Creating a Terrific Terrarium with Dr Manos Kanellos

The trend for terrarium gardening grows each year, with more people than ever creating miniature enclosed indoor growing spaces to enjoy at home. Terrariums are simple to make, easy to care for and rewarding to have. In this episode Peter Brown and Chris Day chat with Dr Manos Kanellos who takes us through the history, the selection of plants and planting to create your own display.

Main pointers: Location, terrariums (open or closed), types of plants best suited to light levels and careful consideration to the way you place your plants. Plant in layers starting with height and then choose plants to bulk out the display as well as covering the soil. Try and theme your display – all green, variegated or add splashes of colour in the way of plants or props.

Plant mentions: Open terrariums Cacti and slow growing succulents, where possible try and use the same group of plants, plus air and carnivorous plants. Flowering plants such as Saintpaulia and Kalanchoe are better in open terrariums.

Closed terrariums: Adiantum, Pteris and Nephrolepsis ferns, Fittonia, Helxine soleirolii, Begonia rex and Peperomias. The only orchid Manos would suggest for growing in a terrarium is the Jewel orchid (Ludisia discolor).

Product mentions Any glass containers are suitable as long as they are large, grit, gravel or clay granules provide the drainage, an escape for water, activated carbon charcoal helps with the filtration and absorption qualities of the compost, peat-free potting mix, BBQ tongs for handling cacti, special tools come into play if using the old fashioned thin necked carboys or green bottles, a small watering can with a rose or large spoonful of water to help settle in new plants. Houseplant Focus plant feed. Decorative stones, slate, or moss to provide a terrain to your plants. You can add characters likes decorative animals, Buddhas, fairies, dinosaurs or even LEGO characters to help create a story. Fungus gnats (sciarid flies) control - use small yellow sticky traps or carefully spray with SB Plant Invigorator and Bug Killer.

Desert Island plant and tool: A palm maybe Beaucarnea recurvata, the elephant's foot or ponytail palm and a mobile phone!

The book, Terrariums: A Beginners Guide is an authoritative and detailed guide to terraria by Manos Kanellos and is available from all good Garden Centres.

Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.

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