Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY terrarium

Buying plants from the Spring Garden event has inspired me to make a terrarium and I figured I would share with you guys. This tutorial will be for tropical plants only.

Here are the things you will need:
1. Substrate. I will be using plants that require different substrates. The darker side is just organic soil while the lighter side is peat moss
2. Activated carbon to keep our terrarium fresh
3. Perlite to ensure drainage
4. Sphagnum moss
5. A jar, cloche dome, any glass container you wish to put your plants in
6. A tweezer
7. Gravel and/or river rocks
8. Scissors 
9. Your plants! Here is a list of plants suitable for terrariums
   *a spoon is optional for pressing down the substrate and plants
     because I need to use different substrates without mixing them together I divided the two using a
     toilet paper roll. Then I realized they deteriorate over time so I reinforced it with plastic.
These are the main plants I will be using: Fern asplenium rutifolium (carrot fern) and Sundew (it eats bugs!)
The workers from Andy's Orchids at the garden show said they had some liverwort species that was taking over their plants so they gave some to me for free. It looked so alien-like so I had to accept their offer! (: So I'm using this, small bits of moss, and baby tears from my yard as a ground cover.
Step 1: Put at least an inch of gravel/river rocks on the bottom for drainage
Step 2: Sprinkle activated charcoal (carbon) over the gravel
Step 3: This is if you are splitting substrate like I am. Cut a piece of the roll and place it where you want your plant(s) to be.
Step 4: Mix your substrate with perlite or sharp sand(50/50)
Step 5: Make a funnel out of paper to pour your mixed substrate in
Step 6: Add sphagnum moss. Because my jar is fairly narrow, I cut the moss into smaller pieces so it would be easier for placement
Step 7: When removing your plants, make sure you try to get your tweezer to go as deep as possible so that you can grab it by the roots. You can also use your hands but I felt that these were too delicate.
Step 8: Make sure you know what kind of water your plants need. Sundew requires distilled water specifically so it's safer for me to use pure water. Spray or drizzle into the jar. Make sure your plants are always moist but not overwatered (no dry periods for these guys)
Step 9: Add rocks and figurines to your hearts content. Enjoy! (:

1 comment:

  1. Great post Adrienne. I'm going to TRY to make one. Thanks for sharing.