Fern Terrariums…Simple & Sexy

I’m a sucker for a cloche, a Wardian case or a terrarium. Since the addition of a conservatory or a move to a warmer climate is a few years off (yes I’m wishful thinking), for now I’m getting my horticultural fix with all of the above.
These structures, ranging in size from a tiny glass jar to a glass building tall enough to contain full size palm trees, are rooted in the Victorian concept of emulating controlled growing environments indoors so plants that would normally not survive in certain climates can be enjoyed throughout the year. The Wardian case has a rather interesting story attached to its accidental discovery, but that is a topic for another day. Today’s post is all about the terrarium. It’s tropical, humid and easy to create. Did I mention cost effective and low maintenance?
Just to put your mind at ease…terrariums have come a long way since the 70’s. No more layers of multi-colored sand in the bottom! And, please no gnome houses!!

Kangaroo Blue, Button & Frosty Ferns
Container with a lid (or at least a narrow opening)
Gravel or small stones
Potting Soil
Fern (or other humidity loving plant, make sure it is small enough to fit in container)
Spanish Moss
Clean container throughly. Place a few inches of gravel in bottom for drainage. Add potting soil on top of gravel. Both gravel and soil should be approximately 1/4 of container. Gently press the fern into place. Top dress with spanish moss. Water sparingly. Be careful not to add so much water that the plant begins to float. Clean sides of container. Attach lid and set in place. Voila! It’s that easy.
Button Fern

Depending on the amount of water in the terrarium, you may need to remove the lid to let moisture evaporate. Terrariums do not need a lot of water, since it is in an enclosed container. Fertilize only after the fern has had a chance to root in the new soil. And, again go easy because there is no drainage. A little fertilizer and water will go a long way.
If you need a bit of green in your home, a terrarium in place of a fresh flower arrangement is a more cost effective idea and they are very low maintenance. Plus, they’re unique, sophisticated and elegant. Dare I say sexy? You decide.


  1. Purpose

    January 3, 2011

    Hi Chris & Debbie–I bought them at The Shell Man in Key Largo Florida. Thanks for stopping by!

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