How do plants get CO2 in a closed terrarium?


A terrarium is a collection of small ornamental plants that grow in an enclosed environment. The container should be transparent and have a large opening to allow access to the plants inside.

 Terrariums are miniature gardens housed in small, usually airtight containers such as bottles and jars. Many people do not know how to build terrariums for their home decor.

For this reason, in this article, we explain how to build terrariums, what materials you need, and what properties they have.

what are terrariums

A terrarium is a small enclosed space that attempts to mimic an animal ecosystem. It can be used to decorate a room or create an ideal environment for reptiles, insects or plants.

 Through terrariums we can get in touch with organisms and understand how they behave, we can see how plants grow and keep them in good condition. Building a terrarium takes time, but it’s worth it.

The terrarium originally grew out of a botanical accident in Victorian London. When the Victorians discovered their fondness for exotic plants and ferns, they quickly developed into a new trend known as ‘ferns’. 

Today, glass jars are used for the same task. They are ideal for those who love nature, but live in the city and do not have space for gardens and plants.

Understanding how they work is basically a lesson in the water cycle and the carbon cycle.

The sun’s heat evaporates moisture from the plants and soil, which then condenses on the cooler interior surfaces of the terrarium. Like rain, the water falls back onto the soil and the process begins again. 

The soil provides nutrients for the plants, and just like in nature, these nutrients are replenished by the death and decomposition of the plants in the soil.

the terrariums are not an exact science and may require some trial and error to get right. Like the ecosystems of our world, they can be compromised by light and temperature fluctuations and overzealous species.

what are terrariums?


types that exist

Nowadays, glass containers come in all shapes and sizes (in fact, almost anything that is transparent can be used as a container).

 In general, the type of terrarium depends on the plants you want to grow in it. Tropical terrariums, succulent terrariums, etc. We can also say that there are “open” and “closed” types of glass containers.

Closed terrariums belong to the classic type. Sealing the terrarium and creating a closed system is what keeps the ecosystem going and allows us to do all the nice things.

 Enclosing moisture in a terrarium eventually allowed the Victorians to grow their interesting tropical plants.

Open terrariums can lose many of the important features and functions of real terrariums, but they still have their place. They are better suited to plants that don’t need a lot of water.

How do plants give off carbon dioxide?

How do plants in a closed terrarium get CO2?

When plants get enough light, they open tiny holes in their leaves to take in carbon dioxide (CO2). They use this carbon dioxide to produce food through a process called photosynthesis. 

At the same time, about a hundred times more water flows out through the tiny valves than carbon dioxide flows in.

Building a terrarium step by step

The procedure described is useful for horizontal or vertical terrariums. If you want to craft one, you will need the following materials:

Canning jars, reuse, you must have enough on hand.

– Film.

– small stone

– Activated charcoal

– Medium-sized stones to decorate.

– Plant the cold frame. You should choose plants that are small enough for the terrarium. If they grow too large, the terrarium may look small. 

Use : Tillandsia stricta, Pilea implicita, Cyathus bivittatus, Fittonia Verschaffeltii var. Argyoneura, and various succulents. All of these items are readily available and can be recycled.

Building a terrarium step by step


Steps to make the terrarium:

  • – Clean pots and stones to prevent mold growth.
  • – When dry, tape the opening of the pot to prevent soil from escaping. If you want to place the plant vertically, you can skip this step.
  • – Place a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the pot. It will keep the water fresh and fight any bacterial growth in the terrarium.
  • – Place small pebbles in the bottom of the pot as drainage.
  • – Place the first layer of soil and try to cover the entire terrarium.
  • – Place the seedlings in the arrangement that we consider most suitable. Plants that require high humidity are recommended.


Once the plants are placed, their roots are covered with soil. You can decide for yourself whether to use moss (don’t take it from the field), because it is a soil conditioner and can beautify the terrarium. Do not get moss from nature.

You can complete the decoration by placing rocks of different sizes.

Water with a spray bottle two or three times, not more. This will give the plant food, which it will recycle through respiration. After this step, the glass container can be closed.

You can put a decorative figure to enhance the beauty of your creations.

Steps to make the terrarium


  • It is important to control humidity. The plants will acclimatize in the first few days, but after a week you should remove the excess plants to prevent them from dying. You can place a cloth on the glass to remove them. Too much moisture can also lead to the formation of fungi.
  • When summer comes, do not place it in direct sunlight. Glass absorbs heat, which can greatly increase the temperature and kill the plants.
  • How to make terrariums for succulents
  • Terrariums are often built for succulents. Therefore, we will give you some tips on how to build terrariums for succulents:
  • Clean the glass containers of your choice with water and washing-up liquid.

 Place the first layer of stones mixed with charcoal on the ground. This will be the drainage layer.

– Put a second layer of moss.

– Put the fertilized soil on the moss and press it.

– You can place decorative stones in this layer.

– Choose a spot for the succulents and dig a hole with a spoon to bury the plants.

– Place the succulents in the holes you dug earlier.

– Water in the soil until the bottom rocks are moist.

As you can see, terrariums can be very interesting when set up properly. I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to make terrariums and their features.


A terrarium is a small enclosed space that attempts to mimic an animal ecosystem Terrariums are often built for succulents. The soil provides nutrients for the plants, and just like in nature, these nutrients are replenished by the death and decomposition of the plants in the soil.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.