How to Care for a Terrarium – Terrarium Maintenance by Masons Home Decor

Caring for a terrarium may seem challenging, especially if you are a busy person who has just enough time to eat and sleep- but it may not be as difficult as it seems! Here at Masons, our mission is to ensure that decoration is easy and fuss free, and so here we have come up with the ULTIMATE FAQ to caring for your terrarium!


A Quickie: What are Terrariums and their Different Types?


Terrariums are essentially miniature gardens in jars, usually glass. These small and unique eco-systems are extremely low maintenance and do not need much care. Terrariums can come in open jars or closed jars. Open jar terrariums require regular watering, while closed jar terrariums do not require as much watering as water evaporates from the soil, condenses on the surface of the jar and drips back down into the soil. Closed jar terrariums generally favour leafy plants such as fittonia which enjoy the wet and humid environment, while open jar terrariums generally favour plants which are more suited for an arid environment.

Open jar terrarium:

Closed jar terrarium:


How Often Do I Need to Water My Terrarium? How Do I Define Excessive Watering and Insufficient Watering?


The amount of water for each terrarium varies with the type of plant and type of terrarium. For cacti terrariums which prefer a more arid environment, minimal water is needed. However, for more leafy terrariums such as those with Fittonia plants, it is best to ensure that the soil is always damp as these plants are extremely water loving! In Singapore where the environment is rather humid, you do not need to water your airplant at all as it is able to absorb adequate water vapour from the air.


Each plant is different, and require customised care according to their condition. You may refer to the infographic below to identify what your plant needs!

(Drainage Doctor)


HELP! What Must I Do if My Terrarium is Infested with Insects?


You may purchase insecticidal soap from any gardening shop nearby. However, most terrarium plants are extremely affordable and hence you may consider removing the entire plant and changing it as this will ensure that the other plants around are not affected too!


Do Terrariums Require Sunlight?


Closed terrariums generally prefer indirect light, while open terrariums can be put under direct sunlight or indirect light. If you prefer to put these terrariums indoors as an office accessory, fluorescent or LED light is welcome. However, do try to avoid incandescent light as they emit heat.


Does My Closed Jar Terrarium Require Air or Ventilation?


You may be worried- how does the plants in my terrarium get enough air if the container is sealed? Due to photosynthesis and respiration, plants in enclosed terrariums are able to survive as there is a circulation of oxygen and carbon dioxide. However, you may want to open the jar to allow the plants to access fresh air once in awhile!


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