Getting into planting self sustaining Mini-Terrariums

I’ve recently gotten into the whole aquarium and terrarium stuff. And since my boyfriend forbids me from bringing any more animals home – especially something without legs or with too many legs (yes, it’s snakes and spiders) – I decided to plant some self sustaining mini terrariums.

Having read a lot of how-tos, dos-and-donts as well as some more or less shady guides, I completed my shopping list:

  • (Aquarium) gravel: the water needs to collect on the bottom of the chosen gefäß
  • Activated charcoal: the coal filters Schadstoffe from the earth and water. I bought the granulat stuff that is used for aquarium filters
  • Planting soil: You’ll need something to plant in. The nice lady in the flower shop told me to add some sand when planting cacti.
  • Plants: Just make sure your plants need roughly the same amount of hydration
  • Air-tight see through containers: I bought some glass jars I liked but you really can use anything as long as it’s air tight and (somewhat) see through.

First I bought the containers. And of course I made the huge mistake of not taking them with me plant shopping or measuring how high they are, but you’ll see in time what this is all about. Then I got the gravel and charcoal in a pet shop. The plants and soil were the last things I bought.

Now on to the process of planting. Make sure your containers are thoroughly cleaned to avoid fungus; I decided to clean and desinfect them with boiling water. Put a layer of circa 5 cm gravel in the pot. Then add a thin layer of charcoal. It’s enough when the gravel is completely covered. The soil you add to the jar should be slightly higher than the pot the plants came in. Finally add the plants and – if you want to – some decoration. Just make sure that the leaves don’t tough the walls of the container.

Now, if you forgot to bring measuring tape or have augenmaß as bad as me, you’ll face a bad surprise:

I like it anyways but it’s not what I’ve had planned 😅 Before you ask about the cacti, I didn’t even bother taking pictures. They don’t look as nice and they were too big as well.

So I’ll go and get new containers and bring measuring tape. Then I’ll update with what will hopefully be a real self sustaining mini terrarium and tips as to how to keep it alive. Because even though it’s self sustaining you’ll need to groom your plants once in a while.

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