Closed Terrariums vs. Open Terrariums

Closed Terrariums vs. Open Terrariums

Terrariums - Open vs ClosedChoosing Your PlantsArranging your Drainage LayersTerrarium Carelearn more at 46spruce.comOnce you decide on creating your own terrarium, there are a few choices still to make. These choices will determine which plants will thrive in your terrarium containers, what kind of sunlight it needs, and how much maintenance it requires.
Here is a quick guide to help you make your perfect terrarium.

Container selection

Whether you buy a terrarium kit, or find a  terrarium container and convert it yourself, your vessel choice will determine the type of environment for your plants as being an open or closed terrarium.
                Open - Occasional Maintenance             
Closed - Lowest Maintenance

Choosing Your Plants

Once you choose between an open or closed terrarium, your next decision is to pick the plants you want to grow. The terrarium you choose will lend itself to either moisture-loving plants or plants that prefer an arid, dry environment.  Here are a few of the most popular options for both types of terrariums.
Open -  These plants prefer circulating air and a more arid environment: Aloe, Hens & Chicks, Cacti, Air Plant
Closed - These plants thrive in a closed environment with more moisture: Baby Ferns, Aechmea, Cryptanthus,  Neoregelia

Arranging your Drainage Layers

Proper drainage in a terrarium is crucial for the health of your plants and the success of your terrarium. Each layer serves a purpose for ensuring the longevity of your plant and maintaining the proper growing environment.
Open - Pebbles, Plant, Soil, Charcoal, Rocks
Closed - Plant, Soil, Charcoal, Rocks

   Terrarium Care

The best part of building a terrarium is enjoying it for years to come. If assembled correctly, a terrarium requires little ongoing maintenance. However, don’t let your hard work go to waste by not properly caring for your plants.  
Open - These terrariums are great for direct light or lots of sun.  Make sure to consider the specific plants in your terrarium when placing it. Water every two weeks, or as needed.
Closed - These terrariums require very little maintenance. Indirect light is great for these plants. Direct sunlight on a closed terrarium can burn your plants. Open the terrarium at least once a month for roughly 20 minutes to allow for some air circulation.



Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF, Owner of Floral Underground



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1 comment

Really well written overview. A lot of thing I didn’t know about an open terrarium. I was not aware an open terrarium was so widely accepted.

Charles Hall

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