How to Care for a Closed Terrarium Ecosystem

How to Care for a Closed Terrarium Ecosystem

Terrariums are captivating miniature ecosystems that bring the beauty of nature into your living space. Among the various types of terrariums, closed terrariums stand out as unique self-sustaining ecosystems. If you've set up a closed terrarium or are considering creating one, it's essential to understand the intricacies of caring for this fascinating and low-maintenance garden.

Understanding Closed Terrariums

Closed terrariums are sealed glass containers that create a self-contained environment for plants. These miniature greenhouses recycle moisture within, allowing the water to condense on the walls and then drip back to the plants. To ensure the success of your closed terrarium, let's delve into the nuances of care and maintenance:

Choosing the Right Plants 

Selecting the right plants is the foundation of a thriving closed terrarium. Opt for species that thrive in high humidity and low-light conditions, such as ferns, mosses, and tropical species. Each plant should complement the others, creating a harmonious ecosystem.

Proper Watering 

Closed terrariums require minimal watering compared to traditional potted plants. The closed environment retains moisture efficiently. Keep an eye on the condensation levels inside the glass; if it appears too dry, add a few drops of water. Remember that overwatering can lead to mold and rot, so less is often more in this case. It is best to manage mold as soon as you notice its present.

Pruning and Maintenance

As your closed terrarium flourishes, regular maintenance is essential. Trimming your plants prevents overcrowding and ensures proper airflow. Removing any dead or decaying plant matter is crucial to maintain a healthy environment.

Optimal Light Conditions 

Proper light conditions are vital for your closed terrarium's success. Place it in an area with indirect sunlight or low light. Direct sunlight can create excessive heat and moisture, which can harm the delicate ecosystem inside. Observe how the light changes in your chosen location over the course of a day to ensure the best conditions.


Though these terrariums are sealed, occasional ventilation is necessary. Opening the lid every few weeks allows excess moisture to dissipate and prevents mold growth. Make sure to close the lid securely after providing some airflow.

Advanced Tips for Closed Terrarium Enthusiasts 

For those who wish to take their closed terrarium hobby to the next level, consider advanced techniques like experimenting with different plant species, adding decorative elements, or creating themed terrariums. These advanced tips will help you create truly unique and stunning closed ecosystems.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even the most well-maintained closed terrariums may encounter issues like mold, overgrowth, or yellowing leaves. Learn how to troubleshoot these problems and restore your terrarium to its vibrant, self-sustaining state.


In conclusion, caring for a closed terrarium is a rewarding and educational experience. With the right plants, proper watering, maintenance, light conditions, and a bit of ventilation, you can enjoy the beauty and wonder of a thriving miniature ecosystem right in your home. Closed terrariums offer a unique and sustainable way to bring a touch of nature indoors.

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