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How to Maintain an Open Terrarium?

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A terrarium can be an eye-catching element in your home that brings in a touch of green. This is great for homes that don’t have much garden space. An open terrarium is a container without a lid where you grow plants inside. You have to select plants that don’t need a lot of humidity for an open terrarium.

The open glass container creates dry conditions for the plants so you can use succulents and cacti in these terrariums. You have to choose houseplants that are hardy in a dry environment. The benefit with growing succulents is that they are easy to maintain and take a long time to grow. They come in different shapes and sizes which create a pleasing aesthetic. You can have a large variety of succulents in an open terrarium to create diversity and interest.

The plants you choose for open terrariums should have similar requirements especially when it comes to watering and light. Not every type of succulent will need direct sunlight. Think of the location you are placing the terrarium whether in direct or indirect light and then choose the type of succulents that best suit these conditions. Succulents that have fat leaves are able to store a lot of water and therefore will be able to handle a lot of heat.

You need to ensure that proper lighting reaches the terrarium. The location for the open terrarium has to be chosen carefully. North facing windows will not provide sufficient light for the plants so it is best to have them facing south. For succulents with low light requirements, you can place them close to east or west facing windows. Even with succulents that can tolerate a lot of sun, you have to be careful when they are small.

Succulents that haven’t matured tend to be more delicate and their leaves can burn when they come into contact with hot glass. You will also have to change the placement or orientation of the terrarium according to the sun’s position. You can turn the terrarium quarterly once a fortnight to ensure all plants receive sufficient light.

Watering has to be done carefully as too much water can cause rot. There can be instances where water is not sufficient causing the plants to wilt and stop growing. There are no drainage holes in a terrarium container so the lower layers of the soil can be wet leading to soggy roots. You have to choose plants that have the same watering requirements. Instead of having a watering schedule, you have to check the soil to understand how much water is needed

Instead of watering the body of the plant, water its base. When the plants are dormant, they will need little to no water. You will also need to groom the plants as needed which will require transplanting, getting rid of debris and pruning. When plants are touching the glass or interfering with another plant’s space, you can relocate them or prune them. You have to avoid overgrowth of plants at all times. When you see dead leaves, they are to be removed immediately to prevent pests.

Willian Tenney
the authorWillian Tenney