Terrariums And You, What You Need To Get Started

Terrariums – What You Need To Know To Grow

The Easy Peasy Approach To Creating And Indoor Oasis 

They’re Hip, They’re Trendy, You Need A Few…

(and for once the next sentence doesn’t include anything about shoes)

Terrariums have made a huge comeback in the past year or so, and we here at South Pleasantburg Nursery have been trying to do everything to keep up with trends. We’ve stocked our shelves with all sorts of containers and vessels that would make excellent terrariums. Don’t feel obligated to shop for hours to find the perfect terrarium vase though, in reality you can use JUST ABOUT ANYTHING to create a perfect “Indoor Oasis”. Old Shoes, Fish Bowls, Lanterns and even old martini glasses. Your limit it how far your imagination wants to wanter.




Background On Terrariums:

The first terrarium came about way back in the 1800 when the royal castle dwellers wanted to find a way to bring their beautiful gardens inside for the winter. Of course, bringing the entire garden inside for winter is a bit far fetched, so a selection of the royal dwellers favorite plants were thrown into an old mason jar and brought inside to be enjoyed throughout the winter months. Of course, the lack of sunshine and poor soil made it a failed attempt and terrariums failed to go any further.

(alright that was bunk, but the original story of a guy named “Case” wanting to watch his mum go from bud to blossom from the comfort of his armchair just seemed boring.)

Terrariums are meant to be enjoyed due to the diversity of plants all contained in an inside ecosystem, an “Indoor Oasis” (Cyber Geek Term). By using several hardy houseplants in conjuntion with some ornamental mosses and adornments, you can create a nature scape for inside your home using less table space than a stack of magazines that you never read anyways (you know the ones that make you look smart for when company comes to visit).

What You Need To Start Your Indoor Oasis:

A Tract Of Land To Devote To Your Oasis 

Preferably with a good amount of sunshine and easy access to water

A Vessel To Plant In

It doesn’t necessarily have to have a drain hole, just enough room to move your hands around in

Good Potting Soil

High in peat moss and Vermiculite. Please, nothing with water retention crystals

Horticultural Charcoal

The same stuff used in filters for aquariums and some mufflers for cars, its going to remove impurities (aka keep it from being stinky)

Fantastic Terrarium Plants 

Preferably purchased from a certain Nursery just up the street from you

Other Do-Dads 

Some people create Terrariums into indoor fairy gardens, if you’re into that sort of thing

First, compile this junk and read on.

Step One:


 Grab your container and make sure its clean and ready to go. For this demonstartion a wooden garden lantern is being used (available for purchase here at the nursery for a low low price of $49.98)




Step Two:

Place a layer of Horticultural Charcoal along the base of your vessel. Depending on the shape and size of your vessel this may vary from a half an inch to an inch. Make sure you put plenty down there, almost more charcoal than potting soil. What you want to accomplish is less space for water to be held and more air space underneath the plants. Don’t worry, seeing as how your plants are in a semi restricted environment, they’re not going to be at a lack of soil. 



Step Three:

Place a very thin layer of potting soil atop the charcoal, then place your plants on top of the soil, arranging them to be pleasing to your eye. Beware of plants that are going to get taller and place them either towards the rear or in the middle. Make sure aggressive plants aren’t crowding the wimpy ones. Backfill with the potting soil until the soil levels are even. Do NOT plant too deep.


Step Four:

Now is your time to free your head and add some flair. Use of interesting rocks or fossils that you find on random outdoor adventures is recommended.
Make sure that your added flair is something that you connect with, something that will make you smile every time you look at your “Oasis” (usually it will make you take better care of it if it means something special to you). Also, you can implement miniature garden furniture or fairy garden stuff. Small statues also fit right in.
Let your imagination run wild. Make it look as close to what you’d want to wander through outside, create pathways with rock if you have space, or just fill in the voids with Spanish moss or other mossy filler.

Step Five:

 After all your plants, moss and ornamentation is in order, water it in thoroughly. You want to create a moist environment, NEVER soaking wet. It is a sound practice to invest in a mister, one that will soak the leaves and also hydrate the soil. At no point and time do you want to worry about drainage or water sitting in the bottom. 
Keep an eye on the hydration level and don’t hesitate to neglect it a little bit. If you start to notice yellowing of leaves, EASE UP! Its also a great idea to fertilize with a good “Superthrive” or micro-nutrient rich fertilizer. Placing this directly in your mister and using it every time you water is a great idea!
Set in on your table and enjoy. Its also a good idea to rotate it every three times you water. This way you avoid getting a dark spot where plants stop thriving. Don’t ever hesitate to rip out old plants that aren’t happy and replace them with new ones.

But wait…you need to know WHAT to plant…

You can stop in today and purchase this lovely creation, fully planted for a bargain of a price – $59.98. How much more enjoyable is that, all the benefits of a terrarium without ever getting a nail dirty!

There is no all inclusive black and white list of what you can use in your terrarium. In all seriousness the majority of Terrariums that are put together are done so strictly on what looks good together and little attention is paid to if the plants actually have similar growing requirements. To really enjoy the terrarium, relax a little bit and pick out plants you like. Don’t feel required to do all sorts of research into what will or will not work. It WILL take the fun out of it.

Gardening, both indoors and out, should be enjoyable. We’ve made it easy for you! Stop in and ask for a tour of our plant suitable for terrariums and we’d be happy to show you the ropes.


Remember, gardening is SUPPOSED to be relaxing.

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