The world is going green and living art is taking over. The use of living plants in home, office and outdoor decorations has been the trend for many tears. However, it behooves us to be creative in the use of plants in order for the decorations to remain relevant and appealing to the eyes. The use of terrariums has come is good time to ensure that living art is still the preference of many. Terrariums not only add taste to your decorations, but also class. They are easy to take care of and simple to set up.
Materials you need
You will need a few materials to set up a terrarium, and they are readily available at your locality. You will need a glass vessel to grow your plant. Ensure that your glass container is transparent, so that it can be seen by all. Small stones and pebbles or even sand, which go to the base of the glass vessel, will be needed. They help in drainage and ensure that the water does not remain in the soil for long and cause rot. Activated charcoal is another necessity. You will, however, not need much of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal keeps the water clean and to kill bacteria that may be harmful to the plant. Plants cannot grow without having an anchorage. Potting soil is used to provide anchorage and as a layer for the DIY terrarium. Any kind of soil is good enough. However, when working with cacti and succulents, there are special types of soil that you should use which have special mixes.
You will not have a terrarium if you do not have a greenery. You should pick out plants of the size of a pint to use in your terrarium. Succulents, a mini-cacti or air plants are feasible options. Some gardening tools will also be required for your set up.
When selecting the plant to use for the terrarium, you will have to consider a few things such as size and humidity. Select plants that are small enough to fit in the vessel that you are using. The terrarium should not look crowded and cramped. It should be spacious enough to accentuate the beauty. Plants that thrive in humid environment, also do well in terrariums. Succulents do not do well in humid environments, and to make up for this shortcoming, use glass vessels with openings.
Clean the interior and add small stones and pebbles.
Firstly, you thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of the glass container, to remove any undesirable residue that will harm the plant. You then add the small stones and pebbles to the base of the glass vessel to create a layer of false drainage, so that there is no excess water in the terrarium. This ensures that roots do not rot. The depth of this layer is dependent on the size of the glass vessel being used.
Add activated charcoal
The next step is to add activated charcoal above the layer of small rocks and pebble. Apply enough charcoal to cover the layer below. The charcoal helps in reducing bacteria, removing odor, and fungi. This preserves your plant for longer.
Add potting soil
Add soil to the layer of charcoal. Remember that succulents and cacti require a special type of soil. The layer of soil should be deep enough to provide for growth of roots.
Nestle your plants in the soil.
It is now time to plant your plants. You have to prune the roots of your plants since you will be repotting your plant. You first have to plant the large plants. Using a spoon, make a hole in the soil and nestle the plant inside. Ensure that you have good spacing as you plant the remainder of the plants. The plants should be planted in the order of largest to smallest. Here, you can be creative as you arrange the plants to achieve a desired look. You can freely play around with color, size and different types of plants to have a desired and flashy appearance. It is important to use gloves as you handle plants such as cactus, which are harmful when handled with bare hands. Keep the leaves from touching the sides of the vessel.
Dressing your terrarium
After the plants are inside the terrarium, add about a quarter inch of white sand. On top of this layer of sand, you can add some pebbles, to give your terrarium a wow-look.
You can also add accessories to dress the terrarium. Accessories such as a blanket of dead or living moss, little glass beads, old toys or shiny metal objects.
By this time, it is very likely that the sides of your container is dirty. The leaves of the plant may also have caught little dirt. Using a paint brush, you may wipe off the dirt on the leaves of the plant. The glass should remain as clear as possible. You could use a piece of cloth to clean the sides of the container to keep it clean. A little amount of water is good enough to get started. Terrariums, unlike other plants, does not require so much water. This is because you want to avoid soaking, which can make the roots of the plants to rot.
Tips of taking care of your terrarium
In order to take good care of the terrariums, you need to water it less often. As soon as the soil is dried up, you can water it to keep it a little moist. If the lid of the terrarium is closed, you may have to open it to allow for evaporation of water. Leaves that die should be quickly removed from the terrarium so that you maintain the life of the little eco-system. If the entire plant dies out, it should be removed. The terrarium should not be exposed to direct sunlight. This helps to avoid the leaves from burning and curling. Little sunlight is required to help the plant grow. If you have to expose the plant to sunlight, then you should do so for a few hours. A shelve near the window where there is bright indirect light from the sun could be an ample place to grow terrarium.