Common Concerns For Terrarium Gardeners

Common Concerns For Terrarium Gardeners

Solving Common Terrarium Problems

Everyone loves terrarium gardening. The simple little gardens are the perfect place to plant fun colorful plants that brighten up your living spaces while requiring less effort and space than traditional gardening. However, while terrarium gardening remains one of the most simple ways to garden, problems can still easily arise during the gardening process that can sap some of the color and health out of your plants. Luckily once the gardener can diagnose the problem, the solutions to terrarium planting problems are nearly as simple as the other gardening techniques that are necessary for terrariums. So let’s take a quick look at some of these problems and their solutions to keep your terrarium in tip top shape.


Perhaps the terrarium's greatest quality is its noted lack of a need for constant attention and watering. Terrariums can often go for days at a time without needing to be watered as they mimic the natural water cycle on a smaller scale, so be careful that you don’t overwater! Overwatering can easily lead to the development of mold and bacteria that might hurt your plants, and on a less serious note, some plants simply do not thrive with that much water.

Good thing solving this problem is incredibly simple. If you notice a build up of water, simply use a towel or other absorbent material to sponge some of the extra-moisture off the top layer of moss or other foliage. For more serious buildup, follow the same procedure and open your terrarium to allow the system to breathe and expel the excess moisture. If overwatering continues to be a problem, changing your watering technique from pouring water in to using a spray bottle may help.


Warmth and sunlight are the primary movers for the terrarium's success, the process of evaporation and the natural warmth that are produced within the terrarium creates the perfect environment for plants to grow healthily. However, too much or too little sun can seriously impact the terrarium.

Move to Partial Sunlight

If your plants are suffering from the wrong amount of sun, the solution is as simple as moving the terrarium! No, really, that’s all it will take to solve the sunlight problem. Terrariums are at their best in a location that provides them with partial sunlight, meaning that they are not in direct sunlight for all of the day, but also that they have adequate sun to continue the cycle within the terrarium. If your plants are refusing to grow in a darker or colder location, try a little more sunlight, and if your plants are shriveling up and drying out, get them a little more shade during the day for the best growth.

Terrariums are at their best in a location that provides them with partial sunlight

Lack of Pruning:

Like a normal sized garden, occasionally your terrarium or Wardian case needs to be cleaned up, to get rid of old growth and make way for the new. Overcrowding a terrarium can quickly become a problem, as the larger plants will begin to choke the life out of the terrarium itself.

Room For New Growth

Taking care of your terrarium should lead you to the occasional pruning session. Remove the lid of the roof of the terrarium to have access to your plants, you can then begin to remove the dead limbs and flowers that are in the terrarium to make room for new growth. Likewise if you notice one of your plants has become a little too large, trim these larger growths down a little so they don’t completely take over your terrarium from the other small plants trying to survive in your enclosed garden space.

Begin to remove the dead limbs and flowers that are in the terrarium to make room for new growth


A problem that can quickly spell trouble in a terrarium is the presence of mold, bacteria, or fungi inside of the terrarium. These growths create an immediate issue for your plants, feeding off the plants and the moist cool environment they thrive in. To prevent the problem from getting out of hand, and to also protect the health of the plants growing in your terrarium, make sure to take immediate action against these unwelcome organic visitors.

Remove The Problem

Begin by removing any visible growth of mold, fungi, or bacteria from your plants or the terrarium surface itself, you will also likely want to prune off any dead parts of the plant that have been eaten away by these growths. Remove the top of the terrarium to allow the plants and the environment to breathe and remove any excess moisture. Prevent the buildup of stagnant water in the terrarium, perhaps reduce the amount of water that you introduce to the system. Keep an eye on your terrarium in the coming days to prevent any more build up of mold, bacteria, or fungus.

Prevent the buildup of stagnant water in the terrarium

Taking care of a terrarium is a relatively simple procedure and though problems can often arise, they are often just as easily taken care of. Oftentimes these problems are simply the product of an imbalance in the natural cycles that take place in the terrarium, so always be sure to check on the amount of water and sunlight the terrarium is receiving. Happy Gardening!

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