Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start thinking about the Christmas season. But there’s no need to break the bank this year. Just think DIY.
Essentially, terrariums are mini gardens. They are easy to make and you don’t even have to have a green thumb. These unusual gifts form their own self-contained environment that is very easy to maintain – even for the most botanically challenged.
Here is what you will need:
- A pretty glass container
- Potting soil
- Rocks, shells, or other ornamental elements
Choosing a terrarium container
When it comes to making terrariums, you can choose from a number of different types of containers. They can either be open at the top for cactus plants and other succulents, or they can be closed at the top, creating a more humid environment for tropical plants. Your container should be large enough to house your growing plants and they should be constructed of clear, smooth glass for the best view. Fish bowls, mason jars, or even glass tea cups make beautiful containers for terrariums.
Choosing terrarium plants
The trickiest part of creating a terrarium is choosing the right plants. Take into account how much light the terrarium will get. Will it sit under fluorescent lights in an office? Will it sit in a window? Will it be in a relatively dark corner? Houseplants and cacti are always good choices for terrariums. If in doubt, ask your local nursery attendant to help you choose small, hardy, slow-growing plants. You can add interest by picking out plants that have unusual leaf shapes, different heights, and variegated foliage.
Assembling your terrarium
Once you have your container and your plants picked out, it’s time to assemble your terrarium. Here’s how:
- Start by laying down a layer of gravel for drainage.
- Add a layer of charcoal to absorb decaying matter and retard fungus and mold.
- Put in a layer of potting soil for your plants to grow in.
- Install your plants.
- Add any decorative elements such as rocks, pebbles, marbles, or seashells.
Your terrarium plants will need very little water. And when you do water, remember to keep it to a minimum. Just a sprinkle will do.
Add a homemade touch to gift-giving this year by getting creative with do-it-yourself terrariums. They are simple, fun, and economical to make and they don’t require any special skills to maintain. Best of all, the one who receives your terrarium will be awed by your talent and touched by the fact that you took the time to make them a gift.