Desert Terrariums

Posted on February 24, 2013. Filed under: Plants |

When you’re putting a terrarium together you have to consider the plants you’re using.  It is not wise to put moisture-lovers together with the arid-advocates.  That is, moss and cacti do not make good friends.  Also consider the container.  Something with a lid should be used for moisture-lovers because it will naturally retain moisture.  Containers with no lids are better for plants that like it drier because there will be plenty of air circulation which prevents moisture accumulation.

terrarium - desert                                  terrarium - desert 2

With desert terrariums I recommend stones or broken pottery in the very bottom as usual, then cactus potting soil which is specially formulated not to hold moisture as much as regular soil, and then maybe a nice layer of sand or gravel on top around the plants to finish it off.    The plants can be unpotted and put right into the soil before adding the top layer or if the pots are small enough you can plunge the whole thing down into the soil and cover the very top with the gravel so it disappears.  These require very little upkeep, maybe a little bit of water right at each plant once a month or so.

Desert terrariums usually cost more to make because the plants almost always need to be purchased.  I got the living stones and cacti above for $2.49 each and I really splurged on the “Black Widow” Agave which is the centerpiece of the one on the left for $8.99.  The container on the left was also a splurge at $16.99 at the garden center.  I just really loved the way it opens on the side giving it a cool retro feel.  The container on the right is from one of the resale shops again for $1.99.  Notice how both containers have thicker glass with a nice ground edge on the opening.  I like using a more substantial container which seems to make for a nicer finished product.  This is my preference, though, you can certainly use thinner glass and I do at times, too.

Next up, add-ins.  The aliens are coming!

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