Terrariums | Liven Up Your Desk


We’ve spoken before about the positive influence that greenery can have over both mental and physical wellbeing in our biophilic design blog. Whilst planting trees in office atriums and constructing moss filled walls in office breakout areas are both beneficial and aesthetically pleasing they can be out of scope for a lot of companies with a small amount of space and even smaller budgets. That’s where terrariums come in.


What is a Terrarium?


A terrarium is best described as a sort of miniature greenhouse, in that they are small, enclosed environments for a plethora of plants and foliage. Terrariums are traditionally glass or plastic containers and can be either sealed or open, once filled with a variety of greenery and decoration they can be attention-grabbing ornaments and have become popular accent pieces for interior designers across the world. 


Open Terrarium



How do they Work?


Closed terrariums are self-nourishing as they create their own small-scale water cycle. The plants and the soil produce water vapour which collects on the sides of the terrarium. Over time this water vapour makes its way back down into the soil providing the plants with a constant flow of water which in turn keeps the plants healthy and encourages growth. The self-sufficient nature of terrariums is one of the reasons they are so popular. They require minimal human intervention. In the case of closed terrariums, they need to be unsealed and excess water vapour allowed to clear once a week. They may also need topping up with water if it is apparent that no water vapour is being produced or there are signs of wilting.


Water Vapour


Closed Terrariums


A closed terrarium will have a removable lid and is more suited to growing plants and foliage that are typically difficult to grow unless in a humid environment. Closed terrariums can be used to grow mosses, orchids, ferns and air plants along with carnivorous plants such as Venus flytraps, Pitcher plants and Sundew plants. A special sterile soil mix is required for closed terrariums to avoid the introduction of harmful microbes.


3 Closed Thimble Terrariums


Open Terrariums


The open variety is better suited to dry plants such as succulents - plants that thrive in dry climates such as cacti. Open terrariums are used to keep the enclosure free from moisture, the opposite to their sealed counterparts. Soil with a sand or gravel mixture is required for an open terrarium.

Open Terrarium

For the Desk


Terrariums can come in all shapes and sizes, from massive installations packed full of all sorts of technology like automatic day/night cycles, mist machines, lighting setups and climate control to small desk-sized mini-gardens that are the perfect size to sit on a desk. DIY terrariums can be made out a vast array of containers such as:


  • Jam jars


  • Goldfish bowls


  • Coffee pots


  • Biscuit jars


  • Light bulbs


  • Spice jars


  • Sweet jars


Desktop Terrarium


Just to name a few! Pretty much any variety of jar that allows you access to place plants will work. Terrariums can also be purchased ready made in all sorts of styles whether you are looking for something clean and modern or something vintage and rustic. As you can imagine this creates a lot of opportunities for small, unobtrusive, low maintenance terrariums that are perfect for brightening up any dull desk. 


By Andrew Mairs - Marketing Executive


If you would like any further information on how Officeinsight can help you bring nature into your office or to discuss your requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0161 233 0030.