I consulted the almanac and decided that
since Spring is still a couple of months away,
February was the perfect month to
Garden Under Glass!
An escape from the wintery weather outdoors
and a quick & easy project that anyone can do!
A miniature living landscape in the form of terrarium
that is self-sustaining, other than the occasional
checking for moisture & watering as needed!
This terrarium is one I’ve had for about 10 years from my retail days. I’ve never planted it until now, using it instead on a table as a miniature green house for books, botanicals & decorative seed balls, or a potted plant on occasion.
You can garden under glass with a closed or open terrarium. Closed terrariums should be placed where they will receive bright light, but no direct sunlight, which causes the temperature inside the container to rise and literally cooks the plants.
An open container can tolerate some direct sunlight, but too much sun may burn leaves that are in direct contact with the sides of the container.
If your terrarium is closed, take off the top at least once a month to air it out. If you see lots of condensation or have added too much water, leave the top off until it has had a chance to dry out.
You can use any clear glass container with a lid or a small opening in the top, as long as the opening is large enough to get your hand in to plant.
I spied a couple of terrariums at World Market recently that would be ideal since the glass comes off the base for easy planting.
No green thumb is required for this project!
Besides your container you will need:
~Potting soil with good drainage, I added some vermiculite to mine.
~Pebbles or small stones, for drainage
~Activated charcoal, to keep the soil fresh and prevent it from smelling like a swamp :) I found mine at Petco with the aquarium supplies.
~Moss and decorative stones if desired
Place a layer of stones in the bottom of your container, about 2 inches or so. Next add a thin layer of charcoal over the stones. I also mixed in about 1/4 cup of charcoal into my potting mix.
I found my plants at Lowe’s in the tropical plant section. The mini orchid was $9.95, just the right height and the blooms should last for several months.
I also picked up a Strawberry Begonia and a Polka Dot Plant which was on clearance that I could divide and give a little TLC, removing the few yellowed leaves, pruning & shaping it a little.
I soaked some sheet moss in water to rehydrate & refresh it and make it easier to work with and piece together for a top layer over the plants.
After adding your potting mix to the terrarium, place your plants in your glass garden starting with the largest first. I also watered my plants before planting. Gently pack the soil to remove air pockets.
I added a layer of moss and then watered lightly, maybe 1/4 cup of water total. A turkey baster works well, particularly in an open terrarium, to water your plants.
I misted everything with a spray bottle of water and then added a few decorative stones.
You want to avoid over watering which will cause mold to grow. If your terrarium walls have more than 25% condensation, remove the cover until the walls clear.
I did this a couple of times the first week after planting. In a closed terrarium, there should be only occasional clouding.
Prune as needed and remove dead leaves and blossoms promptly to keep your Garden Under Glass healthy.
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