How to Grow A Plant In A Glass Bottle - Creating A Miniature Terrarium
Growing tiny plants in a bottle is an interesting project for both children and adults. Bottle terrariums are low maintenance and they can be used as displays in the home. It is very easy to make your own miniature terrarium. A clear glass bottle with a wide mouth can be used. The smaller the mouth of the bottle the more challenging it will be to make this terrarium. The plant you select must be small and slow-growing, otherwise it will outgrow the space in just a few weeks. Carnivorous plants like venus flytraps and sundews are suitable for bottle terrariums as they like the humidity that is similar to their natural environment.
You need to give the bottle a good wash to ensure there are no harmful chemicals or soap residues that could potentially deteriorate the health of your plant. Select a baby plant from your garden. If you have a big bottle, you can have up to three different small plants in the same bottle to create an interesting landscape. As I had a small bottle, I had chosen a small butterwort carnivorous plant which is a slow-growing plant that produces long lasting pink flowers in summer.
Next you need to prepare some gravel and potting medium. Coloured aquarium gravel can also be used to add some colours to your terrarium. The potting medium will depend on the type of plants you choose. Most houseplants require a good potting mix and carnivorous plants require peat moss mixed with some propagating sand.
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Get a long stick to use as a tool for arranging the items in the bottle. The length of the stick must be longer than the height of the bottle. An old wooden chopstick always works for me.
This was how I set up my miniature terrarium. First, I covered the bottom of the bottle with about two centimetres of gravel. Next, I added in about five centimetres of the peat moss mixed with propagating sand. If you are using a bigger bottle and growing more than one plant in there, you should have at least ten centimetres of growing medium on top of three centimetres of gravel.
I used the wooden chopstick to level out the top of the soil and then dug a hole for planting. Now I was ready to insert the butterwort plant into the bottle. Oh no! The plant was too big to go through the mouth of the bottle. The leaves of the plant were stiff as cardboards and they could not be bent without me bruising them. There was no way I could get the little bugger into the bottle without a fight and the leaves were starting to fall off. Before I knew it, my beautiful butterwort plant was already falling apart in pieces...
It took me another ten minutes to look for another carnivorous plant for my terrarium. I found a small cephalotus plant with tiny pitcher leaves in my greenhouse and thankfully, the leaves were more flexible than the doomed butterwort plant. This time, the cephalotus went into the bottle with ease and sat comfortably in the little hole in the peat moss.
After putting in the plant, you have to use the stick to push the soil around the plant to cover the roots. Gently water the plant and moisten the soil around it. The soil should be just moist and not soaking wet. The excess water should flow down to the gravel layer. Place the terrarium in a well lighted area. Do not leave it in direct sunlight for a long period of time as it will heat up rapidly under direct sunlight and kill the plant. The terrarium only needs to be watered every few weeks or when the gravel layer looks dry.
Gardening supplies for growing plants in terrariums
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