The Dirt on Terrariums

The Dirt on Terrariums

A long, long time ago (1842 to be exact) a Botanist got tired of sipping tea and decided to conduct a little experiment. Little did know he was going to change the plant world forever.

What exactly is a Terrarium? 

Fishes live in aquariums, plants (can) live in terrariums. Simply put, a terrarium is a sealable glass container that has layers of soil, plants and funky decorations if you’re into it.

But they’re more than just showpieces. These amazingly complex creations actually create a unique, self sustainable environment for the plants. The glass walls allow for heat and light to enter, causing the moisture to evaporate, further condensing on the walls and falling back onto the soil and plants. A mini water cycle in a jar, isn’t Mother Nature amazing? 

Wardian Cases aka Terrariums of the Victorian Era 

A prime discovery by Nathaniel B. Ward in the Victorian era, Terrariums were actually known as Wardian Cases and resembled fancy bird cages on ornate table-tops, fitted with glass. 

Fascinatingly, Ward transported British plants all the way to our very own Sydney, to judge if they would thrive in the environment. His experiment worked, so well in fact that he even got some rare Australian species in perfect condition. 


Image courtesy
Did you know...

The Wardian case was responsible for shaping much of the global trade economy. 

After understanding how plants could survive different conditions in their little glass box, Ward began experimenting with other species including rare fruits, flowers, and then expanding to cash crops like tea, sugar and rubber. Without his discovery, we may have had to do without
*shock and horror*
Thank you to Mr. Ward, wherever he is. 

There’s a terrarium that hasn’t been watered in 48 years!

In 1960, another bored Englishman David Latimer planted a seed in a large glass bottle. He lowered spiderwort seeds in with a wire, set it in the sun and sealed it shut. The last time this Terrarium was watered was 1972. Yup. And this it what it looks like after all those years -  

Image courtesy

Terrarium Trends Today - 

Let’s be honest, between juggling our jobs, social lives, studying etc - maintaining a full scale garden may not be the most feasible option. Many rentals are sans gardens, and one can often be guilty of underwatering their plant babies. 

This is pretty much why you need a terrarium in your life. They’re super low maintenance and require very little attention. Indirect sunlight, the occasional spritz of water and if you’re really into it - trimming the messy bits. 

Plus if you really want to learn how to build the perfect Terrarium, our Build Your Own Terrarium Bars are just the thing. Set up like the adult lolly bar of your dreams, get down and dirty working your way across the room and building a sexy (and sustainable) accessory for your house.

Tickets are selling fast, so do yourself a favour and book here


Karina Arora