So this ‘Soulstar Make ‘ brings the energy of plants, crystals and deities together, to give your altar, home or work space a supercharged uplift.
The process of making a terrarium is completely absorbing and therapeutic. This was my first attempt at making one and its something I intend to get better at. The combinations of plants and crystals you could use are endless and combining the two brings elemental energies into your space and the crystals also support the growth of the plants.
You can go two ways with your terrarium;
An Open Top Terrarium – where plants like Succulents , Cacti or Air Plants will need less moisture and can be ‘misted’ with water or house plant feed. Types of plants for open top terrariums are, Air plants, miniature Cacti- Zebra Hawthoria or Succulents like Sempervivums- House Leeks ( Hens and Chicks), Sedum, Echeveria and Paddle Plants.
A Closed Top Terrarium – for tropical plants that need moisture and humidity in their own micro-climate. If your terrarium has a cork lid you may want to apply a thin layer of Aquarium Silicone, so that mold doesn’t form on the underside of the lid. that way water is recycled and drips down into the terrarium. Plants for a closed top terrarium could be African violets, Nerve Plants, Cushion Moss, Artillery Ferns, Button ferns, Polka Dot plants, Aluminium Plants, Star Fish plants or Fittonia.
There is so much information online regarding types of plants and styles of terrarium, so have a poke about online and see what floats your boat. I have put some links below in resources, to get you started.
To make one like I have made here, you will need the following .
- A large glass jar or specialist terrarium
- An assortment of succulents
- Small tumbled crystals or chips of your chosing
- A chosen statue of a deitity or god/goddess
- Soil/compost or succulent soil
- Sphagnum moss
- Activated charcoal chips
- Assorted rocks, gravel or more crystal chips
- A small decorting brush to compact the layers
Firstly the layering of your soil and gravel needs to be done in a particular order (see the image below), this is to aid drainage and to remove impurities from the terrarium.
Working from the bottom upwards the layers work like this.
Gravel layer – to allow for drainage of water away from the plants roots, so that they don’t rot. A layer 2- 4cm is ideal.
Moss layer- this layer acts as a purification barrier, preventing soil from draining down into layers below, potentially then causing mold and impurities to grow.
Charcoal layer- another purification layer to filter and remove toxins from the terrarium, preventing bad odours from developing.
Soil layer – this is where the plants live, their roots burrow into the soil to absorb nutrients and water, essential to their wellbeing.
Plant layer – Tropical plants will need to have a closed lid. The jar I bought has a cork lid, which allows for some moisture to be retained and is breathable to point. Tropical plants also need humidity.
Decorative layer – this layer is all about decoration. I am using a figure of Ganesha and quartz crystals, you could just use one big crystal point, which would look amazing , or a crystal grid. If crystals aren’t your thing you could use shells, driftwood and or ceramic ornaments.
Start by giving the gravel a quick rinse to remove dust and impurities then place into the bottom of your jar. I used enough to make a 2cm layer you can do more if you want to depending on the size of your jar. Mine is quite a medium sized jar so this seemed a good enough depth for drainage.
Next add a layer of sphagnum moss, I used between about 1-2cm depth.
Add your activated charcoal. You can use a reasonable amount of this, I used enough to make a 1cm layer but you can use a lot more, especially if you are making a large terrarium, make it 2- 4cm deep. If you want to have very defined layers of soil, moss and charcoal, make your layers thicker. Be mindful that you don’t make it too deep if you want the plants sit below the lid.
You are now ready to add your final layer of soil and plants. I used a Jade Plant, Minima and Silver Crown Cotyledon to give height and a selection of baby succulents and sempervivums, see images below. Links are in Resources to buy plants. When placing the plants on the soil, use the end of the paint brush to make a hole in the soil and put the plants and its roots in the hole, then use your brush to gently push soil around the base of the plant.
Succulents can be placed on the soil as their roots will find their way into the soil in time, the gravel and crystal chips wil cover these roots nicely and that will help to weight the roots into the soil.
The final stage is to add your crystals and deity, Before doing so, I smudged my Quartz crystal and Ganesha figure with sage and then programmed the Quartz with the intention of prosperity, new beginnings and wisdom, some of the qualities that the Hindu deity Ganesha invokes. I also invited the energy of Ganesha to join me in my work space.
I placed a mixture of gravel and quartz crystal on top and then placed the Ganesh figure in the centre. As the succulents grow I will have to remove some of them to make more room, however this is part of the process as it is a living and changing microcosm. You could also use mature succulents which would give a more finished look and need less attention. To maintain the quality of the plants, mist them with rainwater (if you can) in a little spray bottle a couple of times a week. You can also buy house plant misting spray from garden centres or online. See resources below.
Jade Plant and Cotyledon Succulent https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CassandrasPlants
Glass Jar https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ForestJar
Activated Charcoal https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RomeoandSucculent
Succulent soil – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SoilNinja
Surreal Succulents – https://surrealsucculents.co.uk/
Abbey Brook Cactus Nursery http://www.abbeybrookcacti.com/
Air Plant nursery https://lovetillys.co.uk/
Comprehensive Air Plant Care resource
Essentials for open and closed terrarium https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/terrarium_plants?ref=rlte_tqd_0
Glass Terrarium Specialists https://theurbanbotanist.co.uk/?gclid=CjwKCAjwxev3BRBBEiwAiB_PWOpNLY8lBLzcdZ_PvQKhNhJpiKJxlP7CrXxLtEyND3VvMor_weM0ixoCF5sQAvD_BwE
Instagram Resources – for inspiration
Photo Credit – My own