A plant terrarium makes a beautiful addition to the decor of any space and can allow you to enjoy gardening all year round and in places where it isn’t feasible to grow plants well outdoors. That said, glass terrariums require plenty of upkeep to maintain their beauty. There is a definite learning curve involved with terrarium care, but you can get off to a strong start as a beginner by avoiding these common mistakes.
1. Closing in succulents
Choosing a succulent terrarium for your first foray into terrarium gardening is a good idea, as these plants are very hardy and forgiving of mistakes; however, if you place succulents in the wrong container, you’ll never get the growth results that you want. Conditions will quickly get too humid inside of an enclosed glass terrarium for a succulent, so choose a container with a prominent opening. A great example is our Vertical Sedum Terrarium Bottle Kit, which has the look of a tall slender bell jar but with an opening at the top to let moisture escape.
2. Fertilizing too much (or at all)
Conventional wisdom has it that potted plants require fertilizing to grow, but that’s just not the case when it comes to terrarium gardening. You need to keep the size of your terrarium plants small, so in most cases, it’s best to skip fertilizing entirely. If you notice that your plants are losing their color, you can use a diluted formula made specifically for the struggling plant. For example, you could use a bromeliad or air plant care solution at half or one-quarter strength to give a wilting air plant a boost.
3. Flooding your soil
Watering your terrarium too much will make things a soupy mess inside. To avoid this problem, make sure you start off with the right planting media to encourage drainage. For example, the sand included in our Tear Drop Terrarium Kit is both attractive and capable of promoting optimal moisture conditions. Try spraying on water instead of pouring to control the amount of water that you add. If you make a mistake, use a paper towel to absorb as much of the excess water as possible.
4. Being overly ambitious
Because a plant terrarium requires regular care, it’s a good idea to start small as a beginner rather than trying to care for a garden filled with multiple plants. Instead, plant a terrarium with a single showy plant and add decorative, nonliving accents to your environment. Something like our Terrarium Globe Kit with Air Plant will give you a beautiful, yet easy to care for terrarium.
5. Letting things go
To get the most beautiful results possible, you need to make a real commitment to terrarium care. Keep your plants trimmed to avoid overgrowth and remove scraggly growth whenever you first notice it. If a plant appears to be dying, remove it as quickly as possible to avoid infecting the other plants in your terrarium with a possible disease.
6. Using glass cleaner
You want to keep your glass terrarium looking sparkling, but avoid the temptation to spritz on a window or glass cleaner. The chemicals in cleaning products can poison your plants. Instead, invest in a microfiber cleaning cloth for glass or purchase a specialty terrarium cleaner.
Purchasing a terrarium kit from Giving Plants can greatly simplify terrarium care by giving you the right container and planting media to grow beautiful plants. Shop terrariums online for you – or a friend – today!