The 1970s saw terrariums popularised for the first time, fashionable ‘bottle gardens’ that boosted home interior aesthetics.
Nowadays, these ‘botanical bois’ are back on shelves and selling rapidly.
You’ll find most are tropical-themed, and while we love a good succulent there are many terrarium themes to choose from, including (but not limited to) Scottish ones.
The best part? They’re as cheap as you want them to be! You can re-purpose an old lightbulb for a gorgeous terrarium filled with any plants you desire.
This step-by-step guide will get you started.
What you will need
- Glass container e.g., a fishbowl, jar, lightbulb, even an empty Tic Tac box can be used (fishbowls at Asda cost £4)
- Pebbles - this will form the bottom layer of your terrarium, they’re essential for draining water and can be bought for under £3 online
- Soil - while plant shops would appreciate your commerce you can simply take soil from your garden, approximately 5 handfuls
- Selection of Plants e.g., Scotch Moss, Ferns, Liverworts, Thistles etc. (Scottish Thistle seeds cost under £3 online)
How to make your terrarium
- Make sure your glass container is clean before you start (to avoid endangering plants)
- Add four handfuls of pebbles into the bottom of your container and ‘shoogle’ it about to distribute it evenly (this may vary depending on your container’s size etc., but you always want roughly 2 inches of pebbles)
- Add five handfuls of soil on top of your layer of pebbles (3-4 inches deep)
- Using a spoon, poke a hole into the soil and insert your plant of choice into it (repeat this process for as many plants as you want)
- For the remainder of unused space, distribute moss across the soil surface
- Finally, pour a small quantity of water into the terrarium (Optional: you can then seal the jar, but if you do we recommend reopening it once a week to reintroduce fresh air)
Looking after your terrarium
Fortunately, there’s very little maintenance needed for most terrariums.
Even the most infamous of ‘plant killers’ can rest easy knowing terrariums are relatively self-sufficient.
To optimise the results, however, we recommend placing your terrarium close to a window for sunlight and using a sponge attached to a stick to clean the inside of the glass.
You may also want to rotate the container occasionally so that all plants receive their fair share of the sunshine.
For airtight terrariums, you need only water the plants every month or so.
If you find any dead leaves, remove them quickly to prevent rot and replace fast-growing specimens if they threaten to overtake your terrarium.
If you haven’t “botany” terrariums recently, then get started now
Many studies lend support to the idea that the presence of plants can reduce anxiety, and help to refresh the mind after intense periods of concentration.
Other cultures, like Japan, also embrace the healing power of nature with ancient practices such as “forest bathing” (“shinrin yoku”) which involves nature walks to de-stress the mind.
So, bring the best of the outdoors to the indoors by making your own terrarium today.