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A thriving planted glass terrarium, full with ferns and fittonia

Terrarium Troubleshooting

Terrarium Troubleshooting

Generally, closed glass terrariums are low-maintenance and require very little in the way of care. There may be a few issues you may come across while caring for your terrarium, these are normally really simple to deal with. Keep reading to learn how to resolve the most common terrarium troubles... 

If in doubt, or you have any questions on the health of your terrarium, please do contact us. 

1. Yellow Foliage

Yellowing of the leaves or moss can be caused by a few different aspects. It could either be that the terrarium is too damp; if the compost looks sodden with water then it could eventually cause root rot, turning the leaves wilting and yellow. At this point it would be a good idea to keep the cork out for as long as possible until the terrarium has dried out. On the other hand crispy yellowing leaves could also mean that your terrarium is too dry; the moss is a good indicator of this, if the moss is turning yellow your terrarium will need more water. Take yourself a spray bottle and mist inside your terrarium 4-5 times to bring the humidity up.

2. Colour Loss & Brown Foliage

We use a lot of bright pink Fittonia in our Terrariums, though occasionally you may see these pink Fittonia wilt and loose their bright pink colouring. This is a heavy indicator that your terrarium is getting far too much sun or heat, so swiftly move your terrarium into a shadier position. This would also be the case if you see the ferns or larger plants turning brown, suggesting too much sun.

3. Falling Leaves

Falling leaves will naturally occur to many plants, and you may notice this happening to some of your plants in the first month or so. This is just your plants adjusting to their new surroundings, shedding thier old leaves and producing new stronger shoots.

4. BUGS!

Ok, so we are dealing with nature and sometimes bringing the outside in may mean bringing some accidental livestock in as well! Not all insects will be harmful though so don't panic if you see something creeping. Woodlouse, earthworms and centipedes seem to enjoy the conditions of the moss so, when building your terrariums if you find any of these in the moss just carefully take them out.

Aphids are the pest that are slightly harder to rid, they can be placed in the terrarium as larvae within the moss so will start to appear after a few weeks. These tiny flies thrive in the humidity of the terrarium so the best way to remove them is by leaving the cork off of your terrarium and placing a small glass of red wine or vinegar next to the terrarium to lure them out as they are attracted to the sweet scents.

4. Mould

The trouble with creating these humid environments is that it is also the perfect environment for mould to form. If this is going to occur, you will notice it within the first few weeks as it is then that the elements of the terrarium are all settling in and adjusting to their new environment. Ideally, you will need to take a stick and brush off as much of this mould as you can, leaving the cork out for a few days to let the conditions settle (one reason for our 2 week incubation period).

You may also get mould if there is not enough light for the terrarium, as sunlight provides a natural deterrent for mould, so try moving your terrarium to a sunnier spot if you worry it is too dark.