I've been growing jewel orchids in a terrarium too. Your macodes petola looks great! As I understand it, thats not the easiest one ever to keep happy. Mine is quite small, and Ive been hovering over it & learning all I can. So far it seems happy and is showing some signs of growth. I think I will breathe a bit easier when it is larger.
I don't know if you are still looking for the wardian case you mentioned, but if you are, Terrain might well have it. They have a nice selection of interesting attractive terrariums. Hubby suprised me with one at the holiday and I've been working on putting it together with episcias and miniature violets. It's a work in progress!
I noticed that one of you have the top closed and one has the top open. How do you know which is best? Does it depend on the plants or enviorment or what? Both of your terrariums are beautiful but I do not know much about them. When I read this I think I remembered that I have a suitable jar but it open topped so I do not know if I can use it or not.
I'm certainly not an expert on terrariums. But I think it depends on the plants you have quite a bit. Also, how much moisture is in the terrarium. My episcias and violets like humidty, but have fairly thin leaves that rot easily. I keep them covered (with a clear plastic plate), but only as long as the glass isnt fogging. On the other hand, I have a couple micro-miniature sinningia that are kept completely enclosed in a jar with a lid. For these, I added only a few drops of water initially and haven't watered much (if at all) in months. Some of my orchids with succulent leaves are in glass containers that are never covered. I mist them almost daily.
The whole trick is to balance out the humidity -- enough to make the plants happy without rotting them. I think basically you have to experiment to figure out the right balance for the container and the plants. At the beginning, I watch carefully for wilt or rot and adjust accordingly -- adding more water or covering for wilt and opening the lid if things seem too wet or I see any signs of rot. After a while you get a feel for this.
I hope this helps!
PS: I use open topped jars like you mention all the time -- with plastic wrap or even a ziplock bag for a lid. Not glamorous, but it does work!
I have a post in the Gesneriads forum with a picture of Episcia 'Suomi' in a terrarium. I think that's why there aren't as many posts here as one might expect. I grow almost all of my gessies in terrariums (along with other plants), but I post in that forum or the begonias forum.
I have a aquarium which I turned into a terrarium. I am starting over with cacti...I like low maintenance for indoor as I have so much outside to take care of. any suggestions. The terrarium does not have a cover on it and is placed in the front window which receives filtered or full light just depending on the time of day. I would like to add some color. At the moment I have two cacti with a bright yellow top and another w/ a bright red top. Not sure of the names.there is a pitcher plant in a pot in there as well, which I have placed on a ceramic deco so the pitchers can hang. in a pot outside, I have two orchids, one is a Cattleya and the other is unknown given to me from a neighbor...it has much smallereaves. Neither has bloomed yet. They are planted in an orchid mix soil. would that be okay to transfer into terrarium if so what are the recommendations on doing that?I do have a jade plant in there at the current time just awaiting replacement with cactus. The Jade does love it though. another option would be adding flowers along with the cacti. I need plants that do not lean towards the light has terrarium is very heavy cannot be turned. thank you everybody and any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. Happy gardening!
I really wouldn't recommend putting the orchids in with the cacti and succulents (although I understand why it might be fun if it'd work). The problem is that if the terrarium is dry enough to be safe for the cacti, the orchids won't get the humidity they need (and vice versa). You can grow cacti and succulents together as they both thrive in low humidity and low moisture. The cacti need to be drier than the succulents. It can be tough to grow cacti/succulents in a terrarium, but if you insist, be sure not to cover the aquarium and water only when the soil is completely dry. Good luck!
What about just the cacti? I just want something pretty and easy as the last one got out of control and all plants grew in the front reaching for the sun. What would u reco for additions to the cacti? ,thanks
You could do an attractive container garden just using succulents and cacti. Home Depot often carries a variety of both in their gardening section. Both cacti and succulents require soil that drains well, so if you go that route, you might want to pick up some cactus soil (also available at most HD) and maybe a bag of perlite. I often use a 1/2 cactus soil 1/2 perlite mix. It'd also help to put down a layer of rocks/pebbles at the bottom of the aquarium (before putting in soil) to help drainage. Generally you want to keep both pretty dry, only watering a small amount when the succulents wilt.
Another (easier) option would be to stick with a variety of low light plants (e.g. philodendron), possibly a small dracaena, etc. HD often labels plants by their light requirements which can help guide your selections. Although it looks like you have some reasonable light in front, if the plants were leaning into the light last time that can be a clue that they weren't getting enough light in back. You might want to try some medium light plants up front, and put some low light plants in back.
TBH, I think this option would be a lot easier than the cactus/succulent garden. It can be really challenging to keep C/S happy in an enclosed container. They do best in dry airy environments with plenty of light.
Thanks!! I never thought of looking for plants w/ lighting but size. Ive just been purchasing small ones. great idea! as my son will soon be home from Colorado, we are planting an organic vegetable garden in the backyard at which time I will make a cactus garden I already have a night bloomer traveling on my fence so I will add to that. perfect area to as it gets a lot of Sun.