Foliage Terrarium Care Guide

An important note about transplant shock: within the first week or two, the plants in your new terrarium may show some symptoms of transplant shock. Don't worry - this is a normal part of moving plants from one home to another and nearly always goes away on its own. Some plants will show no symptoms while others may exhibit several.

Leaves damaged due to transplant shock normally won't recover, so remove damaged leaves if they are unsightly. New growth should be healthy and beautiful! If new growth after a week or two isn't healthy looking, or if you have any specific questions about how your terrarium is doing, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to help!

​Symptoms of transplant shock may include: drooping, curling leaves, and the lowest set of leaves changing color or falling off.

Be sure to water within the first 4 hours of planting your new terrarium!

When watering your terrarium, it's helpful to keep the weather conditions that your plants are used to in mind. Most foliage plants are native to temperate and tropical regions where frequent rain is common. Water foliage plants lightly and frequently to best mimic these conditions and help them do their best to succeed.

​To water your terrarium, use a spray bottle or diffused stream from a small rain-head watering can. Cover the entire surface lightly and evenly so that just the top 1/2 - 1 inch of the soil is saturated. The goal is to get the soil evenly wet but not have standing water collect in the charcoal and pebble layers below. It is okay to get the leaves wet.

One of the easiest ways to achieve even watering is to spray the inside of the terrarium with the spray bottle until a band of moisture forms along the sides about 1/2 inch deep. You should be able to tell how deep the water is into the soil by looking at the outside of the glass and observing the darker color of the wet soil.

Avoid watering using a cup or faucet as it is difficult to evenly apply this way and you run the risks of pooling, over-watering some, and under-watering others. The more plants you have in your terrarium, the more room you have for error as closely packed neighbors can redistribute water to other nearby plants.

 Avoid over-watering by allowing the soil to dry out lightly between waterings.

​Monitor the moisture in your terrarium about every other day or so for the first few weeks until you get a feel for what kind of watering schedule it needs. Perform a visual check by looking through the side of the glass (wet soil will be darker in color) and use your finger to feel if the soil on the surface is moist. Do not water your terrarium again until most or all of the water is completely gone or if your plants start to exhibit symptoms of under-watering (see below). Most foliage terrariums need watering about every 2 - 3 days but this may vary due to conditions in your home, heat, air quality, light and season.

​Signs of over-watering may include: mold, mildew, or insects appearing in your soil, and the lower leaves yellowing or falling off.

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop watering and put your terrarium into a warm, dry, and sunny place until it dries out.

Signs of under-watering may include: wrinkled or droopy leaves, sagging stems, and the bottoms leaves or new growth leaves falling off.

If your terrarium is showing signs of under-watering, resume a gentle watering schedule by following the directions above. However, note that too much water following a dry spell can shock your terrarium and make it more susceptible to over-watering, so just be careful not to panic and water too much. It is always better to gently rehydrate a plant gradually than to under-water and then over-water.

​Foliage plants in general thrive under a variety of lighting conditions - however, most of the species we stock are categorized as "low to medium" to meet the provisions of our local climate. Keep them as close to a window as possible for best results. Southern or western facing windows will provide the most light. 

If plants are not getting enough sunlight, they will start growing very tall very fast and become pale. This is known as stretching. The plants are accelerating their growth rate in hopes that they will be able to reach more sunlight. This will not harm your plants in the short term, but if you notice your plants are stretching try moving them to a sunnier spot or getting a grow light for a nearby lamp.

Fertilize plants that are not getting enough light more often.​

​The soil in your terrarium has enough nutrients in it to keep your plants happy for at least 2 months. After that, use a bacterial inoculant fertilizer to water into the soil. This will re-up the amazing micro-organisms that live in healthy organic soils to keep the ecosystem you've built for your plants thriving!

Using chemical fertilizers such as Miracle Grow will kill the bacteria in the soil and make it more difficult for your plants to sustain themselves, so please refrain. If you use a chemical fertilizer, you will see a white film form on your soil - that's the bacteria and beneficial organisms dying off.

You can also use a foliar fertilizer spray applied directly to the plants' leaves 1 - 2 per month in addition to or instead of the bacterial fertilizer.

​If you have any problems or questions, please let me know! I'm here to help you be successful in caring for your plants! Don't hesitate to contact me via email, text, phone call, or on Facebook or Instagram.