Forest terrarium: Introduction
A walk through the forest brings peace to our mind and works wonders for our mental health. However, for most of us it is not possible to go in the forest very often. In this case, the next best thing might be to recreate a little piece of forest in our home, to enjoy every day. This guide will give you all you need to know to make a forest terrarium. Follow the steps described below to have your own miniature forest at home in no time!
Step 1: The vessel
I chose to make the forest terrarium in a large cookie jar, because it has a very nice flat viewing surface. Furthermore, the cookie jar also comes with a fitting lid, that you can paint in a color you like.
Step 2: The drainage
Like all terrariums, the forest terrarium needs a drainage layer to store water. With a drainage layer, the substrate will not be waterlogged, but at the same time there will be enough water so the terrarium will not need watering for many months. I put a layer of gravel at the bottom of the cookie jar, about 2 cm thick. The color of the gravel does not matter much, since it will be barely visible. On top of the gravel I added a layer of sand (optional).
Step 3: The substrate
The substrate comes on top of the drainage layer and it should be a mix of good quality potting soil with a fistful of sand and a fistful of coal. The coal inhibits fungal growth, preventing bad smells.
Step 4: The plants of the forest terrarium
In order to recreate the look of the trees in the forest terrarium, I used small asparagus plants. After planting the asparagus towards the back, I covered the floor of the terrarium with moss. To make the forest look old, I added some dead wood. To finish, I recreated a path through the forest using bark.
Step 5: The decomposers
Decomposers are a critical part of any forest ecosystem, since they transform dead leaves into nutrients for the plants. They play the same role in a terrarium. The best decomposers to add to a terrarium are isopods.
Maintaining a forest terrarium
After creating your terrarium, you should spray water on the plants until you see the gravel at the bottom get wet. The terrarium will not need water for many months. Sprinkle more water if you see that the gravel at the bottom is getting dry. Place the terrarium in a place with good light, but not in direct sunlight (about 1 to 2 meters away from the window). Alternatively, you can place it in a dark place, but under a lamp, like in the picture above. For more tips and questions about maintaining a terrarium, please see our Tips/FAQ page. More general info about terrariums you can find on our Home. If you like our post, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. You will get pictures of our latest terrariums and more!