Why a closed terrarium?
There are many different reasons for why someone wants to make a closed terrarium. However, one big reason is because, Closed terrariums are much easier to take care of as you are making an ecosystem within the container. A self sustaining closed terrarium rarely requires you to take care of it! However, that does not mean that you will never need to touch the terrarium. You will need to clean out the terrarium every six to eight months. Other than that, you don’t need to do much else!
What you will need:
- Potting soil or substrate
- Rocks or pebbles (For our drainage layer)
- A spray bottle
- Glass container
- Activated charcoal or carbon (For our filter layer)
- Decoration pieces (optional)
- Small mesh
- Filtered water or reverse osmosis water (Tap water may work, but is risky)
- Small plants or succulents
- Springtails (Highly Recommended)
- Moss (optional but it is nice)
Where to start on your closed terrarium?
Firstly, you will need your air tight glass container. Once you have your glass container ready, the next step is to place our rocks at the bottom of the container. These rocks should roughly cover the bottom of the jar. The rock layer will be used as a drainage layer. Secondly, we will be cutting up our mesh to fit snugly inside of the container, on top of the rock layer. The mesh separates the drainage layer from the filter layer. Thirdly, we will place our activate charcoal/carbon on top of the mesh. This third layer is called the filter layer. Finally, we will be placing our soil/substrate on top of our filter layer! With that the basics of our terrarium is done!
Lets make it pretty
Now that we have our soil/substrate placed, it is time to start decorating it! To start, it is a good idea to place our decoration pieces or rocks first. This way when you place the plants you already have a base built for them! A good rule of thumb is to have one big plant or one big plant and some smaller plants! The big plant should be place on either the left or right of the container. Once you have placed the plants to your liking, it is time to place our moss! The moss will act as the greenery on the ground for our terrarium! Now that decoration is done, it is time to move onto how to care for our new wonderful terrarium!
Care tips for a closed terrarium
A closed terrarium does not require much attention at all, but there are some highly recommended tips that you should follow if possible! Firstly, as stated earlier in the materials section, the springtails are highly recommended. The reason for the springtails is due to the springtails acting as a sort of clean up crew. Springtails clean up any dead plants or algae that is produced by the terrarium. You only need to place a handful of springtails in the terrarium. The rest of the spring tails can be kept for another project! Next, it is recommended that you use filtered water. The chlorine in tap water can kill the plants in our terrarium.
The amount of water that a closed terrarium needs can be tricky to measure. A good rule of thumb is to spray the terrarium with 3-5 times and close it. After a few days if you notice that some plants are drying up or the soil isn’t slightly moist to the touch, then you need to add some more water. Another issue that you could have is over watering the terrarium. You know you have over watered a terrarium when you can see that the walls of the terrarium look moist. To fix this, all you need to do is use a paper towel or napkin to soak up the extra water! Finally you have your perfect and wonderful closed terrarium!
Finishing up our closed terrarium
Once our terrarium has been closed and sealed, it is time to find it a good home! The closed terrarium must be placed in a well lit area so that the plants inside can thrive! Don’t forget to also read the article on how to make a moss terrarium in case you would like to make an open one next! The difference between a closed and open terrarium isn’t much, the main difference is the amount of care each one needs!