Monday, 10 February 2014

DIY bottle terrarium

I spent the day yesterday up to my elbows in mud and dirt, relocating some of my sad looking plants into a lovely new home...

As much as I love the arrangement of these plants in the glass dish I bought from Ikea, the soil had developed a bad case of fungus flies (little annoying black flies similar to fruit flies) so I thought it about time to re-home them into a big green terrarium bottle inherited from my Nana. Replacing the soil will hopefully get rid of the little blighters, plus transferring it into a terrarium environment means it will (in theory) take care of itself, with very little attention. Perfect!

The plants here were originally bought in Ikea, and the green one is particularly sad and weepy. I think I managed to rescue most of it, however the purple plant is where most of the flies were hiding so I had to discard a lot of it, despite it looking quite healthy. There's a tiny salvaged bit in the bottle garden now so we'll see how it gets on...

To pad it out a bitI bought a couple of little ferns from local nurseries and garden stores. I also added a layer of stones and pebbles to the bottom for better drainage. Here's the process and finished product. Easy peasy!

Why not make your own? All you need is a glass jar, some stones or pebbles for drainage, compost / potting soil, and suitable plants. For a closed terrarium like this one try to find plants that thrive in humid conditions, such as ferns. If succulents and cacti are your thing choose an open container like the glass dish at the top of this post.

Some people recommend using a layer of charcoal between the stones and the soil, but I couldn't find any so just used a good layer of drainage pebbles.

Try to keep your terrarium out of direct sunlight and away from radiators as this can cause overheating. Also keep an eye on the health of each plant inside; if any are dying or infected take them out as soon as possible to save the other plants... 

Happy planting!

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