Air plants, mosses, ferns, succulents, and many other types of plants will flourish in a terrarium when given the proper care and attention, which, when you grow them in one of our terrariums for sale, is not very much.
That said, if you really want your terrarium to be all that it can be, and the plants inside it to flourish, don’t fail to observe these tips for care that will help keep your terrarium clean and your plants happy and healthy.
1.Don’t add water to closed terrariums, like Wardian cases. (Pro tip: add a hygrometer)
If you’re growing your plants inside of a closed glass terrarium like a Wardian case, you will rarely need to add more. This is because as the plants drink up water from the soil, they’ll “exhale” it into the air. When the air gets too full of moisture, it will condense on the glass, then trickle back down into the dirt, continuing the cycle.
Since almost no water can escape a terrarium, adding more water will eventually result in an environment that’s too soggy for most plants to survive in, let alone thrive. Plus, adding water will only increase the likelihood of mold growth and fungal infections like root rot.
Plants that appreciate humidity (not cacti or succulents) will thrive when humidity ranges are about 50% or a little higher. This will, however, vary according to the needs of the plants you’ve planted in your terrarium. You can stick a hygrometer to the glass to help you monitor the humidity range.
2.Rotate plants every few weeks to encourage even growth.
Over time, your plants will want to grow towards the sun or whatever ambient source of light is present. This will result in plants “reaching” for whatever light is available, which over time may give your glass terrarium a sort of lopsided or uneven appearance.
To prevent this, be sure to rotate your terrarium from time to time. Once per week is a good baseline. This will help your plants grow even toward whatever light is available without becoming too dense on one side of the terrarium.
It might seem counterintuitive, but you really don’t need to fertilize plants in a terrarium. This isn’t like growing crops where you’re concerned about yield and development. You just want your plants to be happy and grow slowly. They’ll get most of their nutrients from the soil.
4.Check every week for mold growth.
Since the environment within a terrarium will be at a near-constant level of humidity, it will be suspect to fungal infections, specifically mold. Check your terrarium every week for mold growth, paying close attention to the soil.
It will look like a fuzzy, white, semi-translucent layer spreading over the top of the soil. If you see mold growing, cover it with a wet piece of paper towel to hinder spore dispersal, and remove it by scooping out the soil where you see it.
Also, if you notice mold when you inspect it, it’s time to ventilate your terrarium.
5.Periodically ventilate your terrarium
If you notice mold, ventilate your terrarium by taking off the glass case or opening the doors. Leave it open for several hours, then replace the case. If you see condensation beginning to form on the glass, there’s plenty of water. If not, add a little more.
Ventilating your terrarium will help keep it from getting stale, and most importantly, will help prevent mold growth.
6.Remove dead or rotting plants, trim dead growth.
When you’re ventilating your terrarium, it’s a good time to check your plants for dead growth. Take a close look and inspect the inhabitants of your terrarium, paying close attention to brown spots, dead leaves, or other growth. Remove these where you see them. Keeping your plants trimmed will keep them healthier and can even encourage new growth.
7.Trim plants that press against the glass or encroach on each others’ space.
You shouldn’t only trim your plants when you notice brown spots or old dead growth. Plants should also be trimmed when they press up against the glass or get in each other's way, hindering growth.
When your plants press up against the glass, trim back the growth to keep some clearance. For plants that get in each other’s way, you may be able to encourage healthy growth by trimming them back. When plants get to a certain size, it may be necessary to remove them, replanting them a little farther away within the terrarium.
8.Clean the glass as needed.
Every once in a while, you’ll want to wipe down the glass on the inside of a terrarium. A dirty terrarium doesn’t look nice and prevents light from getting in - and plants need light.
Every few weeks, such as when you’re ventilating your terrarium (or as needed) wipe down the inside of the glass case with a damp cloth. A microfiber cloth should be all you need to restore the shine to your glass case. Never use any chemicals or bleach, as these will harm plants.
Browse Our Collection of Terrariums for Sale
If you’re just starting out with the wonderful pastime of nurturing a glowing, green terrarium or terrarium kit, we hope this guide helps you. Please also be sure to take a look through our collection of terrariums for sale, which includes ornate Wardian cases - and remember, we offer free shipping on all orders!
Do you have any questions about our terrariums for sale, or want to know more about how to keep them clean? Get in touch with us at 208-640-4206 and we’d be happy to help!