How Often Do You Water a Terrarium? Watering a Terrarium


As the world shifted into social distancing, people are searching for ways to counter their boredom. One habit that is made very popular among adults is planting. You can barely see any household without the display of beautiful plants at every entrance.

There are many ways to grow a plant, and the most common method is the traditional one—planting it in a pot. But little did you know that there are various ways to grow a plant aside from what we usually do. An example of this is the “terrarium.”

In this article, we will discuss the nature of the terrarium and everything there is to know about it. Here are some of the guiding questions we expect throughout the article:

1. What is a terrarium?

2. How often do you water a terrarium?

3. What are the benefits of a terrarium?

4. What plants are best grown in a terrarium?

What is Terrarium?

A terrarium is an aquarium for small and decorative plants growing in an enclosed environment. It is made out of glass containers and designed to display a miniature garden or forest.

We see an aquarium wherein the domesticated fishes are enclosed in an ocean-like setup. The same idea goes with a terrarium wherein plants are grown to reflect a natural garden or forest.

To make a terrarium, you need:

Glass Vessel– This is where you put everything together. Make sure to choose a glass vessel with a unique style. But you can still use ordinary glass containers but see to it that it is thick.
Pebbles– pebbles has two jobs: base and drainage. This will serve as the base in your terrarium while acting as drainage to ensure that no excess water will stay in the soil.
Activated charcoal– this helps in fighting the bacterial growth in your terrarium. A thin layer of charcoal is enough to keep the water clean and fresh in your terrarium.
Potting soil– this is where the plants stand. Any type of soil will do, but plants like cacti and succulents need a unique soil mixture.
Plants– this one already speaks for itself. It would not be called a terrarium without the presence of beautiful plants.
Miniature Gardening Tools– handy gardening tools will surely help in making a terrarium.

5 Steps To make a terrarium

First step: Put the pebbles inside the glass container for about one and a half-inch thick.

Second step: Add a thin layer of activated charcoal

Third step: Add the layer of potting soil for about two and a half-inch thick.

Fourth step: Add the plants of your own choice.

Fifth step: Add the finishing details after all the necessary parts are completed.

Making your terrarium provides many advantages instead of buying a ready-made terrarium. One example is that you can customize the design of the glass. Another advantage is that you can pick which plant to put in a terrarium.

You can start making your terrarium by merely following the five easy steps. Make sure to plan the design carefully so that every visitor is in a state of awe when they see your terrarium.

The following section will discuss how to take care of your terrarium.

How often do you water a terrarium?

Watering a terrarium depends on the setup of your terrarium. If your terrarium is closed or airtight, you need to water them once a month. But if you have an open terrarium, you have to water them at least every 3 to 6 weeks.

However, you do not have to follow this recommendation all the time. You still have to check the moisture of the soil before watering them. The amount of water to go out depends on the moisture upon checking.

Overwatering the terrarium is against the strict policy of doing the terrarium. This is because terrariums do not have drainage in them. The pebbles only serve as temporary drainage and can only manage a small portion of water.

The trick is to keep the soil moist without overwatering them. To do this, you must use spraying devices like a spray bottle or mister to prevent putting too much water in the terrarium. Spray bottle or mister will make sure that you put enough water to moisten the soil and plants.

Another technique of watering a terrarium is to never spray directly on the plants as they tend to be quite fragile. This will result in damaging the leaves and may ruin the design and positioning of the plants. The correct method is to spray the plants’ sides only while observing if the soil gets the precise moisture.

One thing to observe in a terrarium is condensationOpens in a new tab.If there is condensation on the glass surface, do not spray too much water because this will eventually leak down to the soil and water again. This is because photosynthesis increases the heat inside the terrarium leading the condensation to break down, especially in the closed terrariums.

Moreover, watering the terrariums also depends on the type of plants you grow in them. If you have a succulent-based container terrarium, you need to spray them every 7 to 10 days. In the summer season, you need to spray them every 7-8 days because this is when succulents grow actively and need enough water supply.

In case you overwatered your terrarium, do not panic and correct your mistake immediately. The first thing you have to do is to remove the excess water inside by putting paper towels to absorb it. If paper towels cannot do the trick, you can also place the terrarium in direct sunlight to increase the process of water evaporation.

It is essential to avoid overwatering the terrariums as it can lead to root damage and your plants’ death. Always remember that terrariums do not have drainage systems built in them. It is vital to keep them moist but not too wet to maintain a healthy and elegant terrarium.

What are the benefits of having a terrarium?

Terrariums also have their advantages when growing plants. Aside from its small-scale ecosystems and reflection of the natural garden that brings the impression of nature to every office or household, terrariums have other advantages as well.

These advantages include:

1. Low maintenance indoor gardening– we can see that terrariums do not need expensive cost and much labor. Terrariums are also ideal for people who live in apartments to let them experience having a garden inside a glass container at the comfort of their homes. This also allows small-scale gardeners to continue growing plants even during winter, unlike traditional gardening.

2. Space efficient– a garden that exists in a glass container may not be too stressful to handle and does not occupy big spaces. Unlike outdoor gardening and typical indoor gardening, which usually consume spaces to your limited house area, a terrarium is very different from them. A container-based garden does not need big spaces to grow plants while making your house or offices have a cozy and elegant ambiance.

3. More options for plants to grow– the high humidity levels of enclosed terrariums allow tropical plants to grow, unlike places where the humidity levels are low. With this great advantage, you can have various plants to grow in terrariums that you cannot normally grow in typical outdoor and indoor gardening.

4. Health benefits- terrariums, like any other plant, are well known to reduce stress and bring blood pressure levels regularly. Other health benefits include lesser anxiety and depression, decreased temper, and increased energy levels.

5. Applicable to kids– making terrariums is not that difficult to do so that even kids can create them. You can use terrariums as a tool to educate kids about gardening and how the ecosystem works. The best scenario about this is teaching them about nature while encouraging them to develop gardening skills.

What plants are best grown in a terrarium?

Since terrariums are small, it also needs small enough plants to fit in the glass container without touching the sides of the glass container. Take note that closed and open terrariums have different ideal plants.

For closed terrariums, here are some stunning plants to choose from:

Nerve Plant
Lemon button fern
Maidenhair fern
English Ivy
Baby Tears Plant
Creeping fig
Polka Dot Plant
Golden Pothos
Miniature Phalaenopsis Orchid
Spider Plant

For open terrariums, here are some stunning plants to choose from:

Crassula Ovata
Kalanchoe Tomentosa
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Oxalis Triangularis
Neanthe Bella Palms
Plumosa Nanus
Helxine Soleirolii
Sheet Moss
Pillow Moss
Mood Moss


Terrariums are indeed a great way to do indoor farming. You can choose different plants to grow inside your homes or offices without worrying much about the space.

The only thing you need to be careful when having terrariums is to avoid overwatering them. Besides, knowing all the steps on watering them, which is presented in this article, will keep you on the right track.

Jenni M
Tribal Writer

Edited by
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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