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DIY Hanging Terrarium: Inside Gardening
Ahhh Springtime! That means gardening! Digging my hands into cool soil, dirt dribbling between my fingers, planting and sustaining life, nurturing nature. If, like me, you happen live in an apartment, then your options for gardening are often limited to smaller areas and container gardening. So here is where creativity come in handy! Especially if you want to bring the outside indoors.
One of my favorite, creative ways to bring the outside in, is by making a terrarium. They are actually quite simple to make, and require very little care. You just need a few basic supplies, and many times you can find a container you have laying around the house like an old vase, teacup or mason jar that will work perfectly. If you like the glass globes I used, you can find them on Amazon
(affiliate link) as well as many other online sites. Go on, get creative!
Here is my latest indoor gardening project on which I embarked, a hanging double-globe terrarium with candle holder.
What Is a Terrarium?
A terrarium is a miniature landscape featuring live plants, and sometimes even animals like lizards or turtles.
What You Need:
- glass container: I used three interlocking globes I got from a giveaway I won for an Etsy gift card. You can find these all over E-bay and Amazon for anywhere from $2 up, as well as at crafts stores such as Michaels. What ever you choose, be sure the opening is large enough to get your plant inside.
- a selection of small cacti or succulents work great as these plants need very little water to survive. DO NOT over-water! Be sure to keep plants with the same needs together. Cacti and succulents have different needs than do ferns and tropical plants.
- fast-draining cactus soil
- pebbles and/or charcoal for creating a false drainage system (charcoal will also keep mold and bacteria from building up)
- decorative sand and/or pebbles
- plastic spoon – to help place soil and sand
- straw or paintbrush – to help get soil and sand off leaves
- tweezers – these can help if you have a very tiny opening or tiny plants. I did not need any for this project.
What To Do:
1. Add a shallow layer of pebbles followed by a bit of loose charcoal in the very bottom to help with drainage since these containers do not have a drainage hole. The rocks will keep the roots from sitting in water, the charcoal helps keep it “clean”. You really should not have any standing water since you will not water your terrarium plants very often. If you do, you are over-watering!
2. Add about 2” to 3” of soil on top of the pebbles.
3. In the exact middle of the soil, scoop a depression large enough to place the plants’ root ball.
4. Now, take the plants out of the container they came in and gently loosen the root ball. If you want to put a few different plants together, succulents can be divided easily! Just chose a few types you like and separate them into smaller sizes. I chose to use the entire plant this time.
5. Next you place the plant’s roots into the depression you created in the soil, then using the spoon to get all around the plant, add more soil around the roots until the plant is firmly planted. Tap down gently.
6. Using the same spoon, add a thin layer of sand (this is optional) on all sides of the plant.
7. Add a few pebbles on top of the sand for decoration.
8. To get rid of any sand or soil that may have gotten on the plants you can either use a small paintbrush to brush them off, or take a straw and gently blow (be sure to place the end of the straw almost on the plant where the soil is, don’t blow directly into the terrarium or sand and soil will go everywhere!)
9. Repeat these steps with the second globe.
10. For the third and final globe, I added a layer of pebbles, then placed a tea candle right in the center. Once we hung it up inside, I wound up swapping the tea light for a votive candle for a splash of color.
Depending on the type plant, you should only water your terrarium about one time every week to a week and a half.
There are some tricks to use, such as with succulents, I keep an eye on their leaves, and if they start to get a wrinkled appearance, I know for sure I waited too long and they need water.
Check the soil on the bottom of the container, if it is completely dry, time to water!
Be sure not to over-water as the water has nowhere to go without drainage holes. Enough water to just dampen the soil should be plenty.
See individual plants instructions for more detailed directions.
Be sure your plants get enough light. Since your plants are inside glass, and glass magnifies light, DO NOT place your terrarium in direct sunlight! Most succulents and cacti do not need direct sunlight, they prefer bright, indirect light instead.
Check back next week to see what I did with the other plants I had left over!