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which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Posted by greentoe357 7b NYC under lights (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 13:49

I saw this little terrarium thing and had to buy it to try to grow something funky. The diameter of each globe is only 3 inches. The vents on top are only about half an inch in diameter each. There is air flow in-between the neighboring globes though the connecting holes that I hope you can see.

At first I was thinking three different cacti from seeds. But now that I think about it... Humidity inside will be increased because of the small vents, and there will be very little air circulation. If I put this under lights, whatever is inside is in danger of baking. All this speaks against cacti. I'd love a challenge, but does this seem like mission impossible? Are there better types of plants to grow in there?

Oh, and there are no drain holes, as you might have guessed. I am an overwaterer, and with the very chunky mix that drains instantly that is OK in other pots. But here, I am thinking this will be a good exercise in self-restraint for me.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Yeah those look like they'd hold moisture for a bit even without corking them. Good luck with that...who know's maybe you will learn something from this experiment. How we come to the knowledge isn't as important as getting the knowledge itself,right?

Right now I have a little bit of thanksgiving cactus and a begonia cutting in this rigged up thing...it's a four inch pot with a vase type thingy turned upside down on top of it,but this is by no means a permanent setup as they will obviously outgrow the enclosure pretty quickly..


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Personally, I'd not use these as little terrariums. They would make charming little containers for a few stems of flowers. Or to root something in. I'd put an inch of water in each vase and make sure that I didn't cut the stems too long or too short.

I really think that this little trio was designed to be used as a vase or rooter.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

"which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?"

Very little, truth be told. Forget the cacti idea outright. Some of the mini Tillandsia might work for a time as might Epipremnum 'Pincushion'. But that is about all that comes to mind. Unfortunately, judging by the size of those openings on top, you'd never get the plants back out of there. I would suggest using then as Rhizo mentioned.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

you can collect some fern spores (shake mature fronds on paper) and sprinkle them on slightly moist bit of long fibre sphagnum moss. keep moist - they'll sprout and grow very slow at first. of course, there are many miniature ferns too. i suppose you can collect them someplace..?!
otherwise selaginella will grow in an inch of medium happily or some other little moss.
also you can root tiny african violet sucker in there - it'll grow very slowly at first and it is very tiny and cute. some miniature might even bloom! not that you can take it out though!
speaking of miniatures...tiny orchids are a possibility too.
google 'bottle terrariums' you'll get many more ideas.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

What about using them upside-down as a cloché, over something like a tiny Alternanthera, Iresine, Fittonia. Something that would take a while to fill it, and really like it, but probably be pliable enough to slip back through if it gets too big and fills the glass. Then you could trim, take cuttings, put the glass back on and start it again, repot if needed. None of space inside would be used by ugly soil, and no worries about chemical/salt build-up since the roots would still be in a regular pot, watered normally, though probably a lot less often, IDK...


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

How about something like this?

Haworthia


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

From what I understand, these three globes are fused together at the sides. The openings at the top are only a half inch in diameter. It can't be used as a cloche. At least, that's how I interpret the description. Asleep 's globe would make an adorable cloche, though. You can find some very cute little pots.

The one that Toni is holding looks to be a plastic globe that unscrews at the equator.

Greentoe, let us know what you decide to do.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

> Yeah those look like they'd hold moisture for a bit even without corking them.

I can't imagine corking them at all. Then there'd be no absolutely no access to fresh air. People have done this (http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg08115504536.html), but I do not want to go THAT extreme.

> I really think that this little trio was designed to be used as a vase or rooter.

You may be right, although I saw a similar thing today in NYC's flower district in the terrarium section. I bought mine at Marshalls, and I often have no idea what I am looking at in that store's home decor section - your guess is as good as mine, probably better :-).

I would not use it as a vase. Cut flowers kind of make me depressed. Like one comedian said, "Here, these are for you. Now watch them DIE!" :-)

> Some of the mini Tillandsia might work for a time as might Epipremnum 'Pincushion'.

I've been thinking over the last few days how I like how
many Tillandsias look and how I wanted to try them. I have not seen any for sale that would fit in there though, but I have not looked purposefully.

I googled Epipremnum 'Pincushion' - hard to judge the size, and not too many pictures available to begin with.

> fern spores... selaginella... african violet... tiny orchids...

Good ideas. Google images finds some micro african violets pics dwarfed by a quarter. Adorable.

I am just starting to research orchids other than your usual phalaenopsis. Will look into micro ones.

> The openings at the top are only a half inch in diameter. It can't be used as a cloche.

Well, it could I suppose - on top of three tiny pots, but it'll be a very clunky construction. I'd use something else for that if I had interest.

> Good luck with that...who know's maybe you will learn something from this experiment.

Thanks. I am sure I will. :-)

> Greentoe, let us know what you decide to do.

I am leaning toward trying cacti from seed. I know the setup is not optimal, but that is exactly what will make it fun to try. The cost of seeds is pennies.

If money was no issue, I'd try a tiny orchid, but I'd be very upset if it died, so I feel like learning on something else.

Violets are too commonplace in my mind (very subjectively), but they do look cute.

Tillandsia is also an interesting idea - cool looking, no soil at all to deal with, easy to give them baths (fill with water, then turn over to empty).

Thanks, all - I'll be glad to tell/show you what comes of this.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I've seen similar used here for tiny tillandsia plants (air plants) - can be mounted on a small piece of wood or cork and misting is fine, they enjoy the humidity but don't need soil


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I saw small pots of Tillandsia at Walgreens (of all places)! They were in the cutest little pumpkins. I almost bought one but I would not want a pumpkin all year out. Well your little glass thingies would be perfect for the air plant after Halloween!

Just a thought.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I think that baby tillandsia would be perfect. When they grow up to the point of not being able to live in the globes any longer, you can find a scalpel of some kind in order to cut it up for removal. Maybe fingernail scissors. I'd not pour water inside though. Too much. A mist of distilled water occasionally.....don't forget that any plant that you put into that globe will be generating its own moisture as H2O is a byproduct of both respiration and photosynthesis.

Here's a cute idea! Put an inch of DRY potting medium in the vases. One small offset of Dwarf Mondo stuffed into the opening could be positioned with a pencil and tamped down gently with the eraser end. Use a small paintbrush (from a paintbox kit) to clean the plant and sides of the globe if needed. Then, insert the nozzle of a spray bottle and mist a little bit of water into the globes.

Dwarf Mondo.....Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana '......will spread to fill the globe, but will never get tall. When it gets too crowded, as any plant will, chop it up and start over again with some of your excised mondo.

That comedian was an idiot, lol. Flowers are one of the last stages of the reproduction cycle of any plant. It's normal that they live for a short time. But they are a replaceable commodity....part of a multi-billion dollar industry.

But, I was thinking more in terms of snippets of things from your yard, even weed flowers or seed heads (which can be so interesting in the fall) . Dry seed heads wouldn't need water and would last forever. Some of the grassy weeds in your yard or along the road produce charming little seed heads just the perfect size for miniature arrangements. I use them all the time.

Sorry...my mind goes in all kinds of directions when given an opportunity to be creative.

I've done a jillion terrariums and would be happy to help you succeed. ANYTHING you choose to do will be fun.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

i currently have tiny gollums/skinny fingers ? jades growing from a leaf - they remain ultra small for a very long time.
you have jade - pop off a leaf and put it on top of some bark inside the bubble - you'll have a very cute plant in a few months.
i'll get a pic of mine - i have 3 - i can give you one that has no leaf attached, has roots - it'll be easier to pop it in without a leaf.
i have noticed that even normal size plants grow very small and very slow in enclosed small terrarium like space. like they know they have no place to expand. i had cyclamen seed sprouts remain 2" in size for a year! and they grow to 18" bushy plants!
i posted pics of my tropical ferns - that seeded into my orchids then in alocasia. i have multiple gens of them. i posted pics below: i have 2 posts with pics : the smallest plants first, then 3 gens together. it's a polypodium: bear's foot i think. i'll do a close-up again. when they germinate the grow a foot - and start producing growth clusters - they look unbelievably tiny and fragile.
in any case i can give you spores to sprout.
i also have a new 'star fern' also polypodium, much smaller and even cuter. but it has no spores. and feet are small but not THAT small for your bubbles. it'll probably manage to crawl out of the opening ! and grow leaves on the outside.
african violets grown from leaves produce miniscule growth clusters: sev plants there...but the leaf will need to be mature, but still very small to fit in. i can probably pop off some small suckers from my violets and you can root them in pure perlite in the bubble. or you can buy a violet with suckers (most of them have sev. already when you buy them) - and detach them yourself (tip: push them off with the blunt end of a bamboo skewer ).
for fern spores you need nothing but sphagnum. and may be a teaspoon of bark for pretty on the bottom.
as an instant display you can sprout yourself some alphalpha sprouts inside! or even chia. you can get seeds in a healthfood store.

Here is a link that might be useful: my ferns family towards the end

This post was edited by petrushka on Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 19:31


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Besides the alfalfa and chia, rye grass is pretty neat...only the grasses need to be trimmed regularly. Chia might do nicely!

What about a few little chunks of moss, planted on a layer of peat?


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

basically it has to be permanent and/or disposable: the opening is so small, you 'll never be able to get the plant out without killing it!
but you can always re-sew seeds/spores.
and you can probably find moss/lichen in any park. once tired of it , it's easy to replace too.
here's a pic of my tiny jades - they are about 1/2", largest 3/4" without the big leaf.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

How about a tiny acquarium? Marimo balls (tiny ones) would work... they are a form of algae that are green and grow in a ball shape. can be purchased at stores that sell acquarium stuff or over the internet, don't need an air pump, use regular tap water, and you change the water once every week or so. they grow slowly, and can be divided if one gets too big. Google "Marimo ball" for complete information.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Thanks for a load of good ideas, everybody. This is more than I expected or know what to do with. :-)

I am thinking something different for the three globes, so that it's interesting, but not too different, as they'll have to live in the same light, temp and humidity. Perhaps three types of cacti seeds, or three different succulents. I already have (1) rooting Jade leaves and snipped tops that already have some limited roots - I'll see what will fit by size and (2) a few Haworthia babies growing on my existing mammas. Haworthias do grow thick extensive roots though, I understand - I wonder how lack of space will affect them.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

i had a zebra hawortia grow for 8? or more years in tiny bonsai pot in 3/4" of soil by 3" wide. it sat unchanged for 4-5 years? just 1 little 2" rosette, then it finally clumpted in the same tiny pot. with barely any watering. i posted sev pics (see link).
the spiral (limifolia v limifoilia) ones multiply like crazy though, and they do have very long fleshy roots - sort of rhizomes almost. and they pup off them.

Here is a link that might be useful: it's a '5-yr-no-grow' one pic


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I grow a few terrariums, but would not use this for that, it is simply too small. The thing I always try for in terrariums is a wide(er) neck.

I simply would not have the patience to fuss w/ such a tiny neck (1/2"), if I read that right.

I would not put any succulents in there at all as I suspect they'd rot quickly. Generally speaking, succulents & terrariums are incompatible as they tend to conserve moisture which is a condition that would tend to cause succulents to rot.

All I'd use these for is to water root Hoyas (for which I think it'd be perfect).


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

well, if you keep them totally dry with just a few drops of water occasionally - why would they rot?


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

'Cause the almost closed environment of the terrarium tends to stay moist & not dry out btwn waterings.

Sorry, I don't have experience w/ watering just a few drops & is just not something I would do.

I also think succulents (even more than houseplants) really do need air movement which wouldn't happen in that setting, so the two combined (lack of air movement & somewhat moist soil would both contribute to rot).


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

i certainly never drench my succulents - i water very sparingly. sometimes by a few drops. in such a small area as these bowls are few drops will be quite sufficient and if the medium stays quite dry the humidity should be low enough.
not all succulents grow in the desert. something like a zz plant can stand both more moisture and no moisture at all. it just requires more research. same goes for sansevieria.
for example in coastal california a lot of plants absorb moisture purely thru the heavy mists and dew, including succulents.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

You asked why & I answered. I said nothing about drenching or deserts, simply answered what you asked.

We'll have to agree to disagree pls.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

it's ok with me. we're just talking shop.
i actually have one cactus sitting in a clay pot with no hole! for a decade or more like 15 years - and i haven't killed it! dribble-dribble once a mo.... it's a cactus! i bet i could grow a cactus in that bowl too!
but...yah, the 1/2" opening is a real killer. i had my 1st terrarium in one of those elongated wine bottles, like bowling pins - with 3/4" std opening. i had sellaginella in it for a few years. it was cute. i did stuff with long chopsticks. cleaning the glass was the worst, i got tired of it. but if it's dry - algae should not be a problem.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I'm not sure growing anything in there will be feasible ... it's a conjoined bud vase. I do think it will be fantastic for rooting things, though. I got a decorative rooting bulb as a gift, and I have no idea why, but the thing is amazing for rooting cuttings!

I know you've got lots of hoya cuttings recently, this little guy is perfect for that!


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

•Posted by petrushka
well, if you keep them totally dry with just a few drops of water occasionally - why would they rot?

•Posted by petrushka
i actually have one cactus sitting in a clay pot with no hole! for a decade or more like 15 years - and i haven't killed it! dribble-dribble once a mo.... it's a cactus!

Several issues, Petrushka. First, as PG stated, "'Cause the almost closed environment of the terrarium tends to stay moist & not dry out btwn waterings." Furthermore, even cacti/succulents respire and thus release moisture as they do so, although by their design they release far less than many plant types. Thus the high likelihood of the envir. in said little globes becoming moist stagnant environments -- which cacti/succulents cannot abide.

Furthermore, many if not most cacti/succulents would require a great deal of lighting to avoid etiolation. In providing the needed light intensity, the globes would in all probability get too hot.

•Posted by petrushka
for example in coastal california a lot of plants absorb moisture purely thru the heavy mists and dew, including succulents

Which plants are you thinking of, Petrushka? (It sounds as though you are referring to absorbtion by the leaves/stem/trunk. If not, then please disregard the rest of this post.) Cacti and succulents of arid regions do not typically absorb moisture from "heavy mists and dews" -- they are incapable of doing so. The same waxy cuticle and reduced number of stomata which helps them reduce their water loss also prevents water from simply being absorbed by main plant "body". Instead, condensed water droplets are funneled down along the stem/trunk to the roots which then absorb it. And even in many of these cases, such water is only a stop gap survival measure until a rain comes.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

> the almost closed environment of the terrarium tends to stay moist & not dry out btwn waterings.

"not drying out between waterings" is circular logic. I will not water the second time till it dries out after the first, even if it takes months. This assumes I know what I am doing, of course, which is not a given. :-)

> Sorry, I don't have experience w/ watering just a few drops & is just not something I would do.

But that exact same thing (no experience) leads me to want to try. By the way, in some advice here people assume I want to max the chance of success of whatever I decide to grow (a reasonable assumption, of course), and then they tell me the container will not help me maximize that success - because almost anything will grow way better elsewhere. I get that, but I come from the other end of this - I want to grow something unusual and challenging (but still doable) in this specific container, and I am just trying to figure out what that could be.

> I do think it will be fantastic for rooting things, though.

Yeah, the humidity inside will be great for that. But the small opening will mean that I can't root it really well, otherwise I won't be able to take the roots out. It'll have to be taken out when roots are really small, so not ideal that way either.

> I know you've got lots of hoya cuttings recently, this little guy is perfect for that!

Those cuttings were in the medium and in a rubbermaid greenhouse that very evening, so too late for that. And they are too dear to me to experiment on.

> many if not most cacti/succulents would require a great deal of lighting to avoid etiolation. In providing the needed light intensity, the globes would in all probability get too hot.

Another challenge then, huh! :-)
I'll have them under t5ho fluorescent lights. Those tend to not get what's under them too hot, unless it's RIGHT under them, which I won't do.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

"Yeah, the humidity inside will be great for that. But the small opening will mean that I can't root it really well, otherwise I won't be able to take the roots out. It'll have to be taken out when roots are really small, so not ideal that way either."

You seem to be making some assumptions abt the water rooting cuttings, which my experience has NOT borne out. They don't get thick roots, they get long roots, so they could be lifted out just fine. One doesn't leave the leaves in there, just the bottom of the stem to grow the water roots. You seem to see this as a problem, which I just don't see. Perhaps you haven't done much of this, I have.

Well you're determined to do this so I hope it turns out fun. Even tho' a number of us (w/ considerable growing experience) have weighed in explaining why the likelihood of a good result is minimal, you seem convinced you can make it work anyway.

OK, only time will tell. I look forward to seeing some pix of your results.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

from paul
Which plants are you thinking of, Petrushka? (It sounds as though you are referring to absorbtion by the leaves/stem/trunk. If not, then please disregard the rest of this post.) Cacti and succulents of arid regions do not typically absorb moisture from "heavy mists and dews" -- they are incapable of doing so.
- i specifically mentioned coastal cali - where there are 2 seasons dry/rainy. and there are lots of succulents growing on the rocks practically next to water. they survive for months without rain and covered in morning mists/dew.
whatever and however they absorb the water is not the point. the point is that they survive both the dry and the rainy season. hence they withstand higher humidity better then desert plants.
so may be it is possible to find an appropriate succulent that will grow in an enclosure with higher humidity.
then, may be you can put inside some spanish moss - it might help to reduce humidity somewhat, since it lives off the air.
then you can use just scoria as medium - it'll absorb water immediately and hold it and keep the roots dry - but contain just enough moisture inside to be sufficient for the succulents/cacti to hang on.
anyway, i think it's doable with care. as a curiosity, not as an optimal environment.
rock salt absorbs moisture. so may be you can isolate it from contact with medium, but keep it inside the bubble and change it once in awhile?
there are also inert silica crystals that they use for packing pills, for example. may be a dusting on the surface will keep it drier ?


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Petrushka, Rock salt? Silica? I think that you've forgotten how small these little vessels are.

The Spanish Moss is an interesting idea...except fot the fact it requires high humidity in order to survive. Bromiliads don't just live on air. They require plenty of moisture and nutrients, too. SM lives on the moisture rich air of the deep coastal south and doesn't take well to indoor culture at all.

Stick some of the SM in the little spheres along with the rock salt and it might be interesting to see how long it takes the plant to die. :-)

Seriously, it might be fun trying a few sprigs of SM. It should be sprayed with distilled water before inserting into the vase and must be kept out of the direct sun at all times. Again, though this little bromeliad captures all of its moisture from the atmosphere, it still produces water vapor as a byproduct of photosynthesis and respiration.

The moisture lost from the openings will have to be replaced occasionally or SM will go byby.

This post was edited by rhizo_1 on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 7:08


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Morning,

I haven't been here because of computer problems...

GreenToe, have you decided which plants you're going to place in your terrariums?

In the plastic bulb I posted is Haworthia Limofolia. 'Succulent.'
I'm going to experiment by adding a piece/division of Crassula Nudocaulis.

BTW, I'm not advising anyone to grow succulents in a terrarium. I'm using cuttings/divisions, not whole plants. If a cutting dies, no big loss.
So far, the Haworthia is doing okay..I haven't yet placed Crassula inside the bulb.

Rhizo, my friend, you're half right. :)

There's plastic tabs that can be opened, BUT generically made.
In fact, I undid the tabs to clean inside, 'couple years ago,' and wouldn't you know it, one tab broke. lol
Dh replaced the tab, but I fear opening them. He glued another part as a replacement.
A product not made in USA nor the Americas.

Good luck, Toni


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

rhizo,
you take things way too seriously!
while i am simply brain-storming. in a course of a dozen silly ideas one might lead to a viable solution.
why does it have to be a permanent planting? why not disposable? and then start again?
why not stick a piece of SM and replace it with a new one once a mo? so if it dies, so what? it's cheap, it's even free if you're down south. may be it'll lower the humidity, may be not ..why not try?
and no, i don't forget about the size of bubbles : 3" D - rock salt and silica both come in small pebbles.
both in the form of crystals/pebbles are actually very decorative. they def will fit thru the 1/2" opening!
don't know how succulents will react to rock salt crystals.
on the other hand in mexico on pacific coast on the gulf of cali - is a desert area with giant saguaro,etc - right on the coast. obviously with hi salt content in the air. also obviously higher humidity due to the ocean. and yet it all grows.
but i am fizzing out here...que sera sera, he WILL find out what survives and let us know ;).


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

next bright idea: venus fly trap from seed!
wow! AND it eats gnats too! i think i just got TRAPPED myself!
1-yr babies 1-4mm in len (1/2"=12.7mm) so it will still be possiblel to pluck them out of the bubble!
quote from the below link:
Venus Flytraps are easy to germinate and grow from seed. A seed will germinate in as few as 10-13 days (in warm, moist conditions) to as long as 2-4 weeks or more in cooler or more variable conditions. A Venus Flytrap can grow from seed to maturity in 2-4 years. During the first year the plant will be tiny, but although the traps will be typically only 1-4 millimeters in length at that time, they are fully functional, often catching very small insects such as fungus gnats that emerge from the soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: venus-fly-trap-from-seed-pics


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

> You seem to be making some assumptions abt the water rooting cuttings, which my experience has NOT borne out. They don't get thick roots, they get long roots, so they could be lifted out just fine.

Yeah, you're right, PG, I forgot you were talking about WATER rooting.

> you seem convinced you can make it work anyway

Haha NO I am in no way convinced. I am gonna try though.

> rock salt and silica crystals

Hmm. Interesting idea. In an open environment though (unlike, say, a closed pill bottle) I wonder if these things get saturated quickly and stop absorbing water after that. I also have concerns about toxicity and about how it is going to look. These things are probably best suspended inside rather than touching the soil, which will make it look awkward. Finally, I want a clean experiment on whether I can do this in a relatively straightforward environment. Whether the plants live or die, I'll be wondering if the desiccant was responsible for that and will be no closer to the answer whether whatever I'm trying to grow can grow in the pure environment of the container.

> GreenToe, have you decided which plants you're going to place in your terrariums?

YES, I have - just yesterday I bought 50 assorted cactus seeds (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YNJE42). for a buck-thirty. :-) So, this is one of those "low cost even lower expectations" kind of experiments.

I'll probably split the 50 into 2 or 3 equal groups - one part for this terrarium, another for a more conventional container (control group!) and the last I might leave to retry in case the first attempt fails and if I still have interest at that time.

> I look forward to seeing some pix of your results.

Yeah, if there's anything to see, I'll be glad to update you all.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I'll be glad to update you all.

Here's an update. I got the seeds several weeks later (no idea the seller was in China). Sprinkled them onto the medium consisting of granite grit and fine pine bark. They sprouted pretty fast, but I think the mix was too heavy because the shoots did not seem to be able to go in at all - they just grew above the medium. Some mold appeared soon after, not much, just here and there in the mix. I did nothing about it and it did not grow much.

I watered by misting a few times into each hole, then I'd let it stand and percolate down, then judging by the mix color would often mist a few times more, wait again to percolate. The goal was to have the mix moist but not soggy at all times - it was difficult as expected, I needed to check more than once a day for sure because the lights would dry the small quantity of mix pretty fast.

Even if the watering part was OK, without penetrating the mix the germinated seeds were doomed. And indeed the shoots dried up. Even though the mix would be slightly moist, the air right above may have been too dry under lights and the shoots desiccated.

Small pockets of mold did survive. :-)

So, the other day I emptied it all into the garbage. Lesson learned - need a lighter mix next time if doing something similar.

Hey, here's an idea. Pirate Girl, you suggested rooting hoya cutting in water in these. While I am not a fan of water rooting because of the need to regrow soil roots later, BUT I do want to try semi-hydro method for rooting and growing, and I just thought maybe this container can be used. I'll need to use smaller particles than hydroton because I do not think it'll fit through the narrow openings. I'd fill the three globes completely, not partially, with the hydro medium and stick some compact small leaf hoya cuttings in there, defoliated in the mix but of course with leaves above it. To keep the water (fertilizer solution really) fresh, I'd hold the cuttings/plants with my fingers, turn the whole thing over to drain all the water, then refill just a bit or fertilizer solution to stand at the bottom for wicking. What do you all think?


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

you could use large perlite as medium - it'll fit. but not very pretty.
you could also use small size scoria (lava rock) - that should fit. but if you're planning to swish the water back and forth scoria might be too rough on the roots. perlite too probably. and roots often attach to both - so you won't be able to pull the cutting out. you'll probably have to pull it out eventually though, when the root mass gets big?
i usually don't keep stuff in semi-hydro for more then 6mo.
you could probably use small size tumbled beach glass as filler too and keep water level hi or not - even in top part where there'll be no water, the humidity will be high and roots will grow well.
add a bit of 3% peroxide to the solution (1tb per gallon) and it won't go smelly, you won't need to dump it, just add more.
if you don't believe me, search what fish people do that have tanks/ponds with plants. also hydroponic people do that to slow down algae growth. with transparent glass algae is a given eventually. there's a chemical that they add, don't remember the name.
besides peroxide helps to aerate water.
i use glass marbles when i water root - people say that transition to soilles is better, roots def branch very well too i noticed.
i transitioned my avocado like that from semi-hydro with marbles to soilles without any problem or wilting whatsoever.
funny, about the mold on the bark. why did you use bark? terrarium people never recommend it - it always molds in hi humidity. and why grit for seedlings? seedlings have very fine weak roots - they need very fine media usually. that's why vermiculate is used.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I can't imagine pulling the cutting out if successfully rooted and grown in a medium other than water. The container throats are tiny, and the roots will be clinging to the medium...

If I do root successfully, I'll keep growing it in there and just take cuttings hopefully before the plant starts the inevitable decline. Or I'll just smash the thing to pieces and repot if the plant(s) are more valuable to me.

i usually don't keep stuff in semi-hydro for more then 6mo.

Why not just continue growing semi-hydro? I am curious.

funny, about the mold on the bark. why did you use bark? terrarium people never recommend it - it always molds in hi humidity. and why grit for seedlings? seedlings have very fine weak roots - they need very fine media usually. that's why vermiculate is used.

I did not know bark attracts mold. No terrarium growing experience whatsoever.

As for grit, I should have thought about needing a lighter fluffier medium. Cue the most interesting man in the world: "I do not always have good ideas. But when I do, it's too late." :-)


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Hi,

Having constructed terrariums myself, I would discourage you from making terrariums out of those containers. But if you are set on the project, I have put a link below on making light bulb terrariums, which would be very similar to what you want to do.

Good luck!

Larry

Here is a link that might be useful: Youtube light bulb terrariums.


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

I think the perfect plant for your mini terrarium would be Sinningia pusilla or Sinningia muscicola (aka Rio das Pedras). You can grow both of these in sphagnum moss or a mix of chopped sphagnum moss and a light potting mix. These can both be started from seed or from tubers, Ebay is a pretty good source for both.
I have grown both of these plants in tiny lidded jars you would normally use to hold cotton balls etc in the washroom. As long as the plants don't dry out they will continue to grow. Because they grow from tubers they can dry out and will resprout when conditions are appropriate.
Do a Google search for Sinningia muscicola and you will see many other people growing these tiny Gesneriads in closed glass containers, they do very well this way.

Mike


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RE: which plants are good for this tiny terrarium?

Larry, thank for the link. Informative.

Mike, those little Sinningias are adorable. I'll look into them.


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