And here is my new killer all done.
These are my specimens, the venus fly trap, pitcher plants and sundews. The fly trap is standard fare, but I hadn't seen these other guys for sale before. I bought them in the garden store of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, not a budget move, but what can you do. I mostly buy my plants at the Union Square Greenmarket or Sprout Home in Williamsburg.
I've been dying to plant up a carnivorous terrarium for years but just couldn't get myself together to do it until this weekend. On Saturday I went to the New York Botanical Garden ( I know I know, I spend a nerdy amount of time at these places) to see the new Darwin exhibit. He was a master botanist which I wasn't aware of and he, too, was fascinated by carnivorous plants because of their obvious adaptation to their surroundings. (side note, sorry......) Anyway, I got home and immediately planted this guy up.
These are my chosen vessels, the bell jar I purchased from Outside NY, which i think has since closed, for $30 something (a steal compared to others and it wasn't even on sale!) and the dish is from the local hardware store. You can buy all different sizes of bell jars at English Creek Gardens for less than I've seen them locally, too.
There are hundreds of ways to plant terrariums, the bell jar type is neat because it allows you to easily access your plants which isn't possible if you plant in say, an old jug with a small neck.
First I laid down a layer of gravel for drainage so if it gets too moist inside your terrarium, your plant's roots won't be sitting in water which would cause them to rot.
Next I gently removed the little buggers from their pots and loosen them from the soil so you can see individual roots. I just used the soil from their plastic pots to mound up in the dish. If you needed a little extra, regular potting soil would do the trick.
Once you decide where everyone is going to go, you just dig a hole and put them in it, taking care not to break the roots. Then you just put a bit more soil around them and gently pat down.
I like to cover my dish with sheet moss, which is a dried decorative moss you can find at most all garden stores. I think it makes the whole terrarium look more natural and wild to me. To cover the top you just break the sheet moss up a bit and tuck it around the plants. For the sides, I cut a long strip of moss and just wrapped it around. To get the moss to stay in place, I tightly tied a piece of matching sewing thread around the dish like a present.
I ended up with an amazing mossy cake shaped terrarium. Before you put your bell jar in place you need to mist mist mist. When the bell jar is in place, you should monitor it's water level every few days. If there are large water droplets on the inside of the the jar, you'll need to take off the cover for an hour or two. A moist environment is how these plants like it, but if its sopping wet, they mold.TaDa! One more for the dresser.