Watering A Terrarium?? - Knowledgebase Question

Derby, CT
Question by Temx3
January 19, 2001

Today, I made a terrarium for the first time. Can you please tell me about watering it? Does it need to be watered and if so, how do you go about watering it without getting the leaves wet? I do have one African Violet in it along with other foliage type plants and from seeing my grandmother water her African Violet, I know that water should not be poured onto the plant leaves but I should water from underneath the leaves.

Can you please advise on how to care for a terrarium and how often it should be watered?

Answer from NGA
January 19, 2001


Ideally, a terrarium should be balanced so that it is self watering and never needs to be watered. The moisture inside will provide ample humidity and recirculates through the contained environment as a closed cycle.

In practice, this can be a challenge. There should be a fine, faint mist of condensation on the glass, no more. You may have to vent the terrarium occasionally if you overwatered it initially, or you may have to add a bit of water if it seems dry. Be sure to keep it out of direct sun or it will overheat like a parked car does.

Since it is a closed system, simply sprinkle a bit of tepid water (preferably distilled) on the soil surface if needed.

Have fun with your terarium!

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