Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I had so much fun making these last night! Here are some pix of the process and the results:

List of supplies: glass and rock pebbles, sphagnum moss, cactus and succulent dirt mix (from what I've read you can use regular potting mix as well), used glass containers from the thrift store, a bunch of baby succulent plants, one gorgeous pitcher plant.

In goes about an inch of rinsed glass pebbles.

Then enough moss to create a barrier between the dirt and pebbles.

Now the dirt. Usually the activated charcoal would go between the dirt and moss, but the garden shop didn't have any. Since this is going to be an open terrarium with a certain amount of air circulation I should be fine without, the charcoal is more crucial to a closed terrarium. I understand that pet stores with aquarium supplies will have the needed charcoal. Something to keep in mind is that there will be a bunch of dirt around the roots of your plants already, so try to guess how much extra height will be added with the roots and dirt of the plant.
Now for the plants. Keep them away from the glass (too much touching will increase the condensation on the inside of the terrarium), work from one side until you're happy with the way it looks, then turn the container and make little adjustments until the arrangement is perfect from every angle. Add some decoration like shells, beach glass or mini statuary. Have fun!

Two mini terrariums in old liquor glasses. These were super fast to make. Because they are so small I broke off single branches of the succulents and planted those (they will root themselves into the soil as long as you take a clipping just bellow a node - where a branch or leaf grows from - and cover the node with soil).

Care instructions:
Don't over water! Everything I've read has said it's best to err on the dry side. I'll probably only give a shot glass full of water to the first, larger terrarium once every 4 weeks. The little guys will probably only get a misting once every couple of weeks.

Also, no need to fertilize. I don't want these guys growing quickly, otherwise I'll have to prune or put them in larger containers. Plus, the pitcher plant should be getting all the nutrients it needs from the occasional fruit fly (it's going on the window sill next to my fruit basked and compost bucket).

Well, I'm addicted. I'm sure I'll be making another trip to the thrift stores to find funky glass containers soon.

Bonus: These make *great* gifts! They need less care than the average house plant and would be good for that friend who seems to kill everything. I spent a total of $50nz on all 3 together, and I still have enough supplies to make a dozen more.

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