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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Q & A: What to do when a plant dies in a terrarium?

What to do when a plant dies in a terrarium...

Plants may start to die in a terrarium for any number of reasons- improper growing conditions, fungus and rot or even of lack of room for additional growth. When foliage starts to turn brown or appear slimy it's probably time to make a decision.

Using any number of tools or bamboo sticks you can try to push down the plant or offending leaves into the soil. If the plant does not appear to be diseased and the foliage is small enough this normally does not pose a problem to the tiny ecosystem. It will eventually break down and mix in to the layers in the terrarium.

If it is large, more woody or clearly diseased it is probably best to remove the entire plant. Try to clip any large pieces with scissors if possible. With a bamboo stick gently loosen any roots still holding strong to the soil to limit disruption to the rest of the arrangement. Then use a string lasso or a bamboo stick fitted with a rake apparatus at the end to fish the plant out of the bottle. This may be a tight fit if your terrarium container has a narrow neck but with a little tug it can normally come clear. You can always rinse any dirt on the neck of the container with some distilled water or knock it off once it is dry.


  1. Good advice. I use long-handled scissors in my aquarium for the same purpose.

  2. Thank you so much, your blog is wonderful and has great information!! I'll be sure to come here if I have any questions about our terrariums!

  3. Great tips! Thank you :)


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