Terrarium Nature

miniature indoor garden ecosystem

Are you ready to embark on a miniature adventure, where lush landscapes and thriving ecosystems fit in the palm of your hand? Step into the world of terrariums, where nature thrives in glass containers.

These tiny botanical havens are a testament to the beauty and resilience of plant life.

In this article, we will explore the history, types, and step-by-step process of creating your own terrarium.

Get ready to unlock the secrets of terrarium nature and bring a touch of green into your life.

Key Takeaways

  • Terrariums originated in the 19th century and were developed as a way to transport plants across long distances.
  • Terrariums have gained popularity for bringing nature indoors and have benefits such as air purification and increased humidity.
  • There are two main types of terrariums: closed and open. Closed terrariums create a self-sustaining ecosystem, while open terrariums allow for airflow and drier conditions.
  • When creating a terrarium, it is important to choose plants that won't overcrowd the space and have similar care requirements, considering factors such as light, humidity, and growth habits.

The History of Terrariums

You should explore the fascinating history of terrariums and discover how they've evolved over time.

Terrariums have their origins in the early 19th century when Dr. Nathaniel Ward, a London physician, developed the concept of a sealed glass container that could sustain plant life. Ward was inspired by his observation of plants thriving inside a closed glass bottle. This led to the creation of the Wardian case, which allowed for the transportation of plants across long distances.

Over the years, terrariums have gained popularity as a way to bring nature indoors and create miniature ecosystems. The benefits of terrariums include their ability to purify the air, increase humidity, and provide a sense of tranquility. They also require minimal maintenance and can be a great educational tool for learning about the natural environment.

Types of Terrariums

There are two main types of terrariums: closed and open, and each has its own unique features and benefits. Closed terrariums create a self-sustaining ecosystem, with moisture and heat trapped inside. Open terrariums, on the other hand, allow for airflow and are better suited for plants that prefer drier conditions. Here is a visual representation of the differences between these terrarium types:

Closed Terrariums Open Terrariums
Environment Moist and humid Drier
Maintenance Low Moderate
Plant Options Mosses, ferns Succulents, cacti
Indoor vs Outdoor Indoor Indoor or outdoor

Indoor terrariums are popular for their aesthetic appeal and ability to bring nature indoors, while outdoor terrariums offer a larger space to work with and can be a great addition to your garden. As we discuss choosing the right plants for your terrarium, keep in mind these differences in terrarium types.

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Terrarium

One important factor to consider when choosing plants for your terrarium is the number of plants that will fit comfortably in the available space. It's crucial to select plants that won't overcrowd the terrarium, as this can lead to poor air circulation and limited growth potential.

Additionally, the specific care requirements of the plants must be taken into account to ensure their health and longevity within the terrarium environment. Proper terrarium plant selection involves considering factors such as light requirements, humidity levels, and growth habits.

Terrarium plant care involves regular monitoring of moisture levels, pruning to maintain size and shape, and providing adequate light and water. By carefully selecting and caring for the right plants, you can create a thriving and visually appealing terrarium ecosystem.

  • Consider the size and growth rate of the plants:
  • Choose plants that won't outgrow the terrarium quickly.
  • Opt for plants that have a compact growth habit to prevent overcrowding.
  • Assess the light and humidity requirements of the plants:
  • Select plants that thrive in the specific light conditions of your terrarium.
  • Ensure that the humidity levels in the terrarium match the needs of the chosen plants.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Terrarium

To create a terrarium, gather all the necessary materials and follow the step-by-step guide in order to successfully build your own miniature ecosystem. Terrariums are a great way to bring a piece of nature into your home or office, and they require minimal maintenance.

Here is a simple guide to help you get started on your terrarium journey:

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Terrarium

  1. Gather Materials: Glass container, gravel, activated charcoal, potting soil, and various plants.
  2. Prepare the Container: Add a layer of gravel for drainage, followed by a layer of activated charcoal to prevent odors.
  3. Add Potting Soil: Fill the container with potting soil, leaving enough space for your plants.
  4. Plant Selection: Choose plants that thrive in humid conditions and have similar care requirements.
  5. Decorate and Maintain: Add DIY terrarium decorations, such as rocks or mini figurines, and troubleshoot common terrarium problems, such as overwatering or inadequate sunlight.

Essential Care Tips for Your Terrarium

Take note of these three essential care tips to ensure the health and longevity of your terrarium.

  • Terrarium Maintenance

Regularly check the moisture levels in your terrarium to ensure that it remains within the optimal range. This can be done by gently pressing your finger into the soil to check for dampness.

Keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels in your terrarium. Aim for a temperature range of 70-75°F (21-24°C) and a humidity level of around 60-70%.

  • Troubleshooting Common Terrarium Problems

If you notice excessive condensation on the walls or lid of your terrarium, it may indicate high humidity levels. Consider removing the lid temporarily to allow for better air circulation.

If your plants are wilting or turning yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly to prevent root rot.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Water My Terrarium?

To determine the best watering techniques for your terrarium, it's important to consider the watering frequency. The frequency of watering will depend on several factors such as the type of plants in your terrarium, the soil type, and the size of the container.

It's crucial to strike a balance between not overwatering, which can lead to root rot, and not underwatering, which can cause the plants to wilt. Understanding the specific needs of your terrarium will help you establish an appropriate watering schedule.

Can I Use Artificial Plants in My Terrarium?

Yes, you can use artificial plants in your terrarium. They offer several benefits, such as requiring no maintenance, not needing sunlight, and being resistant to pests.

Artificial plants also provide a consistent and reliable aesthetic appeal for your terrarium. However, it's important to choose high-quality artificial plants that closely resemble real plants to maintain the natural look of your terrarium.

Overall, incorporating artificial plants can be a convenient and effective way to enhance the beauty of your terrarium.

What Is the Ideal Temperature for a Terrarium?

The ideal temperature for a terrarium depends on the type of plants and animals living inside. Temperature control is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of the terrarium's inhabitants. It's important to research the specific requirements of the plants and animals you plan to keep in order to provide the optimal temperature range.

Humidity control is also essential, as it affects the overall climate within the terrarium. Proper temperature and humidity management will ensure a thriving ecosystem.

Do Terrariums Require Direct Sunlight?

Terrariums, in general, don't necessarily require direct sunlight. The question of whether they need it depends on the specific lighting needs of the plants you choose to include in your terrarium. Some plants thrive in low light conditions, making them suitable for terrariums that aren't exposed to direct sunlight.

It's important to research and select plants that are well-suited for low light terrariums to ensure their successful growth and overall health.

Can I Use a Closed Terrarium for Desert Plants?

Yes, you can use a closed terrarium for desert plants like succulents. Closed terrariums provide a controlled environment that mimics the conditions of a desert, with low humidity and high heat.

This helps create an ideal microclimate for desert plants, as it helps retain moisture and prevents excessive water loss. The closed terrarium also acts as a protective shield against external factors, such as dust and pests.

Overall, using a closed terrarium for desert plants has several benefits in terms of maintaining their health and well-being.


In conclusion, terrariums have a rich history and offer a unique way to bring nature into our homes. With various types to choose from and the right selection of plants, anyone can create their own miniature ecosystem.

Taking proper care of your terrarium is essential for its longevity, ensuring that it thrives and remains a beautiful addition to your space. Did you know that studies have shown that having plants indoors can improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide levels?

So not only are terrariums aesthetically pleasing, but they also contribute to a healthier environment.


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Author Bio
Emmanuel Orta

Hi, I am Emmanuel, and I love everything about insects, plants and building terrariums.


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