With increasing apartment living, small gardens, water restrictions and extreme heat, an option is to bring the garden indoors. I’ve been experimenting with terrariums and succulents in bowls.
The idea is similar to wicking beds, or self watering pots, except the container can be completely closed. Closed jars or terrariums need little watering once set up. Watch the glass to see if water condenses all the time, and if so, open the lid until enough of the water evaporates. Condensation should only happen in the mornings.
Tiny container gardens can easily die from over-watering, so the basic principle is create a layer of pebbles at the base, covered by sphagnum moss (sustainable) then charcoal to absorb odours, and finally a free draining potting mix, like cactus mix. Measure the water that goes into the container. Only water again when the soil is drying out. Just stick your finger in the soil to test if it’s drying out.
Succulents can dry out completely between watering and still survive. If the leaves start to pucker it needs watering. I found this handmade ceramic artisan pot in an Op Shop. It’s a great way to repurpose old vases or bowls.
This terrarium was made from a repurposed candle holder. Ceramic animals add character, creating a mini jungle. Terrarium plants don’t need fertiliser unless you want them to grow. If anything, they need trimming back occasionally.
Mason jars can make great containers for pot plants. I’m experimenting with several varieties including a rubber plant and peace lily. This one is home for a Parlour Palm and a ceramic green tree frog. Most terrarium plants and succulents like bright light for at least 6 hours a day, but not direct sunlight. Leave the plants in indirect light, about a metre from the window, or under LED lights, which don’t heat the plants.
Terrariums green up indoor spaces and filter the air. If you don’t have space or enough water for an outdoor fernery, terrariums are a great way to grow mini ones indoors. This one has a bird’s nest fern, and also locally collected moss. Check where you are allowed to collect roadside plants in your area.
A small jam jar terrarium for moss and assorted grasses, also collected locally.