Inspiring Self Sustained Terrariums To Create At Home

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One of my favorite experiments with houseplants is creating self sustained terrariums. These projects require very little care and are so much fun to make. I’ve already made three terrariums and it’s now my favorite hobby.

Here’s everything you need to know about building terrariums and how to keep these self-sustained containers thriving.

What is a terrarium?

First of all, what is a terrarium? Terrariums are essentially mini eco systems inside a glass container. These containers usually include soil, plants, figurines, and some people even put beneficial bugs inside.

A self sustaining terrarium is an ecosystem that’s able to provide for itself without additional assistance.

For most of us, we’ll likely need to mist or water the terrarium every now and then, especially if it’s an open terrarium.

The oldest self-sustaining terrarium is over 60 years led created by David Latimer of England. He built the terrarium in 1960 and last opened it in 1972. This means the terrarium has been growing without any additional assistance (no additional air, water, fertilizer, etc.).

A lot of people wonder how it’s even possible that this self-sustained terrarium lives without assistance for over 60 years. This is possible because the container creates a small-scale water cycle. The moisture from the soil and plants evaporates, which leads to the water vapor condensing on the walls, which eventually falls back down on the plants. Yep, it’s so cool!

A self-sustaining terrarium built properly can live without care indefinitely. However, this is quite difficult to achieve if you’re just starting out building terrariums as there are a few key things you need to get just right.

Lighting, the right kind of plants, growing container, water, humidity and even insects need to be just right in order for the terrarium to be self-sustaining.

This is the fun part – you can put a wide variety of plants in self-sustaining terrariums. This includes cacti, succulents, and even tropicals. My favorite plants to put in terrariums are┬áTillandsia (air plants), Echeveria, moss, ferns, begonias, calatheas, and so on. I particularly love putting calatheas and ferns in terrariums because these are high humidity plants, and terrariums are naturally high humidity.

Photo by Art and Soil Bangalore on Unsplash

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