DIY: Cheer Up Your Room with a Terrarium

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A bleak house indeed now that the Christmas tree and all other holiday lights and decorations have been put away. You can’t deny that winter is firmly entrenched, and not about to go away any time soon. But there’s no reason why you can’t create an eclectic indoor garden that keeps the bare look of winter at bay.

Terrariums are not only easy to put together, but they allow your creativity to flow — from the container to the plants you select. You can easily put together a whimsical terrarium in under an hour.

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Here are some tips to get you started

A good place to start looking for terrarium-friendly plants is the indoor section of your nursery. Look for these plants that love the humidity a terrarium provides: Ajuga, club moss (Selaginella), Fittonia, Hypoestes, maidenhair fern, miniature African violets and Sinningia, moth orchids (dwarf forms), Peperomia, and prayer plant. From the outdoor section check out: mondo grass, Scotch and Irish moss, and succulents.

Putting it together

Choose a clear glass or acrylic container, with or without a lid. Almost any size will work, as long as it’s big enough to accommodate your plants. This is a good project for recycling a vase, jar or even a fish bowl. You can make them tiny or as large as your space allows. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Spread a 1- to 3-inch layer of charcoal, gravel, or pumice on the bottom of the container for drainage. Check for a special mix if you choose to use cacti and succulents instead of moss and ferns. You can find all of these at a plant nursery.

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Add enough potting mix to surround plant roots. Gently settle the root ball into the soil, then firmly settle it into place. Add more soil as needed. Play around with the arrangement — mixing up the types of plants, colors, and sizes to make it more visually pleasing.

To water, gently spritz the soil around plants with a spray bottle, taking care not to overwater. If your plants love moisture, cover the terrarium to maintain humidity, but open it occasionally to prevent the buildup of condensation. For drought-tolerant plants such as succulents, keep the container open at all times, and water sparingly.