Saturday, March 3, 2012

Terrariums on the Brain

It's time to confess: I am completely hooked on terrariums. It all started when Chris got me this awesome terrarium kit for Christmas. It came with everything I needed to build this awesome little guy:

I've been keeping the terrarium on my desk at work and it really perks up the office. It's nice to have a little bit of nature around, especially in winter.

I recently bought this button fern and he's been living it up in the humidity in our bathroom. In fact, the fern was doing so well, I decided to try using it to make more terrariums. I've never had much luck with stem cuttings, but I've also never tried rooting hormone, so I figured I would give it a chance.

I found a few more pretty glass containers and then just filled them with similar materials to what was in the kit. I started with a layer of perlite to help with drainage, and then I added a layer of activated carbon. The kit used activated charcoal, but I couldn't find that anywhere. The manager at the pet store assured me this would work just as well. All it really does is help keep odors down. After that, I added a layer of coarse sand, again to help with drainage. You can see that in the picture below.

After that, I added my potting mix and planted my plants. I bought a couple small plants that require lots of water and not much sun and divided them up between the new terrarium bowls. Then I cut some hardy pieces of the button fern and the plants from my existing terrarium and dipped them into the rooting powder before planting them in the new terrariums. I did this just accoring to the directions on the rooting hormone bottle.

You can see the assortment of different plants I included in the big terrarium. I also stole a little moss from the first terrarium, but I'm hoping to go out and buy some more at some point. I'd also like to add some more rocks and maybe a miniature figurine for a little bit of whimsy in a glass. haha

You can see the layers of perlite, carbon, coarse sand and potting mix really well in this picture. This new terrarium also needs some moss, but the lid on it will really help to retain the moisture. I also didn't screw the lid on all the way, so that way air can still get in. If the plants doesn't do well, I may have to adjust it somehow.

While I was playing in the dirt, I decided to enhance my succulent collection as well. I found a few hens and chicks in my garden outside and transplanted them, along with some cuttings of other succulents and some aloe vera into this pretty vase.  Then I covered the layers with another layer of coarse sand for a pretty look.

Isn't this a gorgeous container? I got it at HomeGoods and am thrilled to have more kitty-proof plants in the house. There are only select plants I can keep because the cats won't bother them (like the Hawaiian guy to the right in the picture below), so it's nice being able to put whatever I want in a container. Now I just have to make sure it's in a safe place where the kitties won't nudge it off an edge.

Here's another of the mini terrariums I made. The glass is hard to see through in this picture because I just sprayed it with water.

Here's the leftovers of the plants I divided for the terrariums. Also, that painting on the right is a souvenir from our honeymoon. A local artist painted it for us while we ate dinner one night. He used his fingers to paint the whole thing!

I'll be sure to post an update with how the plants are doing in a couple weeks. Hopefully the rooting hormone works and I remember to keep the soil moist. The good thing is that I used some of the divided plants in every terrarium, so even if the stem cuttings don't work out, the plants with roots shouldn't have a problem getting settled in their new homes, so the terrariums will still have some pretty greenery inside while I try something else.