How to care for a closed terrarium

Closed terrariums are believed to be low or no maintenance, but is that really the case?

Terrariums, much like anything else that breathes, need the right conditions to thrive and survive. 

 

Light 

Imagine the light that plants on forest floor receive- Dappled light with some streaks of sun falling on the the floor, through the trees. That is the perfect light that we want to achieve for a terrarium. 

You can explore the following light options for your terrariums:

  1. North Facing Window- North receives morning sunlight which isn’t very harsh and is perfect for terrariums.
  2. Artificial Light- In case of absence of natural light, it is a good idea to supplement it with artificial light. Regular LEDs at home work just fine or you can invest in a grow light. 

 It is not recommended to keep your terrarium in direct sun. 

 

Water 

You should see light condensation on the walls of your closed terrarium, mostly when the sun is at its peak- when it is warmest during the day. This is normal as the plants will release water during the hot part of the day. 

In case you notice condensation on the walls of your terrarium throughout the day, chances are that your terrarium is overwatered. It is recommended that you air it out and monitor it for a few days till the condensation reduces. 

And in case of no condensation, your terrarium might be under-watered. Giving it a few light sprays is a good idea. 

 

P.S. Sometimes there can be excess condensation due to high temperature outside. 

 

Maintenance

Remove spent leaves- Dead leaves sitting in the terrarium can be a breeding ground for fungal growth. Doing a quick monthly check for any dead or decaying plant matter will help keep your terrarium clean and healthy. In the process, also pull out any weeds that you might notice growing in your terrarium. 

Air it out from time to time- It is a good idea to air out your terrarium from time to time. This helps ensure healthy  oxygen levels in the terrarium. Oxygen imbalance can happen due to dead or decaying plant matter sitting in the terrarium. 

Keep the glass clean-  It is extremely important to keep the glass clean, both from inside & outside. This ensures maximum light exposure for your terrarium. 

Trimming to ensure bushy growth- This is absolutely optional and depends on the look you want to achieve with your terrarium. Trimming will ensure bushy growth and hence fuller looking terrarium. 

 

Things to not do to your terrarium

  1. Keep it in direct sun
  2. Place it on a south facing window with no obstruction (Obstruction can be trees outside the window filtering light or blinds.)
  3. Place it in a poorly lit area- Signs that your terrarium is not receiving sufficient light can show up in the form of mould or dying plants. Insufficient light affects the water cycle and improper water cycle leads to dead plants.  
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