Bottle Gardens and Terrariums

Bottle Gardens or Terrarium are very popular and ideal for homes of all sorts and particularly apartments and flats.

Planting correctly is very important but it’s not difficult. Using the right tools, equipment, compost and feeds makes it very easy.

Once planted they almost look after themselves and our modern fascination for miniature gardens makes them much loved.

You will need:

A wide funnel, rolled up paper, long handled bottle garden tools, drainage stones, granulated charcoal, terrarium compost, plants, narrow spout watering can, tepid water.

How to plant:

  1. Choose bottle that’s clean and sterile if re-cycling.
  2. Add 2cm (about 3/4″) of drainage stones. Spread out with the long tools.
  3. Add the granulated charcoal via a funnel. ad between 1 teaspoon for a 5L bottle (2 for 15L, 2.5 for 35L, 3 for 55L).
  4. Add a layer of compost that reaches 6-7cm deep over the stones.
  5. Make holes with the long handles tools big enough for the size of the root ball of the plants chosen. Drop the plants through the neck of the bottle and move to the planting hole with the tools. Push some compost over the roots.
  6. Pour tepid water carefully so that it runs down the side of the bottle. Turn the bottle as you add the water.
  7. Stand in your chosen position our of direct sunlight. Leave the cork out for a week, then lay it on its side for another week (see the video).
  8. Once condensation on the glass has gone push the cork in. A solar powered light built into a cork is available as an extra to give some light in the evening.
See how to plant a bottle garden.

NB – The bottle garden / terrarium system described above is designed for plants that love or tolerate humid (close) conditions.

It is possible to create a dry ‘dessert like’ bottle garden using succulents and cactus. Use cactus compost rather than bottle garden compost. Still use the charcoal. Water the plants before planting and don’t water the compost after you plant. Cactus and succulents hate growing in wet compost. Avoid watering in the winter and water sparingly from spring to late summer.