Terrarium Singapore , derived from the Latin word Terre, refers to a small enclosure or a closed container in which selected living plants, sometimes small animals like turtles are kept. In short, it is basically an artificial greenhouse. It is a miniature ecosystem, which contains a complex mode of relationship between different types of organisms and resources like plants and microorganisms in soil along with other major resources like water and sunlight.
The basic principle behind a terrarium is that the water from the close circuit soil in the container/jar/pot is taken on to the plant kept in the same as it grows up and released through stems and leaves by transpiration and this water, in turn, condenses on walls of the glass jar/plastic container and runs back into the soil to be used again for self-watering thus consuming less water and still survive in a closed environment not directly exposed to sunlight.
Terrariums are of two types, open (ones with open tops) and closed (ones with a lid). Usually, plants like cactus and succulents are used in open type as they are dry-weather plants that grow with less usage of water, often sprinkled or misted upon a few times in a week.
The items required to prepare a terrarium include containers (glass or plastic), chosen plant/plants, soil for potting, activated charcoal (at times), some decorative items like stones and pebbles etc., a bottle of water to spray (usually a sprinkler) and few other tools to open the container if too small with a lid.
Firstly, a base of pebbles or gravel should be laid on the floor of the jar/pot for about an inch or thicker so as to drain and then coated with a thin layer of charcoal (available usually in horticulture centers), and then a layer of soil to the pot. Nest the chosen plants properly into the soil so that the roots are deeply covered and the stems and leaves do not touch the walls of the container. Usually, the essence of charcoal comes while using a sealed container as this helps in clearing the substrate micro-organisms such as algae and cleanses the air, giving sufficient breath to the plant/plants that are potted and aids in good growth. Different types of moss can also be used to layer upon the charcoal or soil. Place the jar/container in a cool and dry place indoors that is not much exposed to sunlight, but yet gives adequate sunshine for the plants to keep growing.
The advantages and significance
Terrariums are termed as easy ways of indoor gardening with very little maintenance, usually grown in all houses, offices, especially in apartments where the inhabitants do not have access to a yard or garden as such to build up a natural environment. Under supervised conditions, the terrariums last long, sometimes for decades even. Terrariums give peace and pleasantness indoors and keep the home environment also purified with adequate indoor oxygen supply. They help grow plants that cannot be grown in dry weather conditions and create a space for gardening either inside the house or on the rooftop or the balconies of the apartments.