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How to make a terrarium

February 25th, 2012

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…

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4 Responses to “How to make a terrarium”

  1. Colleen

    What a beautiful terrarium Matt. Love the shape of the glass bowl and yep! I love Nathan’s pink and yellow dino :) Do you, or is there a plan to, do any blog about urban farming/growing your own veggies in SA at all? Would be very interested to know! Have a great weekend xx

  2. Matt

    Thanks for the kind words Colly :) RE urban farming, yes, in time I hope that this blog will become a platform for that as well, in the meantime you can see a series of articles I wrote for Good Taste here http://www.goodtaste.co.za/Matt-Allison/. House & Leisure released my ‘Top 10 tips for growing a veggie patch’ here: http://www.houseandleisure.co.za/10-tips-for-planting-a-veggie-garden/

  3. Macramé love | curate this space

    [...] I had a few extra plants left over from the terrarium project I decided to buy a few more and plant up a mixed bowl, since I also had the bowl lying around [...]

  4. 'Growing within', houseplant ideas in 'Home' July '12 | curate this space

    [...] it I give tips and advice on choosing and growing houseplants, they’ve even included my ‘How to make a terrarium’ post for you to get your craft on. Share and Enjoy: Filed under: Grow Your Own, Home Sweet Home [...]

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