If you've ever wondered how to make a terrarium -- or thought it would be difficult to do -- you'll be amazed at how easily it comes together with these simple, step-by-step tips.
Whether you choose a candy jar or a fish tank, your miniature garden can be completely enclosed or open at the top. Open terrariums allow better air circulation around the plants, and therefore have fewer problems with disease. Plants in open terrariums do need watered more frequently than enclosed terrariums.
Terrarium plants enjoy high-humidity because they are at least partially enclosed in glass, which traps moisture around the plants.
Before you learn how to make a terrarium, you'll need to find a suitable container. You have a wide range to choose from, including goldfish bowls, jars, bottles, aquariums, even large brandy glasses.
Start with a clean, dry container and new, unused supplies. It's the surest way to avoid contaminating plants with fungi and diseases. You don't want to start off your terrarium with these problems.
Just about any type of container will work, as long as it is clear glass or plastic. Tinted glass will filter sunlight and prevent the plants from getting the light they need to grow.
Sterilize the container. Wash it in hot, soapy water -- dish soap works well because it doesn't leave streaks -- then rinse thoroughly. You can wash small containers in the dishwasher. Or, wash with a 1:10 bleach/water solution and rinse well with clear water. Make sure it is completely dry before following the steps to "How to Make a Terrarium."
Try to avoid getting soil on the sides of the terrarium, because it's difficult to clean once filled.
Find a good location for your terrarium. Light and temperature play an important part in how well your plants will thrive.
Most plants need to be near a window, but not in direct sun which will scorch the plants. If you don't have an area within a few feet of a south- or west-facing window, you can use artificial lighting.
Terra comes from the Latin word for earth and -arium is borrowed from aquarium -- a home for aquatic plants and fish.