Saturday, November 24, 2007

How to Make Victorian Terrariums

Terrariums are small, self-maintaining, self-enclosed ecosystems. They can maintain themselves as long as you select the right plants and give them the right amount of water. For the instructions here, I use jade plant and a pear plant...Orchids would be lovely too!

If your a beginner, try a terrarium kit like Carnivorous Creations. It contains a seed packet of a variety of beautiful, exotic, carnivorous plants like: Venus Fly Trap, Cobra Plant, Yellow Trumpet, Hooded Pitcher Plant, Sweet Trumpet, Purple Pitcher Plant, Maroon Sundew Plant, Pink
Sundew Plant, White Sundew Plant.

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Rocks or marbles for drainage (for a fun alternative, try glass beads, dainty wood or bark chips)
Large Apothecary Jar or Terrarium
Dirt with peat moss
Plant specimen (something that loves a moist environment, such as jade, a pear plant or a fern)
Sheet moss (available in craft, hobby and gardening stores)

Small spade or trowel
Spray bottle
Watering can

Put your rocks in the bottom of the jar for drainage. Next, top that off with a wee layer of lovely dirt, rich with nutrients, mixed with peat moss. Pull your plant specimen out of its container and place it in the jar. Add a little more dirt around the edges to secure it if necessary.

Cover the dirt with some moss that has been sprayed with water to bring it back to life. This is best done by tearing the sheet into small pieces and placing it around the base of your plant. Water your little miniature garden lightly, and put the lid back in place.

Keep an eye on it for the first few days. If the jar fogs up, that means there is too much moisture in there. If this happens, take off the lid and leave it off for a little while to let the moisture evaporate. But be careful, you don't want it to dry out completely. The key to a self-maintaining terrarium is the right amount of water. Once you've figured that out, you'll be able to leave it for extended periods of time without having to add water.

It's fun to experiment with plants and containers. Larger apothecary jars and smaller specimens will make it possible to use more then one plant, which can add variety to your display. Have fun!


KiTA said...

I know this is an older post, but I just discovered it trying to find Carnivorous Terrarium pictures for a coworker.

Great, great, GREAT idea with those Victorian style terrariums. I'm definitely going to try this, perhaps with something low maintenance like a Cape Sundew or a Monkey Cup.

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