Monday, June 1, 2009

Terrarium Tantrum

In a recent blog called "Going Green" I attempted to make a Terrarium Conservatory, I mentioned that I didn't find the instructions and had high hopes on giving birth to a "Green Thumb". Well, I recently noticed that my plants have been browning so in my attempt to save them I went out looking for some information and found it at the Better Home and Garden website. After reading it I was well informed by them that I did almost everything wrong and once again something that I thought was so simple turned out to be a little more complex.

I feel that today's post should clear up any questions that I have been getting, but have been unhelpful with my lack of knowledge. I understand that sometimes just "winging" a project doesn't work and this time it was precisely that. I am sorry and hope that everyone who tried this can still save their plants and for all you who didn't attempt it I really think this is worth a try. Here you go.

Planting Instructions:

1. To plant directly in the conservatory, choose small plants, those in 2-and 3-inch pots. Go for a combination of taller plants and sprawling plants as well as mix of foliage colors and shapes.

2. If the plant is a little too large for the conservatory, you can divide it, tearing off just a portion and planting it.

3. If you need to add soil, any good-quality all-purpose potting soil will do. If soil shows in the finished planting, tuck in bits of green florist's moss on top of the soil to cover and for added effect.

4. Trim off any foliage that would touch the glass, fostering bacterial growth and contaminating everything. Then add stones, little sculptures, acorns, dried leaves, twigs, and other natural elements for decorative touches.

  • Place in diffused light (mini conservatories usually heat up too much in bright light). Give the plants a good watering when placing them in the conservatory. You may not need to water again for months; just keep soil evenly moist. Do the usual trimming and pinching of any yellowing or fading foliage and flowers.
  • While many plants love the humidity in a mini conservatory, many develop problems if they don't have good air circulation. It's a good idea to remove the glass for a few hours every few days or so to prevent fungal or mold problems, especially with flowering plants.
  • A layer of pebbles or charcoal will prevent the plants from getting wet roots.
  • However you use them, these exquisite little marvels will give you hours of enjoyment. All it takes is a conservatory itself and a little flight of fancy to design a garden under glass.
List of Plants that are recommended for use.

African Violet, Aluminum Plant, Begonia rex, Creeping fig, Creeping moss, Cryptanthus, Fern, Ivy, Magic Carpet, Moss, Zebra or Pocket plant, Parlor Palm, Net leaf or Snakeskin plant, Orchids, Pellionia, Peperomia, Pitcher Plant, Ribbon Plant, Sweat Flag, Venus Flytrap.

Try Again, Hope.


  1. Wow, thanks for re-posting! Lucky for me, I haven't tried it maybe this will inspire me to finally do it!

  2. I am really interested in the orchids, they are so beautiful so I might replace 2 of my ferns with them. I liked how they had the list, my previous "Real Simple" clipping didn't but this gives me more options.

    I hope you do try this, I also think it makes a great gift.