Terrariums provide a touch of color and life to homes without much space for potted plants or gardens. These self-contained environments are warm and bright, perfect for small, thriving plants. You can make terrariums from anything, including empty soda bottles and decorative glass candy dishes. Your children can make their own to learn about nature and responsibility. Just choose the right plants, and you're ready to get started.
Miniature African Violets
Miniature African violets look just like their larger cousins but only grow about 4 inches tall and open with flowers about the size of a dime. These tiny flowers range from bright, saturated purple to pink to white. The flame violet also belongs to the African violet family and comes in its own miniature version. The saturate yellow-orange of these violets would complement the purple version perfectly. Plant these violets in moist, well-drained soil with plenty of bright, indirect light. They're very low maintenance.
Shamrocks are actually tiny, seasonal bulb plants. These leafy, lucky little plants grow easily in cool spaces with bright, indirect light. They like moist soil and make a showy backdrop for flowering plants. You can use them as a "ground cover" in your tiny garden environments. Growing them also gives you a better chance of finding four leaf clovers.
Plant the tiny bulbs about ½ inch apart with a little of the bulb showing, just as you would larger bulbs. Make sure the soil becomes dry to the touch between waterings.
Herbs grow quickly with little encouragement and are prone to taking over other plants, similar to weeds. Terrariums prevent these plants from getting too large or widely spread while giving you fresh herbs to add to your cooking or original tea recipes. Spices like mints, thyme, rosemary and basil also add a spicy, fresh fragrance to your home.
Plant herbs in a terrarium by sprinkling the seeds over the soil. Cover the seeds with another light layer of soil and water until moist. Water again only when the soil feels dry. Most herbs need plenty of light, so set them in sunny kitchen windows.