TERRARIUM PLANTING

Many folks are daunted by this task, it's not rocket science, ya, you might kill some plants before you get it right. It's ok.

The first thing to note is drainage, and how there is none. Some folks put a layer of activated charcoal on the bottom which helps to prevent fungal growth. A layer of small rocks can create a faux drainage layer. While both of these things can be helpful they are not necessary for success. A nice feature of clear glass terrariums is that you can clearly observe the moisture level and water as needed. Don't water if you see that it is adequately soaked, I often let mine get dry before I water. Overwatering will lead to rot and your plant will go to mush. 

Light. Generally you want to avoid too much direct sunlight, bright indirect is best. Succulents are a popular plant for terrariums, but they can be tricky! The most common "unhappy" sign I see is when a succulent, which should be a tight compact flower or cluster, begins to elongate and stretch out, creating lots of space in-between each "leaf". They are reaching for sun. Find a brighter spot or consider replanting. 

Get creative! Decorative rocks and sand make a very nice finishing touch to a terrarium, I usually buy aquarium rocks from my local pet shop because they have the really small pebbles. Craft stores and nurseries will have the larger ones, and layering different types is always lovely. Adding a little treasure can be fun, like a clear marble, a favorite rock/mineral/crystal, moss or lichen, idk, a cool stick? Try all sorts of things! 


AIR PLANTS

Tillandsia, Bromiliads, or "air plants" are popular new things these days, and are an easy way to plant a small container. They come from dank forests and jungles (and Florida, hah!), and require no soil to grow. A small root looking tail anchors them to a host tree, and they hang out all day soaking up the mist. Bright indirect sunlight is best, full sun will lead to a crispy plant. To care for yours at home, thoroughly drench them under the faucet once a week, shake off excess water, and return them to their container. For a more thorough watering you can soak them in a bowl of water for 30 minutes to an hour. Spritzing with a spray bottle is good, but usually not enough (especially in the Sacramento heat), you'll notice the tips begin to crisp if your plant is not getting enough water. You can buy special fertilizer, but any low nitrogen type will do, mixed at 1/4 strength and sprayed on once a month April-Sept. Fertilizing is really not necessary, but can help your plant sprout babies!! Proud moment.