Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I like to imagine that I'm a pretty good gardener. I'm not, but it doesn't hurt to pretend. sort of hurts when all the plants I buy die off or refuse to come back the next spring. That's why, even though I started this terrarium last July, I didn't write a post about it until now. I was just waiting for all the plants to die. Since they've survived this long, I figured I must have done something right, so here's what I did...

I found this huge glass vessel at a garage sale last spring and picked it up for $6. The minute I saw it I knew it would be perfect for a terrarium, the only problem is, it's so big I still haven't quite figured out where to put it. For now it's taking up too much space on the table in our sunroom.

I picked out a few succulents from the huge selection at Tangletown Gardens, a bag of cactus soil, and a bucket full of rocks.

As always, Abe was excited to put on his "glubs" and help me. First, we put a thick layer of rocks on the bottom of the vessel and covered that with a few inches of fast-draining cactus soil. 

Then we added the plants. I'm not sure what this one was called but it did die off shortly after we planted it. Oh well...I like the one I replaced it with better anyway.

I wish I had a picture from when we finished planting it (to see how much everything's grown if nothing else), but I forgot to take one. (Although I did take this picture a few months later.) 

I keep it in a sunny window and give it about 3 cups of water once a month. I've been thinking about adding a layer of pebbles on top of the soil to prevent soil from splashing up on the glass when I water it, but so far I've just added a couple interesting rocks from my childhood rock collection...

...and a butterfly that Abe and I found in my garden last summer. It was dying when we found it, and when we went back to check on it a couple days later, it was still in the same spot but no longer moving. His wings are torn in a couple places but he still looks as vibrant and beautiful as a living Tiger Swallowtail. I just attached him to a short piece of floral wire that pretty much disappears against the greenery in the terrarium.

For the plants, I picked up this cute little guy to replace the groundcover plant that died. It's called a Crassula Mesembryanthemoides, and I found it with the cactuses and succulents in the gardening section at Home Depot. 

This one is a Variegated Jade. Surprisingly, I've noticed new plants sprouting from a couple leaves I accidentally knocked off and just left laying on the soil. I love free plants!

And this beauty is a Manfreda X Bloodspot. It looks like a small agave with sharp spins on the tip of each leaf.

So far it's been really easy to maintain, and considering how easy it is to propagate succulents from fallen leaves, I may just a make a few more.

Anyone else have terrarium tips? A homemade terrarium you'd like to show off? (Leave a link in the comments!) Any other wannabe green thumbs out there? I'm not a black thumb, because I don't kill every plant I touch...just the ones I really love.

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