Last updated: November 22, 2021

What Does Terrarium Mean?

Terrariums are decorative gardens that are grown in sealable glass containers that provide just enough of an opening for the gardener to access their plants. Terrariums can also be grown in open glass containers.

In many ways, a terrarium is like an aquarium, except instead of fish, they are used to house and grow plants.

Because the plants are grown in glass containers, terrariums are often considered self-sustaining small gardens.


Maximum Yield Explains Terrarium

Sealed terrariums create a unique growing environment for the plants; the glass provides consistent warmth as it filters sunlight and the sealed container creates conditions that recycle water so moisture is always replenished.

Soil and plants evaporate water and in a closed terrarium this moisture isn’t able to escape and so collects on the glass and drips back onto the soil and plants. The result is a fairly self-sustaining micro-environment confined within the glass.

Completely closed terrariums need to be opened once a week to remove excess moisture.

The terrarium dates back to 1842 when Botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw was observing insect behavior. One day, he accidentally left one of the jars unopened and a fern spore grew and germinated into a plant. The result was so breathtaking to Ward he expanded upon the concept and the trend of terrariums soon spread.

Orchids, fern, moss, and air plants are popular and more suited for closed terrariums, while water-conserving succulents are the standard for open terrariums.

Because of their unique growing environment and beautiful appearance, terrariums are popular with the home gardener.


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