving stones I saw in the park).
Step 5. Water well!
That’s all there is to it. You should only need to water once a week or so, just feel the soil – you want it to be damp but not soaking as can get swampy otherwise.