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The Terrarium Project

June 25th, 2009 : Melissa Bateson

What… Wait a minute! I thought Naked Apartments was all about finding NYC apartments for rent.  What’s this post about?  Well – our blog used to be about anything related to renting, and easy decorating projects like this terrarium fall in that category.  So enjoy our post about potted terrariums — they’re very cool — but don’t forget that when you’re searching for a new rental, you can also search our site by your favorite NYC neighborhoods too.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

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You can make yourself one of these beautiful terrariums in less than an hour and for around $20!  A terrarium is not only beautiful enough to give as a gift (housewarming present!) but is also great for those of you who have nibble-y pets.

Here is a list of things you need to get started:
-A clear glass container
-Gravel, stones, small rocks
-Activated charcoal.
-Plants
-Sterile potting mix

Chose your glass container. Closed top containers are good for ferns and moss plants, I used an old fish tank and vase for my first two using only succulents which like an open top.

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Next, add stones or gravel to the bottom of the terrarium.  This is the drainage material, it will create a little reservoir for excess water and keep it away from the roots of your plants.

Spoon 1/4 to 1/2 inch of activated charcoal over the top of the stones.  This will help with any odors in the bowl and also helps with drainage.

Now add your soil.  Be sure to add enough for the roots of the new plants to live in as well as leaving enough space above for the plant to show itself off.

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And add the plant material!  (I get all of my small succulents for $2-$3 in Union Square at the farmers market.)

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Low light plants:
Maidenhead spleenwort
Bird Nest Sansevieria
Swedish ivy

Moderate light plants:
Heart-leaved philodendron
Irish moss
Maidenhair fern
Miniature peperomia
Tahitian Bridal Veil
Parlor palm
Prayer plant
Spider plant
Strawberry begonia
Baby tears

Bright light plants:
Pink polka dot
Elephant bush
Haworthia
Hen and chicks
Jade plant
Oxalis
Rosary vine
Asparagus fern
Bloodleaf iresine
Plush plant

Use a spoon to dig your holes. I sometimes use chopsticks to place or plant very small plants in tight quarters.

Once everything is planted, mist your plants with a spray bottle.  This will clean off any dirt and settle it in with a fresh drink.  DON’T OVER WATER!  Just a little moisture inside a closed lid terrarium is all you need.  An open top terrarium will need more watering attention but still, the plant material is pretty desert oriented so I water only once or twice a month.

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Adding little decorative elements are a great way to enhance your plants!  Sea shells, sculptures, marbles… anything!   Show me what you’re making!

2 Comments
Categories: The rest...
  • Cool story, didn’t thought this was going to be so awesome when I saw the title!!

  • great article! I might actually do one of these – this seems like a very interesting way to get some plants in the apartment without needing a ton of space! I have been looking for a way to get some plants in my lil’ room without dumping them all over the place and this may be the ticket.

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