Add some much-needed greenery to your winter by making a self-contained ecosystem for a magical, miniature indoor garden. Ruth Monahan of Appassionata Flowers shows you how…
Perfect for people with no gardens or limited outdoor space, terrariums are a brilliant way to feel like a gardener – without actually having a garden. And truth be told, once your bespoke ecosystem is set up, it requires little skill to keep your plant alive – beyond keeping a watchful eye on hydration and giving a light misting every few weeks. Here, Ruth Monahan, creative director of Dublin’s floral boutique Appassionata Flowers, shows you how it’s done.
YOU WILL NEED
• Plant (decide on one or more succulents, or other suitable plants that you love; see below for suggestions)
• Terrarium or another repurposed glass container that you think will look great at home (remember to choose a container with a wide opening to prevent accumulation of moisture)
• Soil: you need to use succulent soil or else mix peat moss with sand/gravel and perlite (2:1:1 ratio)
• Lichen or moss (optional)
• Sand (optional)
Click through the gallery above in fullscreen mode for the step-by-step…
Top terrarium tips and tricks
• Don’t place your terrarium outside; the plants will start to flatten out and leaves will fall off as they don’t like the cold.
• Water/spray your terrarium only every two weeks or just keep the soil damp. The most common way to kill a plant is overwatering!
• Make sure it has at least five hours’ daylight daily and is not in direct sunlight, or the plants will burn through the glass.
• If using a fully closed container, take the top off for several hours a day to allow the plants to breathe.
• Fertilise only in the summer (May through September).
• If using air plants, be sure not to water them, because they live off dust molecules in the air.
Seven terrific terrarium plants
• Echeveria (possibly the most popular genus of succulent; try the purple ‘Perle von Nürnberg’, one of the most stunning varieties)
• Crassula (another type of succulent, which includes the popular jade plant, Crassula ovata)
• Haworthia (beautiful small rosette-forming succulents)
• Senecio (ragwort or groundsel)
• Sansevieria (mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant)
• Aloe (go for familiar aloe vera or try the more unusual Aloe marlothii)
• Tillandsia (air plant)
Find a great collection of terrarium containers at Appassionata Flowers.
Photography Nathalie Marquez Courtney