Like small manicured lands, making terrariums at home is beautiful and good for the mind
Gardeners “tend” to be happier than most because, among other reasons, like having more vitamin D or being out in the wild, they always have something to look forward to.
But undoubtedly one of the most fascinating gardening trends is the popular advent of building and maintaining terrariums – small slices of tropical climate enclosed in glass jars, bottles or aquariums that, if properly prepared, can last for decades.
NASA describes a terrarium as a “forest locked in its own little world,” but there is no specific rulebook for the size of a terrarium or what should be kept inside. The “Let’s talk terrariums” Subreddit testifies to this.
Far from being a simple feast for the eyes, tending to a terrarium can actually improve your mood, even just having a plant or two around. will decrease anxiety, and can help refresh the mind after a period of concentration on work.
It was particularly poignant, a terrarium business owner told the BBC, during confinements.
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“I’ve seen a real influx of people wanting to get into horticulture and grow their green thumbs,” says Emma Terrell, of Ottawa, Canada. The Grand Nord Blanc has also experienced a boom in home mushroom cultivation.
Terrell short Urban Botanist where she sells DIY supplies to make terrariums of all kinds.
“People saw it as a way to relax, unwind, be creative, and engage with this innate need within us to engage with nature.”
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There is also a natural geometry, or at least it is believed, plants that make them attractive to look at. All humans tend to prefer things in symmetry or in cohesive patterns like a spiral, and so plant leaves or fern stems may be pleasing to the eye for reasons involving fractals and math rather than just “simple” beauty.
Make a terrarium at home
Making a terrarium is first of all deciding whether you want an open-air terrarium, for succulents, or a closed version.
For an enclosed terrarium, choose a soil substrate that will not grow mold. James Wong, a botanist and the author told the BBC to use kurodama soil, which is typical of bonsai, a species that can also be comfortable in a terrarium. This Redditor used a bonsai tea Fukien / carmona.
Next, pick plants that would be comfortable on the forest floor in the tropics. Simple species like moss and ferns work well.
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“I researched all the different species [of moss], there is only one that is easily accessible and very reliable. It is called Leucobryum glaucum, sold by florists as “bun mousse,” Wong said.
There is a limit in a closed ecosystem to the number of plants that can be nurtured, so fill in the gaps using decorative items like stones, driftwood, or maybe a garden gnome.
NASA for kids suggests using a layer of activated charcoal on top of a rock layer at the bottom of the terrarium, under the ground, to help filter water and prevent mold growth. They say to put the terrarium in indirect light, but Wong says you can use growing light to help if the room is too dark.
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