The most detailed guides on the internet for plant and terrarium maintenance, creation and care.
How often should I water my terrarium?
How often should I water my terrarium?

How often should I water my terrarium?

Water is the lifeblood of any ecosystem, including your terrarium. 

Understanding the watering needs of your terrarium and the factors that influence them will help you maintain a healthy and thriving environment.

The needs of your terrarium and the frequency of its waterings will be based on the setup, and what type of terrarium you have.

Let’s explore this further.

Closed Terrariums

closed terrarium with cork lid

These types of terrariums create a self-sustaining ecosystem where water evaporates from the soil and plants, condenses on the walls, and then trickles back down to the soil. 

This cycle significantly reduces the need for manual watering, often only requiring it every few weeks or even months.

Open Terrariums

women potting plants in a dome shaped terrarium

Unlike closed terrariums, open terrariums don’t retain moisture as efficiently. 

While the exact frequency will depend on the type of plants you’re growing, you’ll generally need to water more frequently than with closed terrariums.

This could be as often as every 2-3 days depending on the plants you are housing in your terrarium.

Watering Needs Based on Plant Type

Different plants in your terrarium will also dictate your watering schedule.

woman holding a fern plant above a terrarium

Ferns: Ferns prefer moist and shady conditions. They require regular misting in the terrarium to maintain the humidity they love.

up close photo of moss on a forest floor

Mosses: Mosses thrive in humid conditions and need little soil. They absorb water from the air, and regular misting will keep them healthy.

purple orchid in a closed terrarium

Orchids: These beautiful flowering plants thrive in high humidity and indirect light. Orchids in a terrarium require good drainage and regular misting, but avoid overwatering.

carnivorous plant in terrarium

Carnivorous Plants: Fascinating and unique, these plants require bright light, high humidity, and acidic soil. They should be watered with distilled or rain water to avoid mineral buildup.

lots of varieties of air plants in green, purple and white

Succulents: Succulents store water in their leaves or stems and require a dry environment. Water sparingly and infrequently in a terrarium, ensuring the soil dries out between waterings.

cacti plants in an open terrarium

Cacti: A type of succulent, cacti have spines and require plenty of light and minimal water. Water sparingly in a terrarium, allowing the soil to completely dry out between waterings.

multi colored air plants in an open terrarium

Air Plants: These plants do not need soil and absorb nutrients from the air. They need bright, indirect light and should be misted with water regularly.

11 different terrariums with different shapes and sizes

Herbs: Herbs require good drainage, nutrient-rich soil, bright light, and moderate moisture. In a terrarium, ensure they don’t get too soggy, watering only when the soil dries out.

Signs Your Terrarium Needs Watering

Observing your terrarium regularly can help you identify signs of both underwatering and overwatering. 

Dry, wilting, or browning plants may need more water. 

Conversely, constant condensation, mold growth, or yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering.

Read more on maintaining your terrarium’s drainage layer to improve the water content and humidity.

Best Watering Techniques for Terrariums

When it comes to watering your terrarium, using tools like a spray bottle or a long-spouted watering can will help. 

Aim to water the soil, not the plants themselves to avoid promoting mold growth.

In Conclusion…

Understanding your terrarium’s watering needs based on its type and the plants it houses is crucial to its health and longevity. Regular observation and adjustments to your watering schedule can keep your terrarium flourishing.

If you’re looking to find out more about terrariums, take a look at our ultimate guide to terrariums.