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Enjoy learning science with a DIY Terrarium

A cute, eye-catching miniature garden on your table could help your family enjoy the beauty of nature close up. A terrarium helps children understand science and get them interested in gardening. Its fun to create and easy to maintain.
A terrarium is a clear-walled, closed place to keep plants in. It can be tiny enough to be a fridge magnet or as large as a room. Scientists invented terrariums to help them study plants and their habitats. Some terrariums re-create entire habitats such as deserts, grasslands, or rainforests.

What you need

A clear container — glass jar, gold fish bowl or old bottle Soil to line the container Sand Pebbles or gravel from an aquarium shop Coconut husk

A cover for the container plants miniature props

Get started

The container should have a mouth wide enough for your hand to slip in easily and safely.

Clean the container with soap water and wipe dry. Set it on a table with some newspaper to catch soil or water that spills.

Using a paper funnel, begin to line your terrarium. You can line it in layers. First, line the terrarium with some coconut husk. Then, add a layer of soil. Finally, add a layer of sand mixed with some chips of wood/gravel and small pebbles.

Now, slip in the plant and fix the roots firmly into the soil, covering the roots with layers. The space inside the terrarium will decide how many plants you can put in. Remember to leave some extra space since your plants will soon grow and spread their roots.

You could decorate your terrarium with small ornaments like a miniature doll or watering can. Or, you could landscape it with bridges and cottages (used in aquariums).

Make sure your terrarium has enough indirect sunlight, but dont keep it directly under the sun. You need to sprinkle some fresh water when you plant your terrarium. After that, slip a cover on to retain the moisture while the plant gets busy with the routine process of evaporation and condensation which will produce a ‘rain effect which will keep the soil wet for weeks. Spray water only when the soil seems to be dry.

Plants to look for

Most leafy plants will do well in a terrarium. You could visit a nursery and ask for a croton, money plant, fern, spider plant, snake plant, ponytail palm or bromeliads. Choose plants which need humid conditions.

Once you and your family get hooked on your little garden, you could make others with different themes. One could have rocks/pebbles, and another could have flowers.

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