Terrarium building

I made this up today. I was going to do Spanish moss layers or bonsai soil mix, but decided to go with potting soil & worm castings. I have no idea what the plant with the tiny leaves is (it wasnt labelled), but the fern in the back is Pteris. I think it sounds like a dinosaur name. Haha

I stole a little sphagnum moss from the orchid and put it in there too. I hope it grows.

The odd, rabbit poop looking balls are expanded clay pebbles. I now wish I got them in white or a natural terra-cotta instead of black. It would have looked more decorative, although I guess one could think it is entertaining to think that a rabbit just passed by.

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Comments

  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    Oh, it`s pretty. I have seen very, very expensive displays for sale for `build your own terrarium kits,` and I always think that it would be cheaper to make your own. I would like to have a moss garden for an indoor display one of these days.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,523 admin
    edited May 2022

    Thank you.

    Let's see if I can count the cost. This is all in Canadian dollars.

    Rocks...free

    Colored sand (from a dollar store, but bought for less at a thrift shop...$1.50

    I cut down a coffee filter...$? The whole package was most likely a second hand find too.

    Top soil...a few cups out of a large bag that cost $2 on clearance a few years ago...so pennies. By the way, I built the colored sand up along the sides and left a large dip in the middle for more topsoil-compost mixture for the roots to have a growing space. The outside tells you one thing, the inside is a different story.

    Worm castings...I've had the worms for many years (got them free), the container was very little, & the worms recycled scraps for me...so, free?

    Rock decorations, mostly free. I paid for the flat piece of agate many years ago. I no longer remember its price, but it won't have been much, maybe $2.

    The clay pebbles...$9.99 for 2 litres. I may have put 1/2 c. in there.

    The plants...$5.99 & $2.50. The sphagnum moss came from the orchid that was the last on clearance for $5.99, but I used so little of it...generous here...1 penny.

    The jar cost the most. I've had it for so long now, I don't remember it's price. I found it on the Michaels site. I guess they still sell it. It's now $28! I doubt I spent that much, and I most likely used a 40- 50% off coupon to boot.

    Recommended is peat moss & sand or sphagnum to lighten up potting soil which can get compacted. I took a chance and took of some of the fine roots & soil from the little leaved plant (about 1/2 of the depth) and mixed it in with my top soil & castings to lighten it. I think it's a plant that will be able to handle the root "pruning".

    A terrarium only has to cost as much as you decide it will cost.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I especially like the look in the footed container; the rocks look great in the foot.

    I keep wanting to make a terrarium, I just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe you will be my inspiration.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,523 admin

    @shllnzl I've has this jar for very many years, always intending to fill it properly some day. It's had a fish, Christmas decorations with pinecones, and also a mini led light string on thin wire in its many lives. Now, it can settle in and care for the plants it was intended for. 😄

    I always thought it looked like a fancy apothecary or cookie jar.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I love it. The jar would indeed have been a great cookie jar or apothacary, but looks wonderful as your terrarium.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Love! I grow most of my tropical houseplants in terrariums like this -- so far, anyway. At this point, I have two terrarium-type setups for them. Both started with pretty small plants. The first is under a tall bell jar and has gotten pretty full of the plants inside. The second I created a few months ago, and it contains baby nerve plants that I cut from the mother and rooted. That one is inside a glass candy jar that I bought second-hand and repurposed.

    Both setups are so low-maintenance -- when I add water, I water them pretty well, but then it's weeks and weeks before they need water again, because it's like a little rainforest in there. The water evaporates to the top, but then drips back down eventually, and the humidity stays high inside.

    This is my favorite way to grow tropical houseplants in my fairly arid climate!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,523 admin

    @Merin Porter Pictures, please!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Built a terrarium as a girl scout project when I was a kid. Loved that thing! It was like a miniature world for me.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,523 admin

    @marjstratton That is why they have always fascinated me. It sparks the imagination and you can be a kid again.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Kind of the same idea behind bonsai trees. Their own little world.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,523 admin

    I'm intimidated by bonsai trees, but would love to try to do one. I do have a bonsai soil mix and two shallow dishes.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another use for a fish bowl, in this case, a home for my Hallmark ornaments.

    Sorry that the picture is kinda crappy.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,523 admin

    @shllnzl That's creative!

    I have sad news...either I overwatered or the plant with tiny leaves doesn't like the space. :( It was doing so well and appeared to be growing, then we leave yesterday and I glance at it this morning and it is mostly black!

    I took the lid off hoping it will recover. I'm not so sure it will. I wish I knew what it was, then I would have known what it preferred.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    These were probably watered 6 weeks ago -- they hold their humidity so, so well! One downside is that we've got very hard water, and you can see the mineral build-up at the base of the bell jar, where I've added water that sat among the pebbles until it got used by the plants. Need to scrub that off, and honestly need to repot the plants under the bell jar into larger pots. Will try to do both of those soon. Meanwhile, photos as requested, @LaurieLovesLearning ! :)

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Anyone have an idea how an air plant would do in a terrarium? It might be one way that I could keep one alive here in the desert. I know the plants need humidity, but do they need fresh air too?

    @Merin Porter My in-ground plants have to deal with our extremely hard water; my outdoor potted plants get tap water that has been aged; and my indoor plants, including orchids get reverse osmosis water. A lot of water is cleaned up to support my large number of indoor plants. (The extremely mineralized water is my only complaint about this part of the country.)

    I am always removing hard water deposits!