Ask a Question forum: What plants should I use (important)

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Nov 19, 2016 7:46 PM CST
Hello! I am trying to create a terrarium for a science experiment on how plants effect and are effected by their environment and want to build small environments to test this out. Hoping this is a lower price range project, but what plants can I use for a miniature environment that will simulate real life environments (industrial)?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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Nov 19, 2016 8:55 PM CST
I guess I don't understand the question...
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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Nov 19, 2016 9:19 PM CST
That sounds like a neat project, but we need more information before we can recommend any plants for you.

First, how big is your terrarium, and are you going to use potted plants in it, or plant in soil directly in the terrarium. (post a picture of the terrarium if you can, please?)

Second, what is the light source you will use? If there is a south facing window available that would give you the most natural situation of light, such as night/day cycles and cloudy days.

Third, what temperatures will the plants experience? i.e. how warm does it get where the terrarium will stand and how cold at night?

Fourth, how long will you be monitoring your experiment? Plants will outgrow a terrarium, some much faster than others but this (and all of the above) will affect which plants we should recommend for you to use.

Also, please tell us what things you are going to measure, such as maybe oxygen or CO2 levels in the air (how??) and the amount of water needed to keep the plants alive.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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Nov 20, 2016 8:02 AM CST
Your choices may also be limited by what you can find: seeds are easy to get but you need time (weeks..) for the plants to grow, small plant choice at a store like Home Depot will be limited. but you can choose between different types of leaves or growth style, maybe.

You want to compare environments, but planting different plants in ONE terrarium gives them the same environment. Do you want multiple terrariums?

If you are measuring growth, I think we need to help you choose one fast growing plant that you can get multiples of.

(PS= plants Affect and are Affected by their environment ...
, with an a Smiling ) Environmental effects will affect different plants in different ways.

We'd love to help, please don't take this as criticism, just need more info.
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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Nov 20, 2016 9:20 AM CST
A lot of what you're asking is determined by the starting conditions you want to replicate (soil, temperature, moisture, light intensity etc).
Second, quite alot of the common garden plants either get too big for a terrarium or don't thrive in the excess moist atmosphere it creates (if closed off with a lid) and will propably soon go down with fungus. The plants that do thrive here are the common terrarium plants sold, but these are quite expensive and really worth experimenting on?

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