Terrariums are great for people living in small spaces or for those who just love to garden. They are low-maintenance, space-saving and simply beautiful, making them great additions to any home or business. Being easy to care for is one of the biggest perks of having terrariums, but questions can arise about the essentials of terrariums.
Ambius provides terrariums for your office or workspace to brighten up areas around your business property, but also has expert knowledge in caring for terrariums. Call 800-581-9946 or contact Ambius today to discuss terrariums and other interior landscaping solutions.
Matt Kostelnick, Senior Horticulturist at Ambius has answered the most frequently asked questions about terrariums, and we’ve added other interesting questions and answers that we have received over the years. Read more below:
No, it is not a garden staple on the planet Mars. Despite the fact that its name sounds like it came from a space movie, the croton plant, or Codiaeum variegatum, is a perennial evergreen shrub, native to India and Malaysia. The name “croton” comes from a Greek word for tick, as the croton seed resembles a tick in shape. This tropical plant has thick, leathery leaves of varying colors, shapes, and sizes. As it ages, the plant’s color may darken to nearly black.
They are indoor gardens in a sealed container. The plants and the soil in the terrarium release water vapor – essentially recycling water. The vapor is then collected onto the walls of the vessel and trickles down to the soil. Terrariums are self-nourishing, which is why they require little maintenance, if sealed.
You’ll need the following:
Typically, foliage plants and plants that grow slowly work best – avoid fast-growing plants. For example:
Ferns, carnivorous plants and air plants are quite difficult to grow without terrariums. So, if you would like these plants in your home, we recommend purchasing or making a terrarium.
Terrariums are low maintenance for the most part but we do have some suggestions to keep your terrarium long lasting and healthy.
We recommend buying insecticidal soap from your local gardening store and applying it to infected plants. You can also buy pebbles or rocks to deter gnats and avoid over-watering. But, if all else fails and the plant is still infested, it’s best to remove the entire plant.
Plants for terrariums are typically inexpensive and keeping a sick plant in a terrarium could easily harm other plants close by. While buying plants for your terrarium, check for bugs prior to purchasing to save yourself time and money.
Yes, but not as frequently as typical indoor plants. The types of plants found in terrariums tend to be hardy plants that don’t require frequent watering. Also, the greenhouse-like structure of terrariums recycles water instead of evaporating water into the ambient air with normal indoor plants.
If closed, you might be watering them (on average) once a month but this will vary depending on a variety of factors. Open terrariums benefit from being watered every 3-6 weeks. Rather than watering on a schedule, check the soil to see if and how much water your plants need. If you have terrariums to water and maintain, contact Ambius to take care of them for you.
Most need either direct or indirect light but artificial light may also be used. There are three types of light you can provide for your terrarium.
It is recommended to use fluorescent or LED bulbs. Avoid incandescent bulbs.
If you choose to place your terrarium in direct sunlight, you may want to remove the lid on a closed terrarium because it might get too hot for the plants with the lid on.
Terrariums are fine if they are airtight, but we suggest removing the lid periodically (about once a week or even daily) to allow fresh air into your garden.
Sure! Plastic containers, like those made out of acrylic, work just fine. You can also buy anti-fog plastic containers, which prevent condensation build-up and allows better visibility – these are generally more expensive.
Terrariums can last anywhere from several years or even longer, if well maintained.
Yes, but plants in airtight, or closed terrariums, recycle air. During the day, sunlight promotes the growth of sugars during the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, releasing it into the terrarium.
In a closed terrarium, you may want to remove the lid to let fresh air into the terrarium, but a closed terrarium will not damage the plants.
The following containers work well for terrariums:
You might even choose to use a wine bottle, but planting would be difficult due to the narrow opening.
Bonsai trees or small junipers might work but that’s about it.
They are simply terrariums that hang from a structure, like a wall sconce.
Indoor plants (houseplants) are typically used in terrariums. However, most plants chosen for terrariums are slow-growing and many are plants that are otherwise difficult to grow without high humidity or high light.
Coco – coir, peat moss or houseplant soil works with most plants, besides succulents which prefer a well-drained inorganic medium. Some people choose to make their own soil but if you’re short on time, garden store houseplant soil works just fine. For succulents, you’ll need soil with a sand or gravel mixture.
Of course they do! Not only are they low maintenance, but they’re a beautiful addition to any home, apartment or business. To make them a part of your apartment or business, contact Ambius today!
Although you may think of traditional plants when you envision a terrarium, preserved moss (moss that is no longer alive) looks great in terrariums. It is easy to maintain and can last for a while without needing to be replaced.
Moss for terrariums can come in different colors and textures, such as lime green. Reindeer moss and sheet moss work well, and moss also pairs well with sand and rocks. If you are creating your own terrarium, you can also use live moss.
If you only have a small space, a small terrarium could really add a little vibrancy to your environment. Small terrariums can be used in hotel rooms, at your desk, on bookshelves, or used in hanging displays. Succulents, air plants, Fittonia and preserved moss can all be used in small terrariums.
Yes, you can put an orchid in a terrarium. Orchids are attractive in terrariums because they are bright in color. Terrariums, with their enclosed design, also make a good fit for orchids because the flowers typically prefer humidity. An orchid would pair well with succulents, air plants and preserved mosses.
In general, no. They actually smell quite nice with an “earthy” odor. But, if yours happens to smell rotten, it’s most likely a sign of root rotting or over-watering.
Yes! Many online retailers sell DIY terrarium kits, which work just fine. However, you can contact our experts at Ambius who will be happy to provide terrariums for your business.
Yes we do! We provide various types of terrariums, depending on the needs of your particular environment. Your Ambius Technician can help you determine what best suits your space.
Terrariums are beautiful, customizable and work with a variety of decor themes. If you have questions or interested in more information about other terrariums or interior plant installations, use our online form or give us a call at 800-581-9946.
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