Yes you too can have a bright green thumb! Everything we sell is pretty foolproof so just follow the guidelines below and your plants should be happy and healthy. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need further coaching.
Your terrarium is a self sustaining ecosystem that requires very little maintenance. It's also fun to watch the water cycle that takes place in each little system- water evaporates from the leaves of the plants, condenses on the glass, trickles down to moisten the soil, and then is reabsorbed by the plants' roots- starting the cycle again.
Because terrariums recycle moisture, they need very little attention. Once the right level of humidity is reached, a closed terrarium can usually go a month or so between watering. Spray gently with water from a spray bottle only after it gets very dry once every few weeks, depending on conditions. Its important not to overwater! Place in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight. Remove the lid for a short period if tons of condensation (i.e., large droplets) builds up on the glass, and let him dry out for a while.
Although plants can sense they are in a closed container and will in turn grow slower- some may push the boundaries of their space. A little trimming easily brings them under control, and can promote fuller plants. Be sure to remove all vegetation you trim off. Also make sure to remove any plants that begin to rot. Rot is usually associated with excessive moisture.
You do not need to fertilize your terrarium. As the nutrients get used up over time, growth will slow down, helping to keep the plants under control. Over time the soil can be "refreshed" by scraping off the top layer and adding fresh potting soil.
In general, orchids prefer filtered light, and require little watering. The best way to kill an orchid is to over water it! Also it is important to be mindful that the center of the plant, known as the crown, should always be kept dry. Water your orchid when the medium is pretty dry but not bone dry. An easy trick is once a week to put a handful of ice cubes (about 3 large cubes for a small pot) on top of the potting medium (or on top of the rocks/moss covering the medium) and let them melt. Orchids love the coldness of the water and it's a perfect way to regulate the quantity. Use a fertilizer customized for orchids about once a month.
These orchids are happiest when kept in bright, filtered light, any room with a decent size window would work. Dark green, limp foliage indicates too little light but they will turn yellow and brown in direct sun. The ice cube trick works really well with these guys and if anything they enjoy a bit more water than other orchid species.
Intergeneric and twinkles:
These thrive in indirect light and like the ice cube trick as well. They typically bloom twice a year and will keep their flowers up to 10 weeks.
Tillandsia (air plants) require very little maintenance and are happiest when kept in filtered sunlight, or a just a room with lots of windows. Water by simply misting or dunking in water 1-2 times a week. Don't leave them in standing water however as this will cause rot. Use an orchid fertilizer in your water once a month to give them a nutrient boost.
Succulents love lots of light, so if keeping them indoors make sure they are in a sunny window. Dry arid climates are what they have adapted to, so the key thing is to not overwater. For containers with no drainage we recommend 1oz of water (a shot glass) per plant, every two weeks if in the sun, and just once a month if in the shade. If your container has drainage holes, water by placing the pot in a dish of water- the soil will suck up what it needs from the dish. Remove from the dish once the water stops drawing.
Mounted Staghorn Fern
Mounted staghorn ferns are happiest when exposed to indirect, filtered light. A wall in a room with lots of west or south facing windows should be fine. Staghorns are epiphytic plants, meaning they have adapted to grow on trees, and don’t require soil. Water the spahgnum moss when it fully dries out, about 1-2 times a week, and mist the leaves with water once or twice a a week. We find that the cleanest way to water the fern is to take the plant off of the wall, place it in a sink, and gently stream water onto the moss until soaked. Once the moss stops dripping in a few minutes replace the plant back on the wall. Fertilize using a 10-10-10 mixed into the water once a month.
Lava Rock Plants
Place the rock in a low dish and always maintain some water in the container. The rock will draw up water and nourish the plant. Fertilize using a 10-10-10 mixed in the water about once a month. If your plant is a fern, the occasional mist of water will keep them moist and happy. Keep your container clean by giving it a rinse every once and a while.
All cut flowers love daily water changes. The cleaner the water, the more your flowers will drink, and hydrated flowers are happy flowers. Flower food may help prolong life but is not absolutely necessary- clean water is key though.
Give the stems a trim every few days to keep them drinking. Cutting the stems at an angle increases their water uptake as it creates a larger exposed surface area. Do not refrigerate tropicals! They love our natural Hawaiian climate and cold air means death.
Rainforest flowers such as ginger and heliconia absorb water directly through their blooms as well as through their stems so a daily mist of water will keep them extra happy.
Proteas have thick, woody stems and should be trimmed by a half inch or more to ensure they are absorbing the maximum amount of water. Make sure to cut the stems on an angle when trimming.