Basically, they are self-sustaining, decorative gardens that include a collection of plants and other decorative objects such as pebbles and optionally activated charcoals. A terrarium is consisting of a transparent and circled environment, for instance, jars and glass containers. That transparent and circled environment ensures a suitable micro-ecosystem for plants to grow. Therefore, there are a plenty of different processes occurs inside the terrarium, such as photosynthesis, hydrologic cycle and respiration. By those processes, plants can reuse the recycled water inside the terrarium and produce oxygen. Also that plants produce moisture in the air of the terrarium, so the moisture inside the terrarium is able to condense and drip back to the plants.
Terrariums can be consisted of both sealable and open glass containers. In order to reach the plants, the glass containers that sealed are providing just enough space for the gardeners.
From many aspects, terrariums are resembling aquariums. They both are aiming to produce suitable and livable conditions for some living beings in home. Instead of fish, terrariums are used to grow plants.
What are the Features of Terrariums?
Especially the sealed ones, terrariums are creating a special growing ambience for the plants. The glass that surrounds the terrarium provides a stable warmth for plants. It is also filtering the light that comes from the sun or other light sources and replenish the moisture by using sealed container.
By this features, terrariums are creating self-sustaining systems that can be called micro-environment. The terrarium has soil for plants inside of it and that soil and plants are evaporating water. Thinking that this was a sealed terrarium the moisture that evaporation creates hasn’t got a chance to evacuate. Therefore the moisture inside the terrarium is dripping back onto the soil and plants that evaporated the water. However, in order to take out the redundant moisture inside the completely sealed terrarium, it has to be opened once in a week.
History of the Terrarium
In 1842, botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward was working on insect behaviour. While he was working, he accidentally forgot to open one of the jars that prepared for the insects. The unopened jar includes a fern spore and somehow it sprouted by itself. He was really excited by this incident and he revealed this concept by improving it. The concept of terrariums has spread and came into today.
Most Popular Usage for Terrarium
Some of the plants are more suitable for sealed terrariums than other. Because of the condition of terrarium gardening nerve plants, begonias, orchid, begonias, moss, aquamarine, fern and air plants are more proper for closed environments. The popular usage of terrariums are houses of course. Because of their adorable appearance, they are very convenient for home decoration.
You can use jars, vases, bowls (especially fish bowls) and even drinking glasses for creating a terrarium. It will be both a hobby that you can spend time on it and a good choice of decoration for your room or hall. Also it will be a different activity for your kids that required very little maintenance.
How to Choose Plants for Terrarium
If you are using more than one kind of plant in your terrarium, it is better to choose plants which have similar needs such as similar amount of water and the time under the sunlight.
It is always easier way to bread low growing plants. Because if you choose them they won’t get out of control quickly. Some of the plants are growing very fast, so it is hard to hold them inside of the jar.
You can Use Your Creativity
Since there are a lot of ways to create terrariums, it has very wide options that you can characterise it as your wishes. It is giving a really great opportunity to be creative about designing the terrarium. You can design your terrarium using special plants or coloured pebbles. Also you can add quirky layers on it by using your imagination. It will give you a great chance to make it unique. After while you will try different shells, figures or some chemicals to make it sparkle and shiny.
Materials that You can Use on Your Terrarium
First, you will need a clean, transparent glass (it can be plastic also but glass is always better) container for put everything together. It should be transparent because the terrarium needs a sunlight in order to provide a micro-ecosystem inside of it. Also that glass you choose has to open dots for making changes and watering.
Than, adding small stones can be important for plants. It can both use for decorating your terrarium and making spaces for plants at the same time. Plants needs some space for respiration because they need to avoid excess water. Therefore adding some stones such as gravel will help plants.
In order to avoid growing of funguses or moulds inside the terrarium activated charcoal will be best for it. If you create a layer from activated charcoals it will prevent them from growing.
Also some sort of mosses and soiles or optional plants can be a alternative layers for your terrarium.
Steps That You can Follow to Make Your Terrarium
Start with placing pebbles first. Once you place them to the bottom of the container that you choose, you can decorate them as you wish or change their colours. Add some soil inside of your container to mix it with your pebbles. Than do it same with adding activated charcoal. This mixture has to be approximately 4 or 6cm(the amount of soil and charcoal that you add will depends on the size of container). Dig this mixture to plant the roots. It is better to plant them totally visible areas of the terrarium. By doing this you need to start to plant the taller ones middle of the terrarium, the others will follow. If you want more colourful view, you can use moss to fill the blanks on the soil. If you water the plants, you will see that the roots will settle into the soil.