Terrarium Singapore Blog

The Difference Between Open and Closed Terrariums

A terrarium is a mini portable garden which you can DIY and learn through terrarium workshops. They’re low maintenance if you provide the correct care and take up very little space. Thus, it’s perfect for Singaporeans who don’t have a green thumb or simply too busy to care for gardening. There are two types of terrarium – open and closed. Here’s a list of differences between them!

  1. Different plants required

Different types of plants can adapt to the different climate. As such, open and closed terrariums require different plans. Open terrarium plants prefer circulating air and a drier environment. Plants such as aloe, hens and chicks, cacti, and air plant are best for this. On the other hand, closed terrariums thrive in a closed space with more moisture. The plants that can survive in such climate include the likes of baby ferns, aechmea, neoregelia, and cryptanthus.

  1. Drainage layers

It’s extremely important to use proper drainage in a terrarium depending on its type. This is to ensure that your plants remain healthy for a longer period of time. Also, each layer put into the terrarium serves a purpose of maintaining a proper environment for it to grow well. Open terrariums require pebbles, soil, charcoal and rocks. Meanwhile, closed terrariums only need soil, charcoal and rocks.

  1. Closed terrariums are self-sufficient

As its name suggests, closed terrariums come together with a lid. It’s only natural for moist to appear from the soil and plants as the temperature is slightly higher in a closed terrarium. After evaporating, the water vapour will condense on the side of the glass container and falls back to the plants and soils at the bottom. And the cycle repeats. Hence, closed terrariums are self-sufficient. With the glass container being transparent, it allows light to pass through and for photosynthesis to happen. However, ensure to never place them under direct sunlight as it can cause the glass container to heat up and burn the plants.

  1. Open terrariums aren’t self-sufficient

Since it’s an open terrarium, there wouldn’t be any lid to cover all the plants in the glass container. Instead, the plants might be half popping out of the containers. Unlike closed terrariums, open terrariums prefer drier conditions and don’t require a moist environment. Plus, it doesn’t have a regular water cycle as it’s open to the air. Thus, open terrariums have to be watered frequently. Either once a week or when the soil gets dry and you notice leaves falling off.

  1. Terrarium care

If you wouldn’t like your hard work to go to waste, follow these steps to maintain a healthy terrarium. Open terrariums would much rather have lots of sun and direct light. While at it, remember to water them regularly! As for closed terrariums, they are quite low maintenance. Indirect light works best for them. Also, open the terrarium at least once a month for about 20 minutes to allow some form of air circulation.