Sunday, February 24, 2008

Open Air Cati Terrarium

A few months ago I saw a great idea about keeping different types of Cacti and succulents in a small space. I after reading up on the best ways to do this, I combine several different approaches, and came up with a good one. Right now I am still testing this to see how well the cacti are doing but overall they are doing great.

I made the mistake of not photo documenting this little project. But the next time I make one I will make sure to documenting this project and repost.

My wife and I worked together to create this. To recreate this you will need the following;
  1. A glass container of your choosing
  2. Cacti potting soil
  3. Horticulture grade charcoal - (regular non instant start BBQ charcoal will work)
  4. Pea Gravel for drainage
  5. Fiberglass window screen.
  6. Enough plants to densely populate the area for growing - (over crowding is good)
  7. Pea gravel, decortive rock or sand can be used to cover the potting medium
The first thing you need to do is clean your container out with a soapy solution. Once cleaned and dried. You can start creating your new cacti garden. Next you need to crush up the charcoal so it a fine powder and add that to the bowl. After that you will need to add the pea gravel for drainage. Once the pea gravel has been added you will need to cut a piece of the window screen to lay on top of the gravel. This will help keep the roots from digging into the drainage. Next you will need to add the potting soil. Add enough soil that the root balls will have enough room to be buried properly. Once you have the soil at the right height you will need to prepare the plants to be planted. Some plants will need to be divided if they are to large or if you are not pleased with the shape of the plant. In most cases you will have to gently remove the dirt from the root ball and cut away a small amount of the root. By doing this you make more room for all your plants and slow the growth of the plant. This will cause the plant to spend more if its energy on the root system. After all of your plants are planted and they are where you want them to be. You will need to cover the surface with your decortive rock. The final step is to mist your plants.

Do not water your plants by watering can or in the sink. This will cause the container to be water logged and this will kill your plants! Only water your plants by misting. If you do not have a spray bottle you can get them almost anywhere. Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot and many grocery stores carry them for less than $5.00. You only need to water you plants about once week, if that. You should only water the plants when the soil is dry or if the plants look as if they need watering. Cacti and most succulents do not need very much water.

When placing your plants, make sure to place your plants in a sunny window or a well lit place in your house or office. Make sure the plant gets at least 6 good hours of sunlight. If you can not get enough light or the plants start browning up then add a spot light or a desk lamp will work. You can purchase CFL 26 watt Daylight bulbs that will give it the right kind of light and it uses very little energy to run.

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