Open Terrariums

How to Care for a Plant Terrarium 101

Table of Contents

Terrariums are beautiful compact glass containers that take indoor container gardening to the next level. With their stunning glass exteriors and beautiful designs that house different plants, terrariums are basically miniature ecosystems. 

They provide controlled environments for plants and create holistic, low-maintenance ecosystems that last long without needing too much time and attention. 

Terrariums Indoors

Terrariums come in various shapes and sizes but there are mainly two different types - they can either be completely closed off or open to the environment. Closed terrariums have a lid while the open ones provide space to tend to the plants inside. 

While plant terrariums are relatively easy to care for, they still need certain amounts of time and care. Here are a few care tips to keep in mind for terrariums.


• Choosing the Right Terrarium Plants:

If you are making your own terrarium instead of buying one commercially, there are some things that you must remember to ensure that your plants will thrive in the ecosystem that you create for them. Using the right plants and ensuring that they are the right size is extremely important.


✧To Create a Low-Maintenance Plant Terrarium:

Caring for a Terrarium

Make use of plants that thrive in the terrarium environment, such as succulents, air plants, mosses, and ferns. Regular house plants cannot be used in terrariums as their growth requirements and care tips differ greatly. 


✧Size Considerations:

Depending on which container you choose for your terrariums, you must remember that the size of the plants should match the size of the container to maintain balance.


• Plant Terrarium Care Tips to Keep Your Plants in Best Shape:

Caring for terrarium plants involves a combination of attention to detail and understanding the specific needs of the plants within this unique ecosystem. Here are more in-depth care tips for terrariums:

1. AppropriateTerrarium Lighting:

a. Indirect Light:

Place terrariums in locations with filtered or indirect sunlight. Remember to avoid direct sunlight for extended periods, as it can lead to overheating.

Caring for Your Terrarium

b. Rotate the Terrarium:

Periodically rotate the terrarium to ensure all plants receive an equal amount of light, preventing uneven growth.


2. Watering your Terrarium Plants:

a. Moderation is Key:

Overwatering is a common issue. Water sparingly and only when the soil feels slightly dry. Closed glass terrariums recycle moisture which means they requiring less frequent watering.

b. Use a Spray Bottle:

For open glass terrariums, consider using a spray bottle to control water distribution and prevent over-saturation.

3. Humidity Control:

a. Open Terrariums:

Keep an eye on humidity levels, especially in dry climates. If needed, mist the plants lightly to boost humidity.

4. Terrarium Soil Maintenance:

Terrarium Soil Maintenance

a. Avoid Compacting Soil While Making Your Terrarium:

Gently pat down the soil layers during setup, but avoid compacting it too much. Compacted soil can impede drainage and root growth.

b. Replace Soil if Necessary:

Over time, the soil in a terrarium can become devoid of nutrients. If plants show signs of nutrient deficiency, consider replacing the top layer of soil.

5. Pruning and Grooming:

You can trim or prune plants to prevent overcrowding in open terrariums. This ensures good plant care and so that each plant gets sufficient light and space to thrive.

a. Remove Yellow or Dead Leaves:

Promptly remove any yellow or dead leaves to maintain the overall health and appearance of the terrarium.

6. Temperature Considerations:Forest-Like Terrariums

Glass terrariums are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Keep them away from drafts, air conditioners, and heating vents to prevent sudden temperature fluctuations.


7. Fertilization:

Only if necessary should you fertilize sparingly. Use a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season to provide essential nutrients for the plants. 


8. Monitoring for Pests:

Proper plant care require you to inspect them regularly for signs of pests such as mites or aphids. If pests are present, take appropriate measures such as introducing beneficial insects or using a mild insecticidal soap.


9. Observation:

Learn the needs of each plant. Different plants have varying requirements so you must pay attention to how each species responds to the terrarium environment, and adjust care accordingly.

• 6 Best Terrarium Plants: Create Your Own Low-Maintenance Glass Oasis

1. Fittonia (Nerve Plant):

Fittonia Plant in Terrarium

• Features:

Vibrant, colorful foliage with intricate patterns.

Fittonia Care Tips:

Fittonia plants require high humidity, indirect light, and consistently moist soil. This makes them perfect for closed terrariums.

2. Succulent Plants:

Succulent Terrariums

Succulents make for great and easy to care for terrarium plants. Some succulent plant choices are Echeveria, Haworthia, and Jade Plants.

• Succulent Terrarium Care Tips:

Well-draining soil is crucial for succulent plants. They thrive in bright, indirect light. 

3. Air Plants (Tillandsia):

• Distinctive Traits:

Air plants don't require soil as they absorb nutrients through their leaves.

• Air Plant Terrarium Care Tips:

Air plants can be misted regularly. Provide them with good air circulation, and place in bright, indirect light.

4. Ferns:

Open Terrarium

Varieties that you can choose from are Maidenhair ferns, Button ferns, and Bird's Nest fern

Fern Care Tips:

Ferns love high humidity and indirect light. So, with open terrariums you can keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

5. Mosses:

You can make use of various moss species, such as the Sheet Moss or Pillow Moss.

• Moss Care Tips:

Keep consistently moist and provide indirect light. Ideal for closed terrariums due to their love for humidity.

6. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum):

Spider plants also love indirect light and consistently moist soil. They are very well well-suited for larger, open terrariums.

Whichever plants you choose to include in your terrariums, know this! Plants are not the only things that you can add to your terrarium. With other decorative elements, you can enhance your terrarium's charm. You can use rocks of varying sizes and colors for more texture and visual interest, with larger stones as focal points.

If you wish to create a more playful and light atmosphere, you can also add miniature figurines or animals, while still maintaining balance to keep the plants as the central focus.

Fun Terrariums with Figurines
You can also enhance and emphasize the natural feel with driftwood or bark, mimicking the plant's original habitats. These thoughtful additions not only boost aesthetics but also make your terrarium a uniquely expressive creation. All you must remember is to create a harmonious composition while still avoiding overcrowding and letting your plants shine.