Ask a Question forum: Need help finding a flower for an eternal terrarium

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tribtrav
Apr 26, 2017 8:53 PM CST
My friend is turning 18 in about a month, and part of what I want to get her is an eternal terrarium. My thought is that I want to have a single flower in the middle of it (as well as other smaller plants surrounding it). I'm having difficulty finding such a flower which can survive in this environment. It doesn't have to live forever, just for a little bit. If you know of any flower I'd love to know.

Also, I don't know if this is exactly possible or not, so if it isn't, so any alternate suggestions on plants or such would be greatly appreciated!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 26, 2017 11:09 PM CST
REALLY!

Oh, wait a minute. Welcome! to NGA

REALLY!!

You can not put 'eternal' and 'doesn't have to live forever' in the same sentence. Question: How long do you expect this relationship to last?? Answer: About as long as that (already dead) flower.

Dude! No! If its forever, at least give her something that has a chance at forever. I have been married (to the same guy) for over 40 years. He gives me gifts that last. A 1969 Mustang (in 1971 - still have it), an orchid for Valentine's day in 1997, a greenhouse in 2002, ...In between, a lot of lasting stuff because we (ladies) hate to see things die. Is it lasting love? Or just a flash in the night? If the latter, don't bother.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 27, 2017 7:00 AM CST
Hi tribtrav, Welcome! from me too!

There are many flowering plants that work great for terrariums, it's just important to choose the correct plant for the size of container you are using!

For small terrariums you should use miniature or semi-miniature plants that won't outgrow their containers. Many plants in the Gesneriad family (African Violets, etc.) do great in terrariums as long as they receive bright light (no direct sun. which will scorch their foliage). We have listings with photos and growing information in our database for many plants that will thrive in terrarium conditions. I'm including links for some to consider.

Blooming plants for small terrariums:
Miniature Sinningia's: https://garden.org/plants/sear...
Miniature African Violet's:
African Violet (Saintpaulia 'Rob's Sticky Wicket')
African Violet (Saintpaulia 'Rob's Vanilla Trail')

For colorful foliage, the Polka Dot plant comes to mind but might have to be pinched back on occasion to keep it from outgrowing it's space:
https://garden.org/plants/sear...

Also for attractive foliage, Rex Begonia's, Pilea and Fittonia come to mind. There are some that are low growing, while others may grow tall:
Pilea: https://garden.org/plants/sear...
Fittonia: https://garden.org/plants/sear...
Rex Begonia's: https://garden.org/plants/sear...

For larger terrariums, flowering Episcia's would work well:
https://garden.org/plants/sear...

I've planted many terrariums over the past 25+ years, from small glass jars to large fish tanks that I've turned into plant terrariums. The sky's the limit with what will do well in terrariums, it just depends on the size of the container! These are some old photos of my past terrariums. The only one I still have is the one in the last picture, a 45 gal. aquarium turned into a terrarium.

Thumb of 2017-04-27/plantladylin/7326d2 Thumb of 2017-04-27/plantladylin/4cd5d8
Thumb of 2017-04-27/plantladylin/2d4805 Thumb of 2017-04-27/plantladylin/dbd7f1

~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Apr 27, 2017 7:11 AM CST
@Daisyl, I'd never heard the term "Eternal Terrarium" so I just had to google. Green Grin! I think it's just a name fad name/label ... possibly to try and get people interested in terrariums? https://www.google.com/webhp?s...

And, yes ... plants in terrariums can and will die without proper moisture, light and nutrients ... Whistling ask me how I know. Whistling

"Eternal" may not be the best label to stick on a terrarium. Green Grin!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 27, 2017 7:15 AM CST
How about a little orchid? You can buy mini-Phals at Trader Joe's in bloom for not too much money. They grow slowly, like a humid environment and don't need too much bright light.

I must agree, though the idea of an "eternal terrarium" is for someone who knows plants. It will need care and attention to be "eternal". I can't see an 18yr. old taking care of such a thing for even a short time.

It's a lovely idea, though. Just not practical for this situation. Maybe for your mother on Mother's Day? Or a grandmother?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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