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Terrarium Care

 by flowersontherun on 16 Feb 2015 |
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Some general guidelines in caring for terrariums;


•Over watering is the most common problem with terrariums, but on the flip side they are living and therefore require enough water. We offer a general indication of the water requirements for each terrarium but this must be used as a guide only to take into account seasonal changes and depending on where the terrarium sits in your space, it may need more or less water.

For open terrariums, as long as no water is pooling at the bottom of the container then your terrarium is either doing fine or needs some water. Very quickly the leaves of your plants will droop if they are not receiving enough water. If the soil is dry, add some water. Use the 'spray' function of the water spray bottle to dampen the soil, this may take quite a few sprays. The 'stream' function may seem more efficient, but water tends to run straight through the soil profile without sufficiently dampening the soil where the plant's roots are. For larger terrariums however, pouring water into the container may be necessary. Water the soil around the base of each plant (avoid wetting the leaves to reduce the chance of rot) and keep moss damp at all times.

For enclosed terrariums, you don't need to add water very often (approximately fortnightly to monthly). As a general rule, if you can see condensation in your enclosed terrarium on a warm day, there is no need to add more water. The terrariums with a cloche (e.g. Flamingo and Little Fig) require more water than the fully enclosed terrariums. It is important that the moss and top layer of soil remains damp at all time.

•Don't allow lots of water to sit at the bottom of the terrarium for extended periods of time as this may cause plant roots to rot. You can use paper towel to soak up excess water. Otherwise remove the lid and place in a brighter area (but not is direct sunlight) for a few hours.

•Only ever use de mineralised water (available from supermarkets and hardware stores) or rainwater as tap water contains salts that can build up inside the terrarium causing damage to your plants.

•After watering, allow the leaves of the plants to dry before replacing the lid.

•For enclosed terrariums, remove the lid for a day once a month to allow the terrarium to air out. A handy tip for open terrariums is to cover their opening with glad wrap if you are going on holiday or don't have time to water it for a period of time.


•Keep your terrarium in a spot that gets plenty of indirect light, but will not be subject to direct sunlight.

•Terrariums, especially enclosed terrariums, are like mini greenhouses. Placing them in direct sunlight can cook plants quickly.

•If your terrarium is destined for a spot that receives little natural light, artificial light can be used. A 100W globe or fluorescent light can be placed near the terrarium. This should be on for 12 hours a day.

•Plants tend to grow toward the light source. To keep plants growing upright, quarter turn the terrarium monthly.

•Generally, succulents require more light than leafy plants.


•Plants may require pruning if they begin to outgrow their container or become unshapely.

•Remove the plant's growth tips to encourage it to increase in density.

•Remove any dead or diseased parts of a plant from the terrarium.


•Fertilizer is not necessary in terrariums, which are a self-contained ecosystem. Fertilizer will cause a build up of soluble salts in the soil, which will damage your plants.

•If you notice little flying bugs in your terrarium, these are gnats. You would have seen these little buggers before hovering around your fruit bowl or kitchen bin, particularly in the summer months. Due to their tiny size, they can find their way into your terrarium and make themselves at home. They do not cause damage to your terrarium in any way, they are just unsightly. To get rid of them, we recommend spraying Mortein fly and mosquito killer NaturGard (natural citrus extract) onto the lid of your terrarium. Wipe it the next day and spray again. Repeat for a few days, up to a week, and those little buggers will disappear.


•If you use de mineralised water or rainwater to water your terrarium (which you should be!), you shouldn't need to clean the inside of your terrarium as unlike tap water, no water stains form as de mineralised water and rainwater lacks the salt that causes these marks. For the outside, use a lint free cloth and fresh water to clean your terrarium. Remember, it is a living ecosystem and harsh chemicals may harm it - although a bit of window cleaner on the outside glass is fine.



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