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Friday, March 8, 2013

Help, I Overwatered: Removing Water from a Terrarium

You've gone and overwatered your terrarium and all the signs are there: condensation on all the interior surfaces, drowned plants and possibly the appearance of algae scuz.  I have one trick for you to try.

Twist up a paper towel or two and dangle them into your terrarium until it just touches the surface of the soil.  Paper towels are mega absorbent and thanks to capillary action - water will travel up the surface and out of your terrarium.  Think of it as the opposite of using a water wick to water houseplants.

Leave the paper towel wick for a few hours and then toss the sopping thing out!


  1. Yup, it helps. I recently rescued a very large terrarium that had been terribly overwatered by someone who was caring for it temporarily. There was standing water in it. I pushed some soil away from the edge of the container and that left little resevoirs for water to collect in. I siphoned off as much of the water as I could with a turkey baster, then packed the reservoirs with paper towels. As they became soaked I would replace them. I also left the terrarium uncovered. It took about 3 weeks but using this method I've finally got the terrarium back in balance. It's covered and still a little damp, but I wipe the condensation off the inside glass daily. I believe it'll be corrected in a few more days.

    1. Awesome - thank you for sharing your story and for the suggestion that a baster might help remove standing water!


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