5 Useful Tips How to Take Care of a Terrarium

A terrarium is a small, enclosed space that offers a safe environment for plants to flourish. Made up of glass or plastic or other transparent materials, terrariums are beautiful to look at and easy to use. Besides, they are super efficient in protecting and nurturing your plants. In this article, we will show you how to take care of a terrarium.

how to take care of a terrarium

Terrariums are best for people who don’t have the time to take care of several plants but still want to be surrounded by a few. One of the biggest benefits that a terrarium offers is that they are low on maintenance which means you don’t have to drive yourself crazy at the thought of killing your houseplants for the want of care.

Secondly, terrariums have a relatively smaller footprint and can house a wide range of plants. Lastly, you can have a free hand at creativity while setting up your terrarium.

Terrariums are both open and sealed and you can choose yours based on your needs and preferences.

How to Care for Open Terrariums?

how to care for open terrariums

One of the first images that comes to mind on mentioning the word terrarium is that of covered, sealed space. But there are open terrariums also available in the market. These work best for people who love plants but aren’t able to spare a lot of time for their upkeep.

Regular dusting is the first step to ensure that your terrarium is well functional and cared for. You can use distilled water to clean the insides of terrariums while regular cleansers work well for the outsides.

You also need to be thorough with your water cycles as open terrariums require slightly more care than sealed ones.

Lastly, you need to regularly check your open terrarium for pests that are bound to infest the plants.

How to Care for Closed Terrariums?

closed terrarium care

A sealed or closed terrarium works like a mini greenhouse. To ensure that plants function properly, these terrariums facilitate photosynthesis. In sum, these terrariums act as a self-sufficient ecosystem to take care of your plants.

Some of the ways you can care for a closed terrarium include regularly cleaning the glass. While the outsides can be cleaned with a cleansing agent, make sure to not use any toxic cleaner for the insides as it may adversely impact the plant.

You also need to ensure that the temperature requirements are optimum by changing plaacements routinely.

Regular pruning is crucial to ensure your plants remain healthy.

A closed terrarium also calls for the annual replenishing of plants to ensure health and aesthetics.

Should Terrariums Be Open or Closed?

The choice of plants and the availability of time are two of the biggest factors that should determine your choice of terrarium. Closed terrariums are low maintenance than open ones and work best under indirect sunlight. If you place a closed terrarium under the sun, you may hazard the burning of your plants.

Which Plants Do Well in a Closed Terrarium?

Closed terrariums are predominantly self-sufficient and work well for a range of plants. We take you through some of the plants that flourish in a sealed terrarium.

Ferns: Ferns love the humidity and low light that closed terrariums offer. Besides, they look aesthetically pleasing and you can place them in several areas in your home.

Opt for compact varieties as they would reduce the burden of pruning. Some of the fern varieties you can choose for your closed terrarium include dwarf maidenhair fern, lemon button fern and bird’s nest fern.

Which Plants Work Better in an Open Terrarium?

Plants that need regular watering work best for open terrariums. This is why air plants are optimum for open terrariums. These plants are less dependent on soil and more on water. Their leaves are adept at gaining required nutrients through water.

Air plants are also aesthetically pleasing and come in many varieties. Some of the varieties you can grow in your open terrarium include polka dot plant, aluminum plant, prayer plant and creeping fig.

All these plants are similar in the way that they are first, lovely to look at. Furthermore, they work well with consistent watering and bright dappled light provided by open terrariums.

5 Tips How to Take Care of a Terrarium

terrarium care and maintenance

Here are a few tips that will be handy for all terrarium owners.

  • Choosing the right size of the container is the first step towards having a long-lasting terrarium at home.
  • Choose the right foundation for your terrarium to facilitate optimum drainage. Options include pebbles and charcoal.
  • Make sure you make a fertile potting mix for your terrarium.
  • To give your space distinct aesthetics, get creative with your terrarium. Mix textures, add colors and break all rules to unleash the artist within you.
  • Keep it clean and dust-free at all times.

Common Terrarium Mistakes

Wrong Plant Selection: This is one of the biggest mistakes terrarium owners make. Therefore, you need to choose your plants wisely lest they run the risk of rotting or spoiling soon.

Poor Drainage: The lack of proper drainage rings the knell for most plants inside a terrarium. Since terrariums don’t have holes in the bottom, you need to account for the drainage before planting your plants.

Improper Fertilization: It is a common myth that terrariums are completely self-sufficient. They are definitely low on maintenance but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to provide proper fertilizers to your plants. At the same time, you don’t have to go overboard either. Just the right amount will work wonders.


succulents in terrariums

What is the shelf-life of a terrarium?

The longevity of a terrarium is directly proportional to the care given. Pay attention to the water, light and nutrient needs of your plants and you are good to go. Terrariums can last anywhere from a couple of years to decades.

How to deal with terrarium condensation?

Opening the lid of the terrarium should help control the condensation.

How to tackle mold in my terrarium?

Wipe off the mold from your terrarium and if possible, remove the soil from the container, let it dry and then place it back in the terrarium.

Parting Thoughts

Follow the little nuggets we’ve shared with you in this article and you’ll have a blossoming ecosystem in each of your terrariums. We wish you the best of luck in growing and taking care of these little babies!