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Making A Caribbean Terrarium

Updated on December 23, 2014
Froggy213 profile image

A Gringo who moved to Puerto Rico, Greg loves writing about the island he now resides on. He and Maria also wrote several bilingual books...

I have always had a love for plants, gardening and landscaping.

I remember the moment my Mother came home with a huge terrarium to decorate our family room when we lived in Fort Dodge, Iowa many years ago. I used to sit on the floor admiring that terrarium and then I got an idea which landed me in "hot water."

I figured that terrarium was like a rainforest. I believed it should also have wildlife, so I caught a small tree frog, a pair of crickets, a couple of grasshoppers, and a small black snake. Into the terrarium they went.

My step dad had drank a few beers and was looking at the terrarium. I was still at the table trying to "down" the brussel sprouts that I detested. I would always have to sit until all my plate was finished which meant hours upon hours when we had those ugly things they called vegetables.

Lyle (my step dad) called my Mom over and she let out with a scream unlike I had ever heard.

I didn't have to finish my plate that night, but I think I would have rather set at the dinner table than the belt I received over my bare buttocks.

From what I gathered, the snake was feeding on a cricket the minute Mom looked.

Guess what....

I still love terrariums.

Plants of Puerto Rico

Many of you know that I reside in beautiful Puerto Rico now with a person I love dearly....Lastheart.

Puerto Rico is like a huge terrarium. I enjoy the many species of plants we have here.Even the weeds are beautiful.

Well today I ran across a few old jars and had this wild idea. I would give a shot at making a terrarium similar to the one Mom brought home. The difference here frogs, crickets, grasshoppers or snakes. Just beautiful Caribbean plants.

I decided to Google search the how to make a terrarium and came across these 3 websites:

3 jars to become terrariums
3 jars to become terrariums | Source
Gravel in the terrarium jars
Gravel in the terrarium jars | Source

Step #1

I gathered those jars and proceeded to scrub them clean.

I did not use any chemicals, because chemicals could damage the plants.

I used water and "elbow grease."

Step #2

Following the directions of the websites I had researched, I found that the bottom of the terrariums needed gravel.

I went to the driveway and scooped up hands full of the small rocks and put them in the bottoms of the jars.

After they were all in, I decided to run water in the jars and clean the rocks. I swished them around and emptied the water.

Jars with gravel and dirt
Jars with gravel and dirt | Source

Step #3

Well, we all know that a terrarium needs dirt.

How else will the plants grow if they don't have dirt?

A few days ago, I had made an area to grow parcha (passion fruit). There was still a lot of good soil around, so I strolled down the hill with my terrarium jars in hand. Playing in the dirt, I managed to get soil into all 3 jars through their small holes.

Out of all these beautiful Caribbean plants

Which ones should I use?

Terrarium almost complete
Terrarium almost complete | Source
terrarium | Source

Step #4

I took clippings from them all.

Working with a long tool, I poked the plants down through the openings into the dirt.

I added more dirt to help bury the stems. We have found that many of the plants here in Puerto Rico will grow if you clip them and plant them.

Well, now we will see. I plan on adding some more potting soil on top of them in a few days.

Will my terrariums survive? I hope so.

Now, I just may have to catch a coqui and put in them before Lastheart gets home.

© 2014 Greg Boudonck


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    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Thanks Greg. Hope your better half is doing well. Praying for the well being of all. Take Care.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from Will soon return to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      Thank you very much Muhammed. I also wish you and yours a very joyful holiday season my friend.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Hi Greg your interest of making a terrarium is quite commendable, the procedure adopted and the materials used are quite useful. Thanks for sharing with us. Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from Will soon return to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      Thanks billy. It is a fun and exciting project.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We used to make a lot of these when I taught school. Great project for parents with kids.

      Have a superb Christmas, my friend.