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Slide 16

A terrarium is usually made of glass that is fully or partially enclosed to allow heat and light to enter and confine moisture. Regardless of a terrarium's size, it will have four levels including gravel, moss, soil, and plants.

Choose a Container~
Choosing your container and plants is half the fun of making a terrarium. There are many specialized terrarium containers that you can buy, but you can use almost any transparent (glass or plastic) container with a wide mouth (with or without a lid) to create a terrarium.

Choose the Plants~
Choose terrarium plants with various foliage forms and heights that are small enough to fit in your container, preferably without touching the sides of the terrarium. Look for plants that thrive in low to medium light. For visual appeal, choose a mix of leaf sizes, textures, and colors.

Here are a few examples of the kinds of plants that do well in a terrarium: African Violet, Pothos, Polka-dot plant, Small Ferns, Miniature Palms, Nerve Plant, Prayer Plant or Air Plants.

Add Drainage Layers~
A terrarium container does not have drainage holes, so you’ll need to create a drainage layer to keep water away from plant roots. Start with a 2-inch layer of gravel or crushed stone at the bottom of the terrarium. Next, use a large spoon or trowel to add a 1/4-inch to a 1/2-inch layer of activated charcoal on top of the stones to help with drainage.

Add Moss and Potting Mix~
Next, add a layer of Sheet Moss over the stones and charcoal to keep the drainage layers and the potting soil from mixing together. The moss also adds visual interest to your terrarium.

Add as much potting mix as you can—at least a couple of inches. Make sure to keep the soil level low enough so that the plants will fit inside the container with room to grow.

Add Plants~
Before planting, decide on the design of your terrarium. Choose the spots where you'll place plants. Dig a little planting hole for each plant. Place each plant in its hole and gently pat the soil down to eliminate air pockets and secure each plant firmly in the soil.

If you'd like, decorate the inside of the terrarium with small figurines, shells, decorative stones, or other accents spaced among the plants.

Water the Terrarium~

Gently Use a spray bottle or small watering can to water the plants so they are just damp, but not soaking wet. Do Not Over-water!

Maintain the Plants~
Most terrariums will thrive in a location that receives plenty of filtered light, but not in direct sunlight. Feel the soil to see if it's dry and needs water. Partially and fully enclosed terrariums retain water considerably longer than most potted houseplants.

If you have a closed terrarium, take off the top at least once a month to increase airflow. Leave the top off until the condensation disappears.

Have Fun Creating Your Terrarium!


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