Use a large glass or Plexiglas container and thoroughly rinse it. Silicone adhesive sealant may be used with glass plates to design your own container.
Add about one inch of washed gravel, sand, and/or rock to the bottom layer, followed by a 1/4 inch of aquarium charcoal, and at least two or more inches of potting soil.
Water should be added when moisture stops condensing on the glass. Not much water (1/2 cup) is needed in a partially closed terrarium.
Obtain ideas from your teacher, family, or plant specialist in your area and plant some plants in the soil. Some plants you may wish
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A terrarium is a transparent glass or plastic container in which to grow plants. Depending on the container and plants chosen, the container may be closed, partially or entirely open on top. Terrariums have no drainage holes, so special attention must be paid to water needs of the plants inside
To grow a closed terrarium, there must be a way to seal the container. Many terrariums come complete with a lid or stopper to accomplish this. Ideally the lid or stopper, especially if it is covering a large area, should allow light to penetrate. If you are adapting a container for use as a terrarium that does not already have a lid, consider using thin plastic, plexiglass, or plastic wrap to seal the terrarium
It is critical that the growing medium used for a terrarium be clean, well-drained and high in organic matter. Pre-packaged potting soils and peat-based planting mixes are already sterilized and free of plant pathogens that may affect plants in the terrarium
There are many possible choices of plants to use in a terrarium. Plants that tend to naturally be small and slow growing will work best. Faster growing and larger plants will work in a terrarium; however they will need more pruning and may at some point need to be removed from the terrarium so that they don't outcompete the other plants present
When choosing plants for a terrarium, type of terrarium, needs of the plants and location for the terrarium should be considered. For instance, closed terrariums are by nature very high in humidity, so they would not be suitable for cacti and succulents which need much drier conditions to survive. If the terrarium is to be located in a low light area, plants which require high amounts of light will not thrive.
A long thin bamboo stick or a dowel rod will come in infinitely handy for digging and placing plants, but has other uses as well. Attaching a wire loop at the end of the dowel rod can help steady plants as they are positioned for planting. A cork attached to an end of the dowel rod can help tamp down soil when planting. Wrap a small piece of cloth or paper towel around the end of the dowel rod to clean smudges from the inside of the terrarium. A small blade attached to the end of the dowel rod can be a way to trim dead and dying leaves from plants in an established terrarium
Before adding plants to the terrarium, carefully inspect them for any signs of insects or disease-- infested or infected plants will not last very long in a terrarium, and may spread their affliction to neighboring plants very easily. Remove any dead or yellowed leaves before placing plants in the terrarium. Trim plants to appropriate size if needed. Prune and loosen roots of potbound plants.
After planting, if you can remove the top of the terrarium, mist the plants and soil lightly. In a terrarium with an opening too small to mist the plants through, carefully add water a tablespoon at a time through the opening. In either case, be careful not to overwater. More than a few drops of water should not be visible in the drainage material. It is far easier to add more water than to remove it!
If in doubt as to whether enough water has been added to a closed terrarium, wait a day before adding more water. If after waiting there is a bit of condensation on the inside walls of the terrarium, the water level is appropriate. If the walls are completely fogged up with condensation, open the terrarium and allow some of the water to evaporate for a day. Then close it and check it again. Open terrariums may also have some condensation on the interior walls when water levels are correct.
If there is too much water in either an open or especially a closed terrarium, the risk of fungal disease and rot is great. If overwatering is suspected, the terrarium should be opened and air circulation increased to help dry it out. A paper towel may be twisted into a "wick" and allowed to touch the soil mixture to draw out some of the water.
A closed terrarium will likely not need watering more than once or twice per year. Water only if no condensation is observed on the interior walls of the terrarium or the plants are wilting. An open terrarium will need more watering than a closed terrarium, but considerably less watering than other houseplants. Water only when the soil is dry and/or plants are wilting.