Monday, December 6, 2010

A Mossy Terrarium

Terrariums have lately become a favorite winter activity of mine. I started a few years ago, planting a few plants inside a fish bowl. My son, who was 2 at the time, helped me by placing some toy dinosaurs in it. It looked adorable. Since then, 3 of the 4 plants have died.  I assume the conditions for those particular plants just weren't right for them. And then of course, my son wanted his toys back! So now, I'm re-working all my terrariums.

Last week I ordered "terrarium moss" from a website called Moss Acres. Included in the shipment were three types of mosses that apparently grow well in a terrarium: Cushion Moss, Rock Cap Moss and Sheet Moss.

In the fish bowl terrarium, which is not a closed terrarium, I already have an African violet growing and its got new growth, so I'm thinking its happy in there. I also have miniature fern that stands upright, to give the arrangement some dimension, and a small cutting of Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina).

In here, I placed some of the sheet moss. I didn't want to cover all the soil with it, but I placed a good chunk of it off to one side. Here's how it looks:

The other terrarium is closed, meaning I keep the lid on it nearly all the time. Every few days, I will remove the lid to let in some fresh air, but mostly its closed. My sister had given me a decorative golf ball glued to a tee. I thought it might look best nestled among some grass or various mosses. So I arranged all three types of mosses at the base of this container and put the golf ball right in the middle.

Since I had a lot of moss left over, I decided to create an all-over moss terrarium. It's an open container, wider than the fishbowl but with a smaller mouth/opening. Again, I used all three mosses and made a patchwork of sorts. Here it is:

They are looking good so far! The moss was shipped in a box and each piece is completely dried out in a dormant state. All that's required is to put them onto moist soil and water well. Indoors, moss enjoy lots of indirect light (a contrast to their love of the shade when outdoors). Until they get established, I'm trying to raise the humidity by covering the opening of the terrariums, a few hours every day.

I'm hoping the moss will enjoy their new homes and flourish! I find moss fascinating (as you'll remember from my "Beauty of Moss" post a few months ago) and now I can enjoy it indoors during the cold winter months.


  1. What an adorable idea! How do you water it? Do you just mist it with a spray bottle?

  2. Lovely! I grow succulents and cactus in mine. I will grow Fittonia in my next one. Wondering if Fittonia and moss go well together.

  3. Meemsnyc - For the closed terrariums, I hardly have to water it. It stays moist in there from the humidity. For the open ones, I water it with either a mister, or if its looking really dry, I'll use a watering can, pouring the water down the inside of the glass and not onto the plants themselves.

    One - I didn't know succulents would work! I always thought it would be too humid for them. Do they need a lot of light? Which succulents do you grow?

  4. How fascinating. I remember seeing one of these at my grandfather's house when I was small and being completely engrossed in what I imagined was a whole new world in the bottle

  5. How pretty Kate. I love your terrariums. I have not made one for years. Sounds like a good winter project though for when I am going bonkers from the cold and snow. LOL!

  6. Last Christmas I made glass Christmas ornaments into hanging terrariums. (You can buy sets of clear ones at any craft store.) I hung them on an old coffee cup tree I found at a thrift store and they looked great up on the mantle!

    They are delicate, and can break easily, but they make great gifts. I kept a few around and with their tops on, making them closed terrariums, they lasted for a long time with no extra watering.

  7. Ficurinia - I love that idea! What plants did you put in there?

  8. I love moss! What a great idea. I may have to try this...not so good with indoor plants as I spend most time outdoors but I really love this idea ;)

  9. I have always wanted a terrarium and now I am inspired by your creations. I love the humor of the golf ball!

  10. I have one pitiful terrarium and I killed the moss so maybe I can learn from you how to do it correctly. It is very pretty and terrariums are just about the coolest things ever.


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