Easy-to-make miniature landscapes, or terrariums, make for interesting accessories in just about any room in your home. They seem fitting for all seasons of the year, but it’s during the colder months that the green is so welcome. It doesn’t take much time or money to fill your home with these tiny gems. Just follow these easy steps and create terrariums to dress up your home or a friend’s home, make them as gifts and even sell them at fundraisers!
Choose a pretty container
There are so many options out there as containers for your terrarium from large to small. So, start by determining where you want to place your lovely new indoor garden, and then consider the appropriate-sized container for that location. Also think about the style of your home and what type of container makes the most sense with your design.
You can purchase an actual terrarium, which you can find at craft stores and decorative accessory shops, or you can select from just about any glass container available. Try the obvious clear glass cloches or vases, and then consider good sized candle holders, bowls, water pitchers, mason jars and the like.
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Keep in mind the plants you would like to display as you make your selection. Moisture-loving succulents thrive in a terrarium with a lid to retain humidity and are great for low-light areas. Cacti do well in drier, open-air vessels and are perfect for sunnier spots. Be sure the container you use is washed out and clean before you start.
Pull together the materials
Your local garden center probably will have all the materials you need to get your indoor garden growing. You’ll need small stones for drainage at the bottom of your container. Then, a layer of crushed charcoal will keep the soil fresh. Add a layer of sand next, then a thick layer of soil. It’s a good idea to top it off with green terrarium moss to create fill in the spaces between plantings.
Add the plants
Think about the arrangement of your terrarium plants before going directly to the container. For instance, taller plants might work best either in the center, if all sides of the container will be seen, or at the back if the container is against a wall.
Start with the largest plants, and don’t over landscape. In other words, leave some space for the plants to grow and thrive, and let the green moss fill in. To insert the plants, make small holes in the soil with metal skewers or dinner knives as miniature gardening tools.
Don’t forget to maintain
The terrarium will look marvelous on its own for a good week. However, if you don’t keep it moist, that will be the end of something beautiful! You will need to water or mist any open-air containers about once a week. Succulents may need a little more moisture and cacti a little less.
If you’ve created a closed terrarium, you will only add water on rare occasions. Make sure to cut back any dead foliage to avoid rotting.
So it’s as easy as that to have an indoor garden…all year long!
Shari Hiller and Matt Fox are best-known for HGTV’s “Room by Room.” They now host the PBS television series “Around the House with Matt and Shari.”