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Enclosed Terrariums [Care Guide]

So you've chosen the full terrarium experience (or maybe someone has chosen it for you!). Either way, enjoy. To ensure a smooth journey, here are a few tips & tricks which will help you keep you miniature tropical garden alive & thriving all year round.

Key care points: 

  • Self-sustaining ecosystem
  • Bright, well lit spot [keep away from direct sun]
  • Mist when dry [water sparingly]
  • Open regularly to encourage air flow
  • Remove any yellow or dried leaves
  • Keep an eye out for pests! 

POSITIONING (Light) 

Keeping your terrarium in the right spot, receiving the right amount of light, will be the first and likely the most important decision you'll make for you're terrarium. In order for the process of photosynthesis to occur, your terrarium will need an adequate amount of light from the sun. However, be careful not to give it any direct sunlight, as this will cause the plants inside to scorch. 

The happy medium you are looking for is what we plant lovers refer to as "bright/indirect" light. The holy grail of plant positioning. You are mimicking the idea of dappled light in a rainforest, where only a few filtered rays of the sun's shine peek through down to the bottom of the forest floor. 

A well lit window sill or brightly lit room make for great spots. 

Grow lights are a great source of supplementary light if you simply cant find the perfect spot! 

WATERING

As we've touched on, the main benefit of an enclosed terrarium is its self-sustaining water cycle, removing the need for much extra hydration. The tropical plants & soil will release vapour that condenses on the sides and top of the terrarium. This is turn falls back down onto the plants, nourishing with the water they need - before the cycle begins again! 

Only water on sparing occasions if your terrarium looks very dry and plants are turning a crispy brown. If/And when you do water...don't go crazy. Only enough to lightly dampen the soil component, you should see any visibly pooled water at the bottom.

A better practise is to mist your terrarium with an everyday spray bottle if the glass ever loses condensation. This will raise humidity & keep you involved with your plant's ecosystem without over-watering or over-caring for it.

MOULD/FUNGUS

In some instances, if your terrarium stays too humid, too stagnant, for too long you my attract early signs of mould or fungus. This is one of the few drawbacks of an enclosed terrarium. 

On the first signs of fluffy white or green mould, remove it quickly with a dry paper towel or ear bud. Dry your terrarium out but opening the lid and creating air flow (mould hates air!). 

To avoid mould and fungus altogether, regularly ventilate the terrarium for a couple of hours (once a week or so) to introduce some form of air flow - and ensure you aren't overwatering.