|Quarantine containers can be as easy as tupperware with air holes|
or ziplock bags left partially open.
It is relatively easy to remove problem items from a large-opening terrarium such as a vase, fishbowl or dish. But if you aim to plant a terrarium in an enclosed terrarium or a narrow-opening vessel like a wine bottle, test tube etc. it may save you time an energy in the long run if you can be patient enough to "quarantine" your plants and moss to see if any problems surface before you add them to your terrarium.
|Stow -aways identified in plants and moss under quarantine.|
- Provides a simulation terrarium-environment for your plants and mosses so you can see if they are suited to terrarium-life before they are planted in terrariums.
- Serves as a storage method for delicate plants or mosses you have collected that require a humid terrarium-like environment prior to planting in a terrarium.
- Allows any mold or insects or sickliness become apparent on the plants prior to planting in your terrarium.
|Common household items make great containers for quarantining plants.|
1. Materials you will need: plants and moss intended for a terrarium arrangement, paper towels, water (preferably distilled, preferably in a spray bottle) and quarantine containers. A quarantine container can be any transparent container that will admit light to your plants with a partially-closed opening to allow for a humid environment but also permit some air flow. This doesn't have to be as fancy as it sounds and you can likely make-do with household items:
- Translucent tupperware with lid partially open.
- Glass container with a plate or lid partially covering the opening.
- Ziplock bag left partially open.
- Your intended terrarium vessel (if it has a wide opening) with a plate or lid partially covering the opening.
- If you are working with moss you need to wash it before quarantine. See instructions for washing moss here.
- Moss can be laid on damp paper towels in a ziplock bag. Partially close the openings to your quarantine containers (or partially seal the ziplock bags). The goal here is to promote a humid environment for your plants but to allow airflow.
4. Now watch and wait! Check on your quarantined plants every day or so to look for signs of mold, insects etc. You may want to adjust the lid or seal on your quarantine containers to admit more or less air to the plants or mosses if excess moisture becomes apparent or if the plant looks like it's drying out. If a piece of moss grows mold ditch it fast!
5. Ideally your quarantine containers are pretty stable environments so you can keep your plants this way until you are ready to plant your terrarium! If you are in a rush I would try to "quarantine" your plants and moss for observation for a minimum of four days before planting your terrarium.
- If you keep plants or moss in quarantine for longer than five days make sure to periodically spritz them with water (preferably distilled).