When you have been tending to terrariums for as long as I have, you’ll find that over time those healthy little plants have sucked up all of the nutrients and moisture in the soil and it could be time for a little maintenance. To refresh a terrarium, I like to change the soil once each year, which is also great timing to check the design and make any adjustments.
You don’t have to disassemble the whole thing and start over; just a quick 15-minute terrarium refresh will give you another year of beauty to enjoy.
I do my refresh without having to remove the plants, but you can certainly give the whole thing a makeover if the plants are either overgrown or dead. I do this every few years because I like to change up the design as well as improve the plants.
Not all terrariums need to be completely made over each year, however. This little glass terrarium was planted a few years ago and looked like this:
Now, here it is after two years:
I think that it is still looking lovely with the plant growing up and through the holes in the top and draping over in a darling way. I would not be able to remove the plant without damaging it.
The soil, however, is not looking as good. It is dry and lifeless and it no longer holds water well. There are also a few root balls in the terrarium of plants past. A refresh is really all that this terrarium needs. Here’s how to do it.
Start by removing everything in the terrarium that is not rooted down.
Then, remove the old soil by gently loosening it around the roots, keeping the plant roots intact and in place.
When everything is removed, it is a great time to give the terrarium glass a good wash. I use a soft cloth and homemade vinegar cleaner.
Next, fill in the terrarium with fresh indoor potting soil. Be sure to use soil specifically for indoor potting to avoid introducing annoying critters like soil gnats to your terrarium. Water the soil well.
Add any new plants that you have adopted and redesign the decorative features. Moss, bark, stones, and more can make for a natural and interesting terrarium design.
Wild about terrariums? Check out these posts:
- Essential Plants for Stunning Terrariums
- Have an Overgrown or Dying Terrarium? Get Creative with a Makeover
- Colorful Terrariums to Brighten Your Day!
- Create a Gorgeous Pebble Terrarium Garden
- Wait until You See this Terrariums Nightlight!