STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PLANTING YOUR TERRARIUM

TIME REQUIRED: 1 hour
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Low
CHILD-FRIENDLY / FUN: Yes
 
There is nothing better than being able to bring the outdoors indoors. With this step-by-step guide, I can show you how to achieve an easy to make a terrarium in under an hour.
Terrariums are easy to make and take minimal effort to look after once the plants establish – a must for any busy household. Terrariums are miniature gardens encased in a glass house manifesting intrigue and beauty. They not only make a wonderful centrepiece to any home but can see all the family get involved in making them.
 
STEP 1
PREPARE CONTAINER
Lekoky’s glass terrarium has a protective layer of wax. There is no need to clean the terrarium at this stage. If you have purchased another terrarium, please refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning.
 
STEP 2
ADD DRAINAGE LAYER
Fill the base of the terrarium with the clay pellets. Ideally, aim for an even layer. Clay pellets keep any excess water away from the roots of the plants to avoid them sitting permanently in water (which most plants don’t like).
 
STEP 3
ADD SPHAGNUM MOSS
Next, add a good layer of moss. Sphagnum moss keeps humidity longer and gives better durable aeration and lightness to the soil. The moss has an antibacterial activity due to a preservative substance (polysaccharide). The sphagnum moss plant is almost unpurifiable. The purpose of the moss is also to stop the layers from displacing and mixing.
 
STEP 4
ADD ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Sprinkle over the moss an even layer of activated charcoal. The activated charcoal helps keep your terrarium healthy, reducing bacteria build-up, fungi and odour.
 
STEP 5
ADD SOIL
Cover the moss with an even layer of soil. The exact depth of soil will vary according to the plants you are using. However, as a general rule, the soil depth should be a bit bigger than the height of the plant pot.
 
NOTE:
Terrariums are not suitable for fertilizer or compost – this will only cause your plants to ‘outgrow’ the terrarium or overcrowd the other plants. The terrarium works like a mini-ecosystem which can look after itself with minimal care.
 
STEP 6
MAKE SOME SPACE
Make a shallow well across the centre of the terrarium soil for your plants to be positioned.
 
STEP 7
PREPARE PLANTS
Take each plant out of its pot, gently break off the outer soil and loosen the plant roots. They may have spikey foliage that could be painful to handle, making it unsuitable for children to unwrap without supervision.
TIP:
If you find the plant roots too long, you can trim the roots to fit inside the terrarium. Don’t worry - they will grow back.
 
STEP 8
START PLANTING
Arrange your plants in your terrarium – there is no exact science on how to do this, do whatever you find aesthetically pleasing. Once you have added all of your plants, add more soil around the base and sides of each plant, ensuring the roots are covered. Finally, gently press down around each plant.
 
STEP 9
ADD SAND AND STONES
After you are happy with the position and look of your plants, you can think about what to add to bring the terrarium to life. Now is the time to put the final touches on your terrarium. I would advise starting with scattering the sand and placing stones on the top. Slightly push stones into the surface for a more natural appearance.
 
STEP 10
ADD REINDEER MOSS
Add pieces of moss between the plants to make it look realistic. If you have any objects collected from your recent walk in the woods or the beach, add them to make your terrarium more personal. These can be sticks, small branches, shells, acorns, different types of mosses, bark, etc. Although it is optional, you might choose not to add any decorations.
 
STEP 11
CLEAN AND GLEAM
At this point, after all the fun of creating your masterpiece indoor garden, you will probably have some soil on the glass. If so, don’t panic. Use a small brush to brush it off from plants and glass.
 
STEP 12
WATER
Give your terrarium watering to get it started and settle the plants. You should then only need to water the terrarium about once every other week. However, check how wet the soil is before each watering. If the topsoil is sodden wet after a week, reduce the amount of water you give it in future and wait until the top layer of soil is dry before watering again.
 
STEP 13
ENJOY
Find the perfect place to display your mini-masterpiece and enjoy the wonderful world you have created inside the terrarium.
 
TIP:
Your terrarium will flourish and be at its best in a warm spot with access to indirect sunlight – avoid placing the terrarium on windowsills in direct sunlight.­­­