Closed Terrarium

Step-by-Step Guide to Designing a Closed Terrarium Garden

Do you want to create your own little paradise in the comfort of your own home? A closed terrarium garden is the perfect way to bring a bit of nature into your living space. This step-by-step guide will show you how to design and build your own terrarium using assorted plants and a few other supplies. With some patience and care, you'll be able to enjoy your own miniature paradise in no time.

What Is a Closed Terrarium?

If you're a fan of greenery and DIY projects, you might want to consider designing a closed terrarium. But what exactly is a closed terrarium?

A closed terrarium is essentially a miniature garden that lives in a closed glass container. This sealed environment allows the terrarium to create a self-sustaining ecosystem, with its own unique water cycle. The moisture generated by the plants and soil stays trapped inside the container, which can create a humid environment that's perfect for tropical plants.

The clear glass walls of a closed terrarium allow light to enter and nourish the plants, while the closed top helps to retain heat and moisture. Essentially, once you've established the perfect balance of light, heat, and moisture in your closed terrarium, it becomes a miniature paradise that can thrive almost entirely on its own.

If you're interested in creating a unique and self-sustaining garden in your own home, designing a closed terrarium is an excellent option. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

The Necessary Supplies for a Terrarium

With these necessary supplies, you'll be well on your way to creating your own mini paradise in a closed terrarium.

  • A large glass jar with lid
  • Stones—To aid in drainage
  • Activated charcoal—For keeping your soil fresh
  • High-quality potting soil
  • Assorted plants—It’s important to choose plants that do well in the humid environment of a closed terrarium. Ferns, friendship plant, watermelon peperomia, starfish plant, strawberry begonia, aquamarine, and moss are all great choices
  • Accessories—If you want, you can add stones, small animal figures, and fairy garden accessories to create a scene in your terrarium
  • Dry paint brush
  • Or, snag our Bell Jar Terrarium

How to Layer the Closed Terrarium

When designing a closed terrarium garden, one of the most important steps is to properly layer the container. To get started, gather your necessary supplies, including a large glass jar and activated charcoal.

First, ensure your glass jar is clean and sanitized before adding any layers. Next, add a layer of drainage stones to the bottom of the container. This layer will allow excess water to drain out of the soil and prevent root rot.

On top of the drainage stones, add a layer of activated charcoal. This layer helps purify the air and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in your terrarium.

Next, add your potting soil to a depth appropriate for your plants and container size. You can get creative with your soil by creating hills, valleys, and slopes.

Once your soil is in place, it’s time to add your plants! Be sure to break up the root balls and give each plant sufficient room to grow.

If you want to add accessories, like miniature figurines or rocks, now is the time to do so.

Before closing up your terrarium, use a dry paintbrush to clean the sides of the glass, as well as the plant leaves and accessories.

Finally, water your plants with a few tablespoons of water, being sure not to overwater them. Remember, once the lid is on, the plants will create their own moisture. By following these steps, you can create a beautiful and thriving closed terrarium garden in your own home.

Adding Color and Flavor With Plants

One of the best parts of designing a closed terrarium is the opportunity to bring in a variety of assorted plants. When selecting your plants, keep in mind that they will need to thrive in a humid and enclosed environment.

There are a multitude of plant options available for closed terrariums. Some popular choices include ferns, mosses, succulents, and air plants. Each plant will add its own unique touch to your mini paradise.

When choosing your plants, consider the color scheme you want to achieve. Selecting a mix of green and colorful plants can add dimension to your closed terrarium. Be sure to choose plants that will stay small, as a closed terrarium can only accommodate so much growth.

Once you've selected your plants, arrange them in a way that creates visual interest. Place taller plants towards the back of the terrarium, and shorter plants towards the front. Use different heights and textures to create an interesting and visually appealing design.

Remember to leave some empty space in your closed terrarium to allow your plants room to grow. Overcrowding can lead to poor plant growth and eventually the death of the plant.

Adding plants to your closed terrarium not only brings in color and flavor but also creates a natural and calming environment. Enjoy the benefits of nature within the comfort of your own home.

Choosing the Right Soil & Stones

Choosing the right soil and stones is a crucial step in creating a successful closed terrarium. The soil you choose should be a mixture of peat moss, sand, and perlite. These materials provide good drainage, moisture retention, and aeration, which are essential for the plants in your terrarium to thrive.

The stones you choose should also serve a purpose. They will act as a drainage layer, which prevents the soil from becoming waterlogged. Stones with a rough texture are best as they help create spaces for excess water to drain out of.

When selecting stones, consider using river rocks, aquarium gravel, or even marbles. Make sure to clean the stones thoroughly before placing them at the bottom of your container. It is recommended that the drainage layer is at least 1-2 inches deep, so make sure you have enough stones.

Overall, choosing the right soil and stones is essential for your terrarium's success. Take the time to research and select the appropriate materials to provide the best possible environment for your plants to grow. With the right materials, your closed terrarium will become a beautiful and low-maintenance mini paradise.

Maintaining Your Closed Terrarium

To keep your closed terrarium healthy and thriving, it’s important to know how to maintain it properly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

First and foremost, pay attention to the moisture level inside your closed terrarium. When you’re first getting started, it might take a little time to get the right moisture balance. If you find your terrarium is too steamed up with condensation on the glass, remove the lid and let it dry out a bit. If it’s too dry, add a little bit of water to the soil.

Next, make sure your terrarium is getting the right amount of sunlight. Filtered, indirect sunlight is best for a closed terrarium. Direct sunlight will be intensified by your terrarium’s glass walls and can actually burn your plants.

It’s also important to keep an eye on your plants and make sure they’re healthy. If you notice any leaves turning yellow or brown, or if your plants seem to be wilting, they may not be getting the nutrients they need. Consider adding a small amount of fertilizer to your terrarium to give your plants a boost.

Finally, don’t be afraid to prune your plants as needed. If they’re getting too big for your closed terrarium, you can trim them back a bit to keep them under control. This will also help your other plants get the light and nutrients they need.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can enjoy your closed terrarium for years to come. Not only will it add a beautiful touch of green to your home, but it can also help reduce stress and improve air quality.

Loving these closed terrarium ideas? To recreate them, start here:

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