There are many little gardens in glassware classified as terrariums on the market these days. We specialise in an enclosed terrarium and this blog post will be discussing the health of our enclosed terrarium system.
Our special layer system in each vessel we create is to ensure our terrariums have long life. One of the most common questions we receive is concerning mold or leaves turning brown. While it is true that some terrariums can develop mold, this is rarely the case with our terrariums. What people are mistaking as mold is nothing more than a composting leaf or two or three. We also have information on our FAQ page with troubleshooting advice.
If you take a walk outside and check out the leaves on plants and trees alike, you will notice on any given day that plants have either a brown leaf or a leaf that has fallen off. The same happens in a terrarium, the difference is; inside a terrarium the wind has not blown it away. The leaf will typically begin it's compost cycle inside the terrarium (unless you remove the leaf before it composts down).
This is all completely normal and actually good for your terrarium to obtain nutrition and carbon dioxide through the decomposing leaves. If this happens all too regularly, watch out for too much moisture and ensure your terrarium is not getting too much indirect sunshine (no more than 20 minutes a day if any).
This picture illustrates common misconceptions of mold inside terrariums.
Another misconception is that moss in a terrarium should always be bright luscious green in colour. Moss comes in all shades of green and brown; it will live through different seasonal life cycles. Once again, if you look at moss in the outdoors, this is true of moss in it's natural habitat. The underside of moss is always a browner colour. Over time you may also notice some white fluff in the moss, this will be the leaf matter composting down. Moss used in our terrariums is naturally harvested from the forest floor, not commercially grown and is natural bush moss; not preserved or painted moss.
If you are concerned about your terrarium health, check the layer system has moisture and that the glass has slight condensation. Unless the terrarium is air-tight, we suggest a water between 2-6 times a year (depending on terrarium size) with all of our enclosed terrariums.
What you can do to eradicate the moldy leaf is simply remove it, or like we do - use a blunt object to push it into the soil to naturally compost in your terrarium. In most cases new growth will bounce back in the coming weeks, however terrariums are a very slow process.
Enjoy the natural wonders these little eco-systems bring and the joy of watching nature contained!