Life in the Terrarium

Hearing the word “terrarium” makes one wonder if this is a project done by biology majors in school. Truth is, anyone can make a terrarium. It is like having your own controlled ecosystem, a little space you can call your own. Terrariums are highly recommended for kids because it teaches them to be responsible and at the same time understand basic biology concepts like transpiration (release of water vapor into the air by plants), evaporation (water vapor leaves the plants), condensation (formation of water droplets inside the container), precipitation (when droplets of water fall back down the sides of the container into the soil (“KidsGardening”, from

Terrariums are perfect companions/décor for single folk especially those who live in condominiums. It is the perfect garden substitute in your home. You do not need to worry about fertilizers, dengue, pests, and mud. You can freshen your area, however small it is, with terrariums that do not require much effort to maintain. You only have to remember these few caring tips: 1. Spray water on the leaves and especially the soil once a day; 2. Make sure natural light hits your plant, does not have to be direct sunlight, 3. Do not overwater your terrarium because the jars have no drainage holes (“Terrarium Care”, from

To build your own terrarium, you would need to have potting soil, small pebbles, your plant, décor (optional). Famous choices for plants are ferns, nerve plants, jade plants, artillery fern, spider plants, cacti. It is important to keep your plants small by trimming them once in a while. Choose plants of different shapes and sizes for a more natural looking ecosystem. Do not overcrowd your plants in the terrarium! Put in the pebbles first (est. 1 inch from the base) because putting in the soil. The pebbles act as the drainage system for the soil. A bit of moss developing around your soil is a good sign that the small ecosystem is holding up. Do not remove the moss. When putting décor in your terrarium, you can put small memorabilia from places you had visited. Think of a theme and stick with it.

For plants that love humidity, you can keep the lid of your terrarium closed. It is important to keep your closed terrariums away from direct sunlight because the heat will cook your plants! On the other hand, succulents or cacti prefer dry terrariums as these normally thrive in very dry environments. These open terrariums can tolerate direct sunlight.

Now, many people have taken the terrarium to new heights. It has evolved into an artform! Art Tempo Manila recommends the following websites that feature unique and artsy terrariums for your reference and inspiration:

1. This website offers ideas that mix the feel of contemporary art with terrariums:

2. For terrariums with a story and a humorous twist, see

3. To make your own light bult terrarium, visit

For more information on terrarium plants, you can visit or you can email our terrarium experts Ms. Eloi Francisco Rivera at and Mr. Ricky Francisco at