Thursday, April 17, 2014

Green Tutorial: Wedding Terrarium

Remember when I went to Galentine's Night at Whole Foods and learned how to make a terrarium? It was so much fun! Every glass jar I encounter has a new purpose - it could be made into an awesome terrarium!

I made this terrarium for my friends, Brittany and Matt, last month as a wedding present from Kenneth and me. The best part of the terrarium is the teeny tiny bride and groom! They're so little! I bought the figurine from HobbyLinc. HobbyLinc sells a ton of different figurines of people and animals - so many possibilities!

Medium to large glass jar (with or without a lid)
Small pebbles
Potting soil
Small plants
Larger pebbles 
Tiny figurines, I used this Wedding Couple from HobbyLinc (view all of their HO scale figurines here)


Gather all of your materials. I purchased my pebbles, charcoal and potting soil at Strader's Garden Center in Grandview. The glass jar was leftover from the gigantic collection of glassware Kenneth and I had after our wedding. Our centerpieces were herbs planted in glass containers we thrifted from GoodWill. They were also wedding favors, but the ones that weren't taken home by our guests went home with us. This one was the perfect shape for the terrarium I wanted to make!

The Nerve Plant (Fittonia verschaffeltii) was bought at the Home & Garden Show last month. The white stones are also left over from our wedding - I used them as drainage for the potted herbs. 

The three main components needed in a terrarium are pebbles for drainage, charcoal to clean and purify the water and soil for the plants to grow in. Put the pebbles in first. I find that for small containers it helps to 'spoon' the pebbles in. You'll want a layer about an inch in height. Next add an inch layer of charcoal, using a spoon if you wish. Finally add some soil, not quite an inch unless you have a lot of head space still left in your container.

The plants are next! Remove your plant(s) from their plastic pots and gently tease the root ball so it's a bit loose before placing each plant on the layer of soil you just added. When I took the Nerve Plant out of its pot I realized that it was several individual plants, not one single plant. If any of your plants are like this, definitely separate the plants so they have more room to grow. It also makes filling your terrarium much easier!

You will most likely need to add some soil around the root ball of each plant. It's easiest if you pre-moisten your potting soil with a bit of water before spooning it into your container. Dry soil will get everywhere, but with damp or wet soil you have more control. I spooned a little bit of soil into a plastic container, added water and stirred before adding the damp soil to the jar. Once you're happy with how your plants look, wipe down the inside of your jar with a towel to remove any loose soil.

If you're using rocks or other decorative items, add them now. Make sure that no leafy parts of your plants are buried under soil before placing the rocks. To make sure the little bride and groom stay in place, I used a hot glue gun to glue them to a rock with a flat surface (check out how tiny they are - that's my fingertip they're standing on!). 

The needs of your plant will help determine how you care for your terrarium. Nerve Plants are low-growing plants which are native to Peru. They prefer to grow in humid environment, out of direct sunlight. Perfect for a terrarium! 

I'm excited about this new terrarium! Check out some of the other terrariums I've made here!