Introduction: How to Construct a Terrarium
Terrariums are transparent globes or containers in which indoor plants are grown. Terrariums can be used as decorative accessories for your home, and they are convenient for anyone who does not have the skills or budget to tend a full garden. They also have many benefits for the overall well being of your home. Having indoor plants can actually help purify the air. There have been studies that show that indoor plants can help with mental illness, headaches, improve sleep and improve your health in other ways.
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Step 1: Thoughts and Planning
First, determine what kind of terrarium will be accommodating.
For example, if you have a small desk area, it probably would not be best to use a big globe. And, if children are in the household, then cacti would not be a sufficient choice for your terrarium. It is wise to establish a unique design before beginning to construct your terrarium.
Another thing to think about are the tools that you will be using. Making this terrarium requires careful handling of the glass globe, rocks, and cacti. Safety first!
Step 2: Gather Terrarium Materials
The first step in constructing your terrarium is gathering the appropriate materials. The primary components that you will need are:
A transparent glass container
Packaged indoor potting soil
Rocks of any kind
Plants that require a similar soil and watering schedule
Step 3: Creating the Foundation
First, you will need to clean the container you want to have your terrarium in, then you will add rocks, pebbles, or recycled glass to the bottom of your container to create a filtration system for the excess moisture that could build up and soak past your upper layers. This keeps excess water out of the soil so your plants are not over watered.
The second part of your foundation includes adding the proper soil according to what type of plant types you would like to include (succulent, cactai, tropical, etc.). In order for the right amount to be added, you should add a depth equal or greater than the depth of the pot that your largest plant is being transplanted from.
Step 4: Adding Plants
In order to move plants into your terrarium you must transplant them. This means to simply pull them out of their current containers, brush off excess soil trapped in and around their root structures and nestle them into the appropriate size hole in the soil layer. After you have placed them, you will place soil around them and tamp them into place.
Step 5: Adding Decorations
Express yourself! This is where you can completely take this instructable and customize it! You can make your terrarium into anything that you want to fit your liking. For example using rocks found outside or even rocks that go into a fishbowl can add a lot of personality to your terrarium. A good place to find unique decorations are at thrift stores or supermarkets. You can even add figurines to get even more creative (check out that pillar!). The best part about terrariums is the space for creativity. Add whatever you want!
Step 6: Caring for Your Terrarium
Depending on the type of plant that you choose you will need to water it about once a week. If you choose to use mainly cactus in your terrarium then you will only need to water it about once every other week. Terrariums do best in indirect sunlight so keeping them out of direct sunlight will be the healthiest condition for your terrarium to thrive. Misting your terrariums daily to create some humidity is recommended but not required. If any of your plants start to deteriorate (which is natural), just be sure to prune the dead leaves back to prevent further deterioration/rotting. Overall terrariums are meant to be low maintenance, but some attention will be required if you want a long term companion.