A terrarium has to be planned properly from the beginning to ensure the plants are able to thrive inside it. There are different types of terrariums with the main categories being open and closed terrariums; the difference being that open terrariums are closed with a lid and the different types of plants that can be grown due to the humidity levels in the environment.
You can find terrarium accessories and supplies from online stores which make it convenient for you to purchase and get delivered. The first thing you should start with is the container. You can either buy a glass terrarium container with a wide opening that is custom built or choose the DIY approach where you source a glass container that is in your home. Make sure you choose something with a wide opening to make it easier for you to build the environment. You can find spheres, domes, geometric shapes and vases when choosing custom terrarium containers; the plus point being the high quality and aesthetics that come with it.
The first layer of the terrarium is the drainage layer which will need gravel at first. You can use small stones from the garden or aquarium gravel for this. They have to be large enough so they create small spaces in between (air gaps). You will need a layer of activated charcoal to absorb the odours of the terrarium and prevent mould and rot from occurring. You can separate the substrate layer from the drainage layer using a fibreglass mesh if required but this is not essential.
The substrate will be what you are planting in and this will depend on what you have chosen to plant in the terrarium. You can use potting mixes or pure potting soil. It is recommended to go with a custom potting mix as you will be able to get better moisture retention. There are other things in addition to soil that will be included in the substrate. You may need sand or moss depending on the requirements of your plants.
If you have just started getting into the creation of terrariums, you don’t need to worry about having to purchase special equipment. You can use your hands for the most part but something your hands will not fit inside the container and you may need to do some delicate work. In that case, a good pair of tweezers will be very useful in placing the plants gently onto the substrate. You can use a long cocktail spoon to dig the substrate.
A closed terrarium will not need frequent watering as it has a water cycle but when you are watering, use a spray bottle so that the water is evenly distributed. You can also have a mister that will add to the aesthetic. To trim leaves and carry out delicate work, you can use some curved scissors. A brush with a long handle is also useful when dusting the plants and cleaning the terrarium. When directing gravel to different areas of the terrarium, you can use a funnel with a long neck especially when you are working with containers that have narrow openings.