Did you just get a new terrarium and you're not sure how to take care of it?
Good thing the internet exists!
I'm going to compile a simple care and info guide so you know what to do with your tiny ecosystem.
Terrariums do best with artificial light. It doesn't have to be a fancy grow light, just some bright indoor light of any kind for at least 8 hours a day will do. We keep some of our bigger ones on our bookshelf under a shelf light and they do great.
Whatever you do, DO NOT place it directly in the window with direct sunlight, it will create a greenhouse effect and cook everything in the jar. We don't want that. Terrariums thrive on filtered light.
Here's some info on placement of your terrarium.
- North – This is the ideal spot. Northern-facing windows never see direct sunlight and enjoy indirect light throughout the entirety of the day. Feel free to put your terrarium as close to the window as possible (i.e. on the windowsill) to maximize the amount it gets.
- East – The next best, East-facing windows receive some weaker direct sun in the morning, then bright indirect light throughout the day.
- West – West is a little risky, with your terrarium seeing some strong full sun in the afternoon. Delicate plants should be shielded, and realistically only the more tolerant plants will do well here.
- South – South-facing windowsills are pretty much a no-go I’m afraid. Your terrarium will experience full sun throughout the hottest parts of the day. In rooms with a South-facing window, you’ll need to move your terrarium several feet away from the light source.
Your closed terrarium should not need to be watered, but if it looks dry, add some distilled, rodi or bottled water in small amounts. If you accidently watered too much, just keep the top off for a few days until the water evaporates. Because the enclosed environment creates a humid atmosphere, you won't need to water it as often as you would with plants outside of a terrarium. Overwatering can lead to the growth of mold and fungi. To tell if your terrarium has the right water balance, it should have some condensation on the glass in the morning and go away during the evening.
Prune and groom your terrarium plants as needed. Trim off any yellow or brown leaves and remove any dead plant material to prevent the growth of mold and fungi. If the plants begin to outgrow the terrarium, you may need to prune them back or replace them with smaller plants. Some people choose to leave some dead leaf material in the terrarium so the nutrients can be absorbed back into the plants.
To clean your terrarium, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dust or debris from the glass. Since you might have a very small terrarium, holding a small wad of paper towel with tweezers usually works, or using a cotton swab. Usually aquascaping tools are a good choice for all around care. If you notice any mold or fungi growing, mix 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle and gently spray the affected area. Keep lid open for a day then close.