Monthly Archives: February 2012

How to make a terrarium

There is no denying terrariums are making a come back, like 80’s day glow spandex there is just no getting rid of them. Why fight it, embrace their flora goodness (terrariums, NOT spandex).

I found this glass vase at a local thrift store and decided it would make the perfect habitat for our little patch of jungle goodness.

/// All that is needed to make a terrarium is a container, potting soil, pebbles, activated charcoal (any pet shop will have some), plants and a pair of chop sticks.

TIP: It’s often more cost effective to buy a mixed bowl of indoor plants then buying them individually.

I used an Aluminium Plant, Polkadot Plant, Spider Plant & Fern in mine.

/// Place your pebbles at the bottom of the container, followed by a sprinkling of charcoal. The charcoal helps absorb the potentially harmful fumes of decaying matter, essential if you plan on stoppering the container.

/// Remove your plants from their pots and gently pry the soil away from the root bulbs and place the removed soil into the container, making sure not to compact it, you want it light and loose.

/// Once you’ve loosened all your plants gently wrap their roots into balls, which will make it easier to place them into the potting soil.

/// Use your chopsticks to gently lower your plants into the container and then use one of them to push the loose soil around the exposed roots.

TIP: It’s always best to start with the largest plants first, making your way down to the smallest.

/// Once your plants are in you can add in extra stones, twigs and moss if you wish and sculpt it to taste.

To clean the inside of the glass tape a paper towel to the end of a chopstick and wipe it down.

If you plan on stoppering the container you need to water it first and then seal it, put it in a cool place where it will receive adequate light and give it 2 weeks to ‘harden off’. Once you’ve done that you can move it around if you so wish.

It will no longer require watering if you stopper as it becomes a self contained eco-system.

It took me less than an hour to put together, so it’s a fairly quick craft project that will bring months or years of enjoyment.

To add a bit of extra charm pick out a suitable ‘guest’. Nathan picked out this true to life pink and yellow dinosaur…

The houseplant tour

I discovered a new FREE quarterly e-zine called Growing Style, it’s downloadable as an iPad, iPhone and Android app.

It’s the brainchild of the guys at Costa Farms, the USA’s largest grower of indoor houseplants and is packed with handy houseplant tips and inspiration.

Incidentally NASA’s recommendation is one houseplant per 100 square feet, or for us metric folks, just over 9m2, because besides looking cool houseplants are beneficial in purifying your air, absorbing toxic fumes like Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde and other harmful VOC’s.

You can read more about it at o2 for you, they also have an excellent houseplant selector.

Since we are on the topic of houseplants I thought I’d give you a little house tour of my modest, but ever growing collection.

Philodendron scandens, known as the sweet heart plant. I have a pair of these on my mantle complete with 70’s avocado pots I thrifted at the Milnerton Market for R7 ($1USD) each. Score.

Phalaenopsis, my cerise Moth Orchid which hangs upside down in my Boskke Skyplanter above our kitchen counter.

Philodendron selloum my latest addition, seen here in my lovely Orla Kiely Herb Pot, one of my amazing Christmas gifts for my awesome Mrs.

Of course no mid-century modern home is complete without at least ONE Monstera deliciosa, probably one of my favourite foliage houseplants and takes pride and place in our entrance way.