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Monday, August 6, 2012

Caring for your Terrarium from Botanics Florist Sydney

So you have received or bought yourself a terrarium from Botanics Florist Sydney and want to know how to take care of it? Here is all you will need to know to keep it happy and healthy.

Terrariums are actually a very easy way to grow plants. The inside of the jar acts as a greenhouse for the plant, creating a humid and moist micro climate. All the plant varieties we use are particularly suited to this environment.


Most terrariums which have a lid on them rarely need water added. This is because any moisture that evaporates, condenses on the inside of the lid and runs or falls back down onto the soil surface.
All of our terrariums have a layer of gravel at the base of the jar, underneath the soil. This is for soil drainage but also acts as a "moisture indicator". If you can see moisture in this layer of gravel, then watering is not needed. If you do need to apply moisture,  then we recommend not pouring water but simply spraying the inside of the terrarium with a small amount of water from a spray bottle.

If your terrarium is open and not enclosed eg. most succulent terrariums are not enclosed, then water will evaporate from the soil as normal and water will need to be applied a little more often. The same applies for these, check the layer of gravel at the base, if it is wet, leave it, if it is dry then apply a small amount of water using a spray bottle. Just remember the your plants are planted in glass vases and so any water you add will collect at the bottom and not drain away as in a normal pot plant.


Most of the terrariums, and especially succulents,  will prefer a light position. Close to a window is ideal but direct sunlight should be avoided as the glass will amplify the suns rays and could burn the plant inside. Most fluorescent  lighting in an average office is sufficient to maintain a healthy terrarium.


A common question is " Do I need to remove the lid every now and then?"
The basic answer is no, the jars are not airtight and so air is still able to flow in and out of the jar. The only time you may need to take the lid off is if you believe the soil is too wet. If this is this case, take off the lid and allow the soil to dry out for a couple of days.


All plants need nutrients to maintain health and vigor and terrariums plants are no different. The amount of fertiliser needed though is very small. Plants will usually respond to added nutrients by putting on a burst of growth. As the intention of the terrarium is to contain the plant within the vessel, we recommend not applying too much fertiliser. Half a teaspoon of slow release fertiliser once a year should be more than enough.  If your terrarium is one of the carnivorous plants like the Pitcher plant or Venus Fly Trap, then fertiliser is generally not needed. You do not need to go adding insects or meat to these plants either although, it is fascinating to add a live fly or insect into the Venus Fly Trap terrarium and watch and wait for the inevitable outcome!
If you have received one of our Mossariums then adding any fertiliser is NOT recommended. This is because most mosses do not like a high nutrient environment.


Every now and then (especially if you have been fertilising too much) you may need to prune your plant back to size. If you have one of our Bonsai Terrariums, this may need to be done once or twice a year. Simply trim the plant back to the desired shape and size using a pair of sharp scissors. we recommend removing and trimming from within the jar rather then leave them to rot inside.

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