We love terrariums so much, they’re in our name! This is one of the biggest new trends in houseplants - but it isn’t exactly a new trend at all. Terrariums first found their popularity in the Victorian era. They’re something old and something new, and today’s terrariums bring you a little of the romanticism of the past, and a lot of new options for something cool, unique and totally personal.
The original concept of a terrarium was a totally enclosed mini ecosystem, where plants could survive in perfectly balanced harmony in their own little greenhouse. While a sealed terrarium is an option for the hardcore and dedicated, our favorites include open and semi-open terrariums. You’ll still get all of the benefits of a close-knit little plant ecosystem of your creation, but with more options for style and experimentation and less headache and stress.
What goes in a Terrarium?
Terrariums are just a popular style of planting and displaying your favorite plants, so they can be whatever you want them to be! They work for anything from tropical to desert plants, and fit any style and look. If you’re a little nervous about your first terrarium or just want something easy to work with, we carry plenty of options that are ready to be taken home. For others who might be in more of a DIY mood, a few supplies and simple tips are all you need to create your own totally personalized miniature green world. We even provide a potting bar in our store where you can design and build your own with some expert help.
The building blocks and upkeep for terrariums are so simple because they are really just about supporting plant life - meaning that all you need to do is focus on the exact same things as you would for regular container growing. Just a few guidelines and tips are all you need to get started towards a delightful and lush mini world.
Open or semi-open terrariums are the best choices because they provide all of the appeal of a glass-enclosed little world without the balancing act of a sealed-off ecosystem. As a popular trend, there are many choices of containers to choose from that can fit your own style and the picture of what you imagine your own terrarium to be. Let your container inspire your plants, or maybe your plants inspire your container!
Soil and Drainage
To keep your plants happy, they need to have healthy roots. The key to terrariums is managing the levels of water in them, but you can get yourself some extra buffer room by including some pea gravel under your soil, which will keep extra water from making your roots soggy. Another cheat is to sprinkle some activated charcoal into the gravel. This is like keeping baking soda in the fridge: it will help manage moisture in your glass world so that nothing rots. Other than that, all you need is some well-draining soil and you will be ready to get your plants settled in their cozy new home.
The best part! While so many different types of plants work well in terrariums, it’s best to keep them to their own growing families. Because of all the shared space inside your little glass world, plants with dramatically different habitats (like a succulent and a fern) or aggressive growing habits (vines) might not play well together.
The simplest guideline is to keep plants from arid habitats together in more open terrariums where they will love the extra air, and more tropical plants from humid habitats together in more closed terrariums, where they will love the extra moisture.
Begin planting with the biggest plants, so that you can work your way around them with the smaller ones. This helps to avoid damage while you move each plant around and introduce it to its new home and neighbors.
The best part about terrariums is that they are designed to require minimal care! You might still need to water once a week, but often even less than that. All you need to do is keep an eye on whether your terrarium is getting too dry or wet.
If your plants are thriving a little too much, don’t worry! A little haircut pruning will keep them healthy and proportional to your terrarium.
While sunlight is great for your plants to grow, keep in mind that the glass walls of a terrarium are like a magnifying glass. Try to find a happy medium between getting your plants some light, and avoiding sunburns.
Terrariums are popular because they are easy, personal, and absolutely adorable! You can have your own green world behind glass to escape to at home - there are so many ways to make your little ecosystem a perfect fit to you.