Eternal TerrariumsOver the course of a week I created two sustainable biomes. I was inspired by a video of a man who created large and small terrariums with a range of plants and insects inside. I wanted to create the terrariums so that I could observe the way the plants and insects behave without human interaction.
Of course this whole process was carried out at school so there were a few constraints, like time, cost, and storage space. But since I did a fairly small, simple, and inexpensive project, none of these were a problem.
Like I said my project was inexpensive a six pack of half gallon mason jars would be about $20 and all of the things inside the mason jar were free. The only piece that could possibly cost you something would be the gravel or sand at the bottom of the jar.
I made the terrarium by first cleaning out the jar with water, then placing four dots of hot glue it won't scratch or roll on your table (you can place the glue so that the jar rests vertically or horizontally). Next you fill about an inch of sand or gravel in the bottom of the jar for drainage. Than I put soil from our school garden over top of the stones. Once the soil was set I sprinkled it with some water and then collect plants (I recommend succulents and or cactuses because they are hearty and can adapt to changing environments well). If you want your plants to root better you should collect them then place them in a water tight container with some water in it. So they are partially submerged in the water. Then leave the submerged plants for 24 hours. Once the plants have begun to sprout roots go ahead and begin to arrange the plants to your liking. You may also add bugs if you would like. Just keep in mind the terrarium will replicate a rainforest like environment so the bugs must be able to survive in that kind of climate. I would advise that you use less water in the beginning then add more at the end of your process. I found that as I added water throughout the process it began to flood the terrarium.
It can be hard placing the plants how you like or how you think they should be with just your hands. I was really struggling to place the plants but then I realized I could use tweezers to place the plants in an apeeling and successful way. Throughout the process of creating these biomes I have learned that if something is not working and there is nothing you can do about it it will fix itself (at least as far as plants go). My only wish is that I had more time to create more terrariums in more innovative containers.
I added a 3D printed mushroom in each of my terrariums to add a pop of color and just make them a little more magical. You can also add any small plastic toy or figurine you like. I find it makes each one unique the way the plants and insects reclaim the man made object can be fascinating.