Terrarium Instructions and Maintenance
At our terrarium workshops we create succulent terrariums, where you learn how to create your own self sustaining ecosystem. A terrarium is a great introduction into plant care as terrariums are low maintenance and easy to maintain The succulents in your terrarium can survive with little water and indirect light. To keep your new terrarium glass garden happy and healthy there are a few things to keep in mind.
When to water?
Water your succulent terrarium only when the soil has gone completely dry. This is usually a month after you first build your terrarium. Succulents are highly susceptible to root-rot. Overwatering is the number one reason a succulent will die. Ensure the soil has completely dried out before watering again. Our rule of thumb is : when in doubt, don't water.
If you see the bottom leaves shrivel up, remove them with a pair of tweezers. This is natural, and are growth leaves. Succulents are desert plants and like to totally dry out between waterings. Succulents like to have their soil moistened but never to the point where the root is so saturated it is unable to dry itself out. Set a watering schedule for your terrarium and stick to it. Terrariums thrive on a regular and appropriate watering plan. We suggest 1-2 times a month.
Sealed terrariums do not require watering. However, if you are noticing a lack of condensation on the inside of your terrarium throughout the day, you may need to add a few millilitres of water. Alternatively, if you are noticing condensation all day long inside your terrarium, you may need to open the seal for a few hours to release some of that extra moisture.
How do I know if I have over watered my terrarium?
Succulents and cacti have large fleshy leaves and bodies that retain water which is why they need not be watered so frequently. These leaves will become yellow and almost translucent when over watered, starting with the bottom base leaves. If you start noticing this, or that the petals of your succulent easily fall off of its base this is a sign of over watering. Under watering will result in your succulents leaves to pucker, or curl. Mold is another signal that you are over-watering your terrarium. Carefully clean the mold off the leaves and soil, removing the mold from the terrarium. Using a Q-tip with hydrogen peroxide to wipe it away is a good method. Move your terrarium to a brighter space in your home and refrain from watering the terrarium until the soil fully dries out.
If you have a sealed terrarium, condensation may build up. signals excess water in the succulent. Open the lid until the condensation disappears.
What should I water my terrarium with?
The best tool to use is our watering bottles. We do not recommend using a spray bottle watering around the roots. The succulent leaves are allowed to get wet, but do not rely on this method of watering for a full watering. Focus your watering on each plant's roots, after weeks of no water. Make sure not to flood or over-saturate the terrain roots, as this may darken the lower succulent stem.
Where should I place my terrarium in my home?
Place your succulent and cacti terrarium in a bright spot in your home. You'll want it to be bright but not a spot where your terrarium would get too hot. Keep in mind that glass tends to magnify direct sun and can potentially burn your plants, If your terrarium feels hot, re-locate it. A lot of natural sunlight is the area you want to place your terrarium, it needs approximately 6 hours of light to stay dry. Do not place your terrarium near or on a radiator or air conditioner, nor near a door or window with a cool draft. Finding the correct placement for your terrarium is key to it's success.
How much light should my terrarium receive a day?
Terrariums need at least 5-6 hours of partial to full sunlight a day. Think of their natural desert environment. Place your terrarium where it can receive some direct light where the rays sun shines some daylight on the leaves of the plant. Generally, anywhere sun naturally lights up a room. Unobstructed southern and western exposures are the most constant and warmest sources of direct light.
What to do when your succulent looks yellow?
If you notice the leaves are turning yellow at the bottom of the succulent this means they have received too much water. It’s okay to pluck these away, they'll regenerate shrink away or can be propagated into new pups. If this has happened to your terrarium, refrain from watering the terrarium until the soil dries, let your succulent completely dry out before watering again.