15 February 2011

New Terraria

I'm starting to really enjoy terraria. I now have four, mostly featuring gesneriads with the occasional Cryptanthus or other plant. As a child, I constantly tried to set up terraria--but my view of plant love was pretty similar then as it is now: water = affection. I have learned that that isn't the case, but at least now I have plenty of other plants to show my "affection" to while I leave these terraria in peace. The ones I've had have been doing very well so far. There wasn't much consideration about how the plants would look as they grew when I set the terraria up, I just shoved in plants I thought might do better in a glass jar than out in the open. Therefore, some plants are in terraria that are too short for them or are being crowded out by more vigorous plants (Pellionia pulchra, anyone? Such a pushy guy!).

All I want now is a water feature like the one I saw at Al's Orchid Greenhouse for my orchids, gesneriads, some Cryptanthus, and other fun plants.

You know what? I just need to move to South America and live in a rainforest or something.

Anyway, these are the two latest terraria I put together. (I never shared the third--it has some Cryptanthus, Episcia, Nematanthus 'Black Gold,' and a Nautilocalyx pemphidius leaf section for propagation. Just in case you were interested.)



I bought this container at Target for a few dollars (They called it a "penny jar." It looks like a cookie jar, to me. But, then, everything is a cookie jar to me! I like cookies.). I like the lid for some reason.


Most of the plants I put in this container were the ones I picked up at the Gesneriad Society chapter meeting last weekend. Within this cookie jar thing, I place a cutting of my Fittonia that I have growing quite well in my pumpkin-shaped terrarium, one rooted cutting of the Columnea microphylla, the full-plant version of Petrocosmea rosettifolia, a mystery plant, another mystery plant, the Sinningia muscicola seedlings (they're totally tiny right now, but you can find them if you look hard enough!), and some moss that I had collected from the base of a tree around the sidewalk and tried to break apart and grow in my other terrarium somewhat successfully. I think it needs more time to get established, however. I also stuck in some leaves from the Saintpaulia 'Tiny Wood Trail' and a random Petrocosmea that I have had for a few months.

This doesn't look full, yet, but the plants mostly look like plants already. I anticipate needing to trim the Fittonia every couple of months (which is why I planted it in the "back" near the lid), but everything else should remain fairly low (I think) and attractive where it is.


This jar has a glass lid and was a few dollars more expensive than the cookie jar. I'm not sure the price, but it wasn't more than $10. I think I need to start scouring garage/yard sales for glass containers--I'm really enjoying the terrarium thing!


A lot of less-well-established plants went into this one, however. I'm trying to avoid the issue I have with the first terrarium I put together with the Nautilocalyx pemphidius, Fittonia, and Pellionia pulchra--all three are going so crazy they're choking each other out already. I cut the P. pulchra back and shared the cuttings with Gesneriad Society folks (and I totally warned them about the spreading growth of the plant!), but I'm letting the Fittonia and N. pemphidius grow a bit more in that container. In this one, I have the Saintpaulia 'Tiny Wood Trail,' along with a few of its leaves; some Streptocarpus thompsonii seedlings; leaves of the random Petrocosmea and P. rosettifolia; a random green, furry growth I found at the bottom of the plastic cup that housed the P. rosettifolia; the other rooted Columnea microphylla cutting; and just a few mini Sinningia seed sprinkled in the centre, on the off-chance that they'll germinate in an appropriate place and grow well in the container.

This terrarium is definitely of the "needs to grow into its shoes" type. With really only a single thing that is already considered a plant, it'll be a while before this will look full and pretty. In the meantime, I have other plants behind glass to stare at!


Although I set these up on Sunday, Mr. Subjunctive totally scooped me by posting a list of plants to grow in a terrarium yesterday. (I realize it's not really scooping--the content is only related in the sense that both posts are about terraria. I don't begrudge him his excellent resource for gardeners interested in trying out terraria and wondering what plants may be best for such an environment. I do, however, begrudge him for puffing up my newfound addiction focus with encouragement to purchase new plants.)

I also sowed the seed I got at the Gesneriad Society chapter meeting in an old Chinese-food container. I am looking forward to raising the seedlings and maybe selling some at the chapter's show and sale this fall!

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