|Tuesday Products: Terrariums|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 04 December 2012|
Simply put, terrariums are small, enclosed glass or plastic containers (remember those terrariums you made in school from soda bottles?) that contain plants. They are different than dish gardens or miniature gardens (aka open terrariums) in that they are enclosed forming their own biospheres therefore retain higher humidity levels negating the need for watering.
Although terrariums date back to Ancient Greece, in the United States, terrariums are thought to have their origins in New England where glass bowls were planted with partridge berry, a native groundcover. The modern terrarium or tabletop conservatory similar to the one pictured above has its origins in the Edwardian Cases developed in the mid-19th century England to house delicate plants to be displayed in the home.
Some basic principles of terrarium design are that the container and lid must be clear glass or plastic to allow sunlight to penetrate. Second, the plant medium must be well-drained and high in organic matter. Mixed with potting soil, sphagnum or peat moss is ideal because it retains moisture but is sterile.
Desert plants are not suitable because of the high humidity. Woodland plants like the above-mentioned partridge berry, ferns, and birch or hemlock seedlings are good choices, as are tropical plants, which thrive in high humidity, and carnivorous plants that thrive in boggy, highly acidic conditions. Do not place terrariums in full sun where they will dry out.
Successful Terrariums: A Step by Step Guide
The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature
Tabletop Gardens: 40 Stylish Plantscapes for Counters and Shelves, Desktops and Windowsills