Small terrariums function as mini-greenhouse, mimicking an ecosystem where water absorption and precipitation occurs. Plant terrariums hold in heat, as well as moisture and provide you with a ‘natural air freshener’.
I got this bronze, antique-looking plant house as a Christmas gift and did some investigating on how to keep plants alive in it.
This specimen is from Crate and Barrel, but there are many other places that sell them. You can also create them yourself with glass containers.
I wanted the terrarium to be both useful and aesthetically pleasing, so I planted herbs and also two decorative plants. You can use a terrarium as a miniature indoor garden depending on how large it is.
Here is how I created the plant terrarium you see in the picture:
Step 1: Choose the terrarium that is right for you.
A watertight terrarium would be best for someone looking to de-pot the plants and re plant them in the soil (which is what I did). Certain herbs (such as rosemary) do not thrive when the soil is soaked. So considering what type of plant environment you want is a good idea before buying the terrarium. Mine is not watertight, but does hold water in good, as long as I don’t soak the soil.
Step 2: Select plants that you want and are able to grow.
Garden center and nursery employees can provide way more information than I am able to. However, go in with some basic knowledge of what you are looking for. Are you looking to create an indoor herb garden or a decorative centerpiece? Here are some suggestions that I considered after visiting the nursery:
Useful herbs: Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Rosemary, Dill, Chive, Thyme.
Aesthetic: Orchids, Angel Plants, African Violets, Begonia
Hardy and easy: Bromeliads, Succulents, Desert Cacti, Bamboo, Bonsai
I mixed-and-matched two angel plants and a basil plant. Make sure to ask nursery employees if the plants you choose with grow next to each other. Some can be toxic if places too close.
Step 3: Re-Plant
If you wish to have an ‘indoor garden’ style terrarium, as I did, you will need to re-plant the plants in the tray. To do this, take plants out of pot gently (don’t rip the roots), place in tray and scoop soil around all the empty areas of the tray. Even out the soil with your hands, then water the plants and soil a good amount (until soil is moderately moist).
Step 4: Find a place where the plants can thrive.
The tags that come in the potted plants will help you out with finding a good spot for your plant. Scope out how much light different windows and covered areas in your house provide. High light plants should be placed in sunny windows or on and covered outside spot. Low/medium light plants can be placed somewhere more central in the house, such as coffee table.