Pour a 1 inch base of small-medium sized rocks on the bottom of the jar for drainage.
Next add an even layer of activated charcoal which acts as a natural filter to absorb toxins, remove impurities and rotten soil smells.
Add the potting soil. If using cactus or succulent plants, make sure that you add some sand or small rocks as these plants require good draining soil. Only fill the jar ¼ full with soil to leave room for the plants to grow.
Gently shake off any loose soil from the roots of your plants and bury them into the terrarium soil so the base of the plants are even with the top of the soil. Pack soil around each plant to hold it into position. Don’t overcrowd your terrarium, leave space for air to flow around each plant.
Next add your top dressing décor of mixed size rocks, dried mosses, driftwood, crystals or waterproof trinkets. Again, don’t overcrowd your terrarium with décor, leave some space for the plants to grow and still have good air flow.
Water only when soil becomes dried out and light brown in colour. Water sparingly, careful not to oversaturate the soil. Check terrariums weekly and remove any dead leaves promptly.
Hints & Tips
- Succulents and cacti are best planted in vessels with good airflow and less soil room. They also require full sun exposure.
- Tropical plants like ferns and mosses can grow in low light and are best in terrariums with lids since they love humidity. They also require more space as they grow quickly.
- Air plants are the most versatile since they don’t require soil, they prefer indirect light but can also handle low light to full sun. They are called air plants because they absorb moisture through their leaves and only require misting or soaking weekly. Air plants are slow growing so you can use them in small vessels.
- For air plant terrariums, follow the same steps except don’t use soil or charcoal. You can use rocks as a base, or sand and shells. For care, we recommend removing the plants from the terrarium and soaking them in a bowl of distilled water for 5 minutes before returning them to the terrarium. Leave the lid open so that they dry out within a few hours of watering, this will stop them from rotting.
- Succulent and cactus Kilner® terrariums only require watering once a month. Taking the lids off every day to allow air flow would also be beneficial.
- The air plant terrarium and the tropical plant terrarium will be fine with the lids on the majority of the time and with monthly watering.
Thanks to Sarah Gies and Eric Gibson at Axis Mundi Artistry for this tutorial and images. Axis Mundi Artistry.