What's in a

Terrarium?

There are basically two types of terrariums:

Open Terrarium and Closed Terrarium

An open terrarium has an opening on the glass container that allows moisture to escape. A closed terrarium has a lid that prevent moisture loss, creating a humid environment within the terrarium.

 

It is important to choose the correct plants for your terrarium. Plants that like high humidity will be more appropriate for closed terrarium.Examples of plants that like high humidity are fittonia, pilea, ferns, moss and pitcher plants. Cactus and succulents prefer low humidity and are more appropriate for open terrarium.

 

It is important to find out the preferred growing conditions of the plants you want to use for your terrarium. It is not appropriate to put a plant that loves high humidity with a plant that loves low humidity together in a terrarium. A common mistake made by many is placing cactus/succulent with fittonia in a terrarium.

OPEN & CLOSED

TERRARIUM

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CARE TIPS FOR CLOSED TERRARIUMS

NO DIRECT LIGHT

MOISTURE LEVEL

PRUNING

A closed terrarium is a self-sustaining ecosystem. Remember transpiration and water cycle we learn in school? Transpiration is the process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from aerial parts such as leaves, stems and flowers. During transpiration, water vapour that are release condenses on the inner wall of the glass vessel and falls back to the plant and soil. Thus there is a water cycle inside the closed terrarium.


LIGHT

Place your terrarium at a bright spot, away from direct sunlight and heat. 
 


MOISTURE

Although there is a water cycle in the terrarium, the terrarium need to be watered occasionally when the plants grow and used up the water. The moisture level inside the terrarium is optimal when there is a very light mist of condensation on the glass wall. When the view of the plants are obscured by excessive condensation on the glass wall, the moisture level inside the terrarium is too high and it is good to remove the lid of the terrarium to allow excess water to evaporate. Having said that, do note that water condensation on the glass wall is only obvious when the terrarium is placed in an air conditioned room. This is due to the difference of temperature inside and outside the terrarium. Condensation is not as obvious under room temperature. It is best to observe your plants inside the terrarium to determine when you need to water the terrarium. The leaves of the plants should look firm and bounce back when you gently press/touch it. The moss usually has a darker shade of green when it is hydrated. When the leaves of the plants appear limp or when the moss appear light green and dry, it is time to water the terrarium. It is not advisable to pour water into the terrarium as it will cause the soil to be waterlogged and the roots of the plants will start to rot. Please use a nozzle bottle, point the nozzle near the main stem of the plant and give it 1-2 squirts of water. As for the moss, you can hydrate it by spraying water on the surface of the moss. 


PRUNING

Prune the plants when they grow too tall or overcrowded. 

CARE TIPS FOR OPEN TERRARIUMS

LIGHT

Place your terrarium at a bright spot, away from direct sunlight and heat.

MOISTURE

For open terrarium with plants that love high humidity, such as fittonia and holland moss, a general guide is to water it every two to three days to replenish the water evaporated. Whereas for open terrarium with cacti and succulents or airplants, the general guide is to water it once or twice a month. It is best to observe your plants inside the terrarium to determine when you need to water the terrarium, as the rate of water loss is dependant on factors such as air flow, light and temperature of the location you place the terrarium. 

 

PRUNING

Prune the plants when they grow too tall or overcrowded.

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