Make your own Terrarium
This small habitat will add a great touch to your home or will make a perfect gift for someone with green fingers. In just 11 steps it's easy to set up and easy to maintain.
You will need:
A dessert spoon
Potting soil (Sandy mix if using succulents)
Small paint brush
Rocks from your garden for decoration
Find plants that are small, grow slowly and don’t mind being indoors. You might need to prune your plants if they grow too large. Contrasting shapes, colours and textures work well. Be sure to soak any garden rocks in boiling water to avoid pests.
Planting your terrarium
1. Place the larger pebbles at the bottom of your planter, spreading them out to cover the area. This will ensure good drainage.
2. Place a layer of activated charcoal on top of the pebbles.
This will absorb any extra moisture and ensure that your plants’ roots do not rot.
3. Add the soil. Have a look at your plants roots to guide you in how much soil you will need.
4. Pat down the soil with your fingers or a spoon.
5. Decide on placement of your plants before you start planting.
6. With a dessert spoon, scoop out a hole big enough to fit the roots of your plant.
7. Gently lift the plant out of its original container, loosen the roots, removing the extra soil, and place the plant in the hole. Press down firmly but gently into the soil.
8. Replace the soil around the roots and press down on the soil so that it’s firm. Repeat with the other plants.
9. Spoon the small decorative pebbles evenly around your plants and rocks.
10. Use the paintbrush to brush any soil or stones off the plants.
11. Place in a well lit (but not directly sunlit) spot. Do not overwater! In the summer a table spoon of water per week should be fine. During the winter, when the plants go dormant, cut watering back to once every 3 weeks.
Succulents prefer bright light, such as found on a south-facing window. Watch the leaves for indications that the light level is correct. Some species will scorch if suddenly exposed to direct sunlight. The leaves will turn brown or white as the plant bleaches out and the soft tissues are destroyed. Alternatively, an underlit succulent will begin to stretch, with an elongated stem and widely spaced leaves. The solution is to provide better light and prune the plant back to its original shape.
Do not overwater! In the summer a dessert spoon of water per plant per week should be ample. During the winter, when the plants go dormant, cut watering back to once a month. Overwatering and ensuing plant rot is the single most common cause of plant failure. Be aware, though, that an overwatered succulent might at first plump up and look very healthy. However, the cause of death may have already set in underground, with rot spreading upward from the root system. A succulent should never be allowed to sit in water.
The following are signs of under- or overwatering:
• Overwatering. Overwatered plants are soft and discolored. The leaves may be yellow or white and lose their color. A plant in this condition may be beyond repair, but you can still remove it from its pot and inspect the roots. If they are brown and rotted, cut away dead roots and repot into drier potting media, or take a cutting and propagate the parent plant.
• Underwatering: Succulents prefer generous water during the growing season (spring and summer). An underwatered plant will first stop growing, then begin to shed leaves. Alternatively, the plant may develop brown spots on the leaves.