The Basics of Terrarium Maintenance
Once you have your own terrarium, whether you bought it or made it yourself, you will have to know how to properly maintain it. Though terrariums require very little care, there are still a few things that should be known to ensure your plants continue to grow and remain healthy.
When placing your plants in the terrarium, it is not necessary to loosen the roots of the plant. Unlike planting in a garden, you donít want the plants to grow too quickly, and leaving the roots compacted will slow the growth rate of the plants. You will not want to crowd the plants or place them against the sides of the terrarium as they will need sufficient space to grow without becoming tangled in the other plants.
After the plants are placed in the terrarium, the soil should be slightly moistened. You should never allow the soil to be soggy. The lid should then be put atop the terrarium. A clear piece of glass can be used, but if this is not available to you, a number of other things, such as clear dishes or plastic sheeting, can be used fittingly as a lid.
The main thing to do now is watch. But there are certain things that you must watch for. Condensation on the glass is the first and most important thing. If large water drops appear on the glass, the lid should be removed and the terrarium left open until any excess moisture evaporates. In some cases, it could be necessary to keep the lid of the terrarium barely opened to allow fresh air to circulate. However, a well functioning terrarium should have a certain amount of moisture on the glass.
A terrarium that is completely enclosed requires little, if any watering. If it is not completely enclosed, it may be necessary to water the plants on a weekly or monthly basis. This is most often seen in terrariums that are completely open. Watering is only necessary if there is absolutely no condensation on the glass. If this is the case, the water should only be added in small amounts at a time since there is no place for the surplus water to run off. Over watering the plants increases the threat of fungus or mold. Recheck the glass the next day, and if there is still no condensation, more water may be added, keeping in mind it should not need a lot. Spraying the leaves with a water bottle should be enough to suffice. If this does become a problem you will want it taken care of right away so the plants do not become too dry and wilt.
Most often, terrariums should not need to be fertilized. However if the plants begin to appear malnourished a very weak mixture of an all purpose house plant food may be fed to them.
If these attempts to maintain your terrarium fail, it may become necessary to prune or replace a dying or dead plant. If one of your plants becomes diseased you will want to remove it immediately so it does not spread the disease to the other plants. Also, if the plants begin to outgrow their environment, they will need to be replaced as well.
These are the basic things you will need to watch for with your terrarium. So long as you find and maintain the right amount of light and moisture for your terrarium from the very beginning, your plants should continue to grow and live healthy.