Botany Factory title

terrarium maintenance tools
Succulent terrariums are nearly self sufficient ecosystems. Because succulent species are water-retaining plants that have adapted to arid climates, they need very little watering. They are easy to care for if you follow a few simple rules!

Sunlight

terrariums require sunlight
Sunlight is the most important ingredient for success. Your terrarium will do best next to a window that gets plenty of INDIRECT light throughout the day. It will appreciate fresh, circulating air (an open window will do the trick). Face your terrarium toward the open window so that fresh air can circulate inside the vessel. Do not put your terrarium in a spot where it will bake all day in scorching sunlight- it needs plentiful indirect light.

Watering

water your terrarium periodically with a mist bottle
Your terrarium only needs to be watered once every few weeks with a light spray from a spray bottle, drops from a pipette or a slow trickle from a tepid faucet. It is better to under water your terrarium than to over water it. Remember, it has no drainage, so too much water is worse than too little. Let dry completely in between waterings. Succulents love to be ignored! You should use your judgment in administering water. If certain plants look thirstier than others (dry, crispy looking leaves are a telltale sign), they may need a few more droplets of water.

General Upkeep

clean up after your terrarium for a tidy appearance
You can remove any dead leaves that have fallen from their mother plant to keep your terrarium looking sharp. If a plant starts to mold, remove it immediately so that the mold does not spread. The best method for leaf or plant removal is with long needle nose tweezers.

Plant Replenishment

After a few months, certain plants may flourish at the expense of their neighbors. Survival of the fittest sometimes plays a role in the evolution of your terrarium, providing an interesting if not beautiful progression. Your terrarium will require some upkeep- if a plant dies, you can replace it with some extra moss or a new small succulent from your local garden store.

Troubleshooting

You will know if your plants are getting too much sun (and not enough water) if they start drying up, turning crispy or shriveling at the edges. If they are not getting enough light (and are getting too much water) the plants will mold and become bloated.

If your terrarium is not faring well, please contact me and I will be happy to help with a diagnosis!

© Copyright 2010 Katie Goldman Macdonald