Terrariums are back! How these mini gardens can help boost your health and mood!

Once considered a relic of 70s styling, terrariums have now made a comeback. Housed in glass vessels these tiny gardens offer a quirky twist on traditional indoor plants. Plus, they’re also perfect for small spaces, allowing apartment dwellers to bring some of the wellness-boosting benefits of nature into their interior. We’re also big fans of them here in the Sporteluxe office, Bianca in particular is terrarium obsessed. So we caught up with Amy Wong from Petite Green in Melbourne to talk all things terrarium-related.

Terrariums used to be kind of daggy, but they’re totally on-trend now aren’t they? Why do you think they’ve had a resurgence?

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I think the whole concept of indoor and miniature gardening is becoming trendy because people are now living in smaller spaces and no longer have access to the classic Australian backyard. However, people are also environmentally aware and enjoy having a slice of nature around them. So bringing the outdoors in with a terrarium makes sense.

What are some of the benefits of having a terrarium and other indoor plants at home?

There have been many studies on the effects of plants on productivity, stress and air quality. Many of them prove the restorative and calming effects plants have on us. Plants are also a great way to personalise and decorate office spaces, improving satisfaction and air quality. I think this is extra important these days with many people working in windowless offices and homes with little or no garden.

How much maintenance is involved with terrariums?

Most terrariums are easy to look after, but they do require some maintenance if you want them to remain looking neat and tidy. Closed terrariums are the easiest to maintain, as they don’t need to be watered as often. Same goes for terrariums with succulents. Terrariums with exotic plants will need more maintenance such as regular trimming.

Lastly, how hard is it to make your own basic terrarium? Can you give our readers some advice if they want to try DIY?

I actually run terrarium workshops through Third Drawer Down in Prahran. When someone is making a terrarium for the first time, I always suggest using a glass vessel with a large opening that’s wide enough to fit you hand in. Some people who attend my workshops bring along containers with narrow openings not realising how fiddly making a terrarium can be. It’s also important to choose glass that is colourless to ensure the plants are getting the full light spectrum.

Another tip, which is a common mistake from novices, is not to mix plants with different requirements together in the terrarium. So succulents and ferns should not be in the same container. As a basic guide all terrariums should start with rocks, followed by sphagnum moss, then carbon-rich soil and lastly plants and feature rocks. You can also find basic tutorials online about how to make terrariums. However, nothing beats attending a real class for advice on everything from soil composition to plant selection.