Tips for Making and Maintaining a Terrarium-Table Top Garden

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Terrariums are tiny enclosed ecosystems that are not only easy to care for and maintain, but also they make a perfect option for home decor creating astonishing displays full of delightful and thriving miniature plants. Although they don’t require lot of maintenance, the following steps help you to ensure that your terrarium stays healthy and successful.

Tips to consider while making your terrarium- table top garden

Potting mix

Sterilized growing medium with proper drainage is essential to ensure that the soil doesn’t become over saturated, which may lead to root rot and death of plants.

A thin layer of crumbled activated charcoal will help you to clean the air of the fumes produced when the organic materials begin to decompose and keep the soil sweet and efficient.

Selection of right plants

• While selecting the plants, the size of the terrarium garden has to be kept in mind.  It is best to select plants which are relatively small, adopts to moist soil, thrives in humid conditions and grows well with indirect sunlight.

• Plants need to be compact as well as suitable to the same conditions as companion plants. For example, never mix moisture loving ferns with drought loving succulents or high light plants with low light plants.

The following list contains plants, which can survive together in dry to moist conditions and they well suited to grow in an indoor environment:

• Alternanthera, Red Thread Joseph’s Coat

• Baby Tears, Green Soleirolia soleirolii

• Breynia Disticha Nana, Dwarf Snowbush

• Pilea glauca, Red Stem Pilea

Maintenance of terrarium-table top gardenProper watering

• For open terrariums, check for moisture levels regularly and by using a spray bottle, water your terrarium just until the soil is dampened.

• A closed terrarium requires little or no watering.  A spray of water becomes necessary when no condensation accumulates on the glass.

• Watch the plants to ensure that they are not over-watered or dried out.  Appearance of mildew indicates that the terrarium has too much moisture.

• Using a fork, rake up the soil a bit, so that the moisture dripping down will find its way to the roots.

Promote efficient air circulation

• Good air circulation is essential for the conservatory which helps to avoid fungal problems especially when flowering plants are used.

• For closed terrariums, the container should be left open for a while until excess moisture evaporates and allows fresh air circulation.

Requirement for light

• Place the table top terrarium in diffused/ low to medium light for the plants to grow nicely. Since the glass magnifies the sunrays, it should be kept out of direct sun else the garden gets over heated/ cooked up.

Need for fertilizers

• As the potting mix already has enough nutrients to last for long time, the need for fertilizer is not required.

• Over fertilizing cause the plants to grow out of the terrarium too quickly. If the plants appear malnourished add some plant food and remember not to fertilize them in the winter and fall months.

Pruning & pinching back of plants

• Remember to prune your terrarium plants for keeping them at desired size.

• Keep checking for fungus and algae.

• Remove the dead or rotting leaves that might gather. Otherwise, they spread to other healthy plants.

• By using paper towels and water, clean the glass container and wipe off any condensation formed inside the terrarium container.

Remember to clean the container and use fresh charcoal and potting soil before adding new plants to the terrarium containers.

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