How Often to Water a Terrarium

How Often to Water a Terrarium? Welcome to the wonderful world of terrariums! These miniature gardens are a delightful addition to any home, but they do require some care and attention to thrive. One of the most important aspects of caring for your terrarium is understanding how often to water it. Proper watering is crucial to maintaining the health and longevity of your terrarium plants.

There are two main types of terrariums: closed and open. Closed terrariums require less water because they recycle moisture through the water cycle, while open terrariums require more frequent watering to prevent drying out. It’s also important to consider the specific plants in your terrarium, as different types have varying water requirements.

Overwatering can be just as harmful as underwatering, so it’s important to monitor the moisture levels within your terrarium regularly. Proper drainage is also crucial to prevent excess water from causing rot or other issues.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the type of terrarium and specific plants are important factors in determining watering frequency.
  • Proper drainage is crucial to prevent excess water from causing harm to your terrarium plants.
  • Regularly monitoring the moisture levels within your terrarium can help prevent both overwatering and underwatering.

So How Often to Water a Terrarium? Our recommendation is about Approximately once every 2 to 4 weeks. The reason is A terrarium creates a small enclosed environment for plants, which allows for a high level of humidity. This means the plants and soil in a terrarium do not dry out as quickly as they do in regular pots. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues because the water is not easily evaporated or drained away. Consequently, watering less frequently (once every two to four weeks) is usually sufficient. Always check the soil’s moisture levels before watering.

Understanding Terrarium Types and Watering Needs

Welcome to the world of terrariums! These miniature gardens come in two types: closed and open. Closed terrariums, also known as self-contained ecosystems, have a lid that traps moisture inside, recycling it through the water cycle. Open terrariums, on the other hand, are open to the air, allowing for more air circulation and less moisture retention.

The type of terrarium you have will influence its watering needs. Closed terrariums require little water, while open terrariums need to be watered more frequently. Some popular plants for terrariums include succulents and air plants, which have adapted to low moisture environments and typically require less water.

It’s important to ensure proper drainage in your terrarium to avoid excess water, which can lead to root rot and other issues. If using tap water, it’s recommended to let it sit out for a day or two before using to allow any chemicals to evaporate. Consider the types of plants in your terrarium and their specific water needs when determining how often to water.

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Signs of Underwatering and Overwatering

Oh no! It looks like your terrarium might be feeling a little parched or waterlogged. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the telltale signs of both underwatering and overwatering to help you identify the issue.


Is your terrarium looking a little sad and droopy? Are the leaves turning yellow or brown? These could be signs of underwatering.

When you don’t water your terrarium enough, the soil becomes dry and the plants can’t absorb the nutrients they need to thrive. But fear not, a little water can go a long way to reviving your terrarium. Just be careful not to overdo it!


On the other hand, if you notice your terrarium is looking a little too green and there’s excess water pooling at the bottom, you might have overwatered it. This can lead to root rot and other unsavory conditions.

So, if you’re guilty of overwatering, take a step back and let the soil dry out a bit. Your terrarium will thank you.

Remember, proper drainage is key to avoiding excess water in your terrarium. And above all, pay attention to your plants and their individual water needs. With a little care and attention, your terrarium will be thriving in no time.

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Best Practices for Watering Your Terrarium

So, you’ve got your beautiful terrarium set up and you’re ready to water it. But wait, do you know how to water it properly? Here are some witty tips to ensure your watering routine is on point:

  1. Don’t overwater: We get it, you love your plants and want to shower them with love. But too much water can lead to root rot and other issues. Make sure you’re not overwatering by checking the moisture levels and ensuring your terrarium has proper drainage.
  2. Mist it up: For closed terrariums especially, a misting bottle can be a great way to add a little moisture without overdoing it. Plus, it makes you feel like a fancy plant parent. Win-win!
  3. Spray away: A spray bottle can also be useful for watering open terrariums. This method allows you to water the soil directly without disturbing any delicate plants or decorations.
  4. Recycle that water: Instead of tossing excess water, consider using it to water other houseplants or even your outdoor garden. Reduce, reuse, recycle, baby!
  5. Monitor the moisture: Keep an eye on the condensation levels on the glass of your closed terrarium. If there’s too much, you may need to remove the lid for a little while to release some moisture. If there’s not enough, it’s time to water.
  6. Caring for Closed Terrariums: Closed terrariums require less frequent watering than open ones, as the plants create their own little water cycle. To water your closed terrarium, use a long-necked watering can or a straw to reach inside and water directly onto the soil.
  7. Remove the plant: If a plant is showing signs of rot or other issues, don’t hesitate to remove it from your terrarium. It’s better to have a healthy mini garden than one that’s struggling.

With these handy tips, you’re now prepared to water your terrarium like a pro.

Watering Frequency and Other Considerations

So, how often should you water your terrarium? Well, it depends on a variety of factors. For example, open terrariums tend to require more water than closed ones, which recycle moisture through the water cycle. Additionally, the type of plants inside your terrarium will influence the amount of water they need. Succulents, for instance, require very little water, while air plants need to be misted frequently.

Other aspects of adding water to your terrarium to consider include the size of your terrarium and the environmental conditions it is kept in. A larger terrarium will need more water than a smaller one, and hot, dry conditions may require more frequent watering. If you’re caring for a new terrarium, you may need to water it more frequently until the water cycle has stabilized.

It’s important to note that excess water cannot be retained in a terrarium, so drainage is crucial to prevent overwatering. Make sure your terrarium has proper drainage, and remove any excess water that collects in the bottom. And if you do overwater your terrarium, be sure to remove the plant and replace the soil to prevent rot.

Ultimately, the frequency with which you need to water your terrarium will depend on a variety of factors, so be sure to monitor your plants regularly and adjust your watering schedule as needed. And remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to underwater than to overwater!

How Often to Water a Terrarium


Q: How often should I water my terrarium?

A: The frequency of watering your terrarium depends on whether it is a closed or open terrarium. For closed terrariums, you generally only need to water them every 2-4 weeks. Open terrariums, on the other hand, may require more frequent watering, usually every 1-2 weeks.

Q: How can I tell if my terrarium needs water?

A: One way to determine if your terrarium needs water is by checking the moisture level on the sides of the glass. If there is minimal or no condensation on the glass, it’s a sign that your terrarium needs watering.

Q: Should I water my terrarium from the top or bottom?

A: It’s best to water your terrarium from the bottom to avoid overwatering. You can place your terrarium in a tray of water and let it absorb the water through the drainage holes. This way, you can ensure that the plants receive the right amount of water without risking waterlogging.

Q: How much water should I add to my terrarium?

A: The amount of water you should add to your terrarium depends on the size and type of plants inside. As a general rule of thumb, you want to moisten the soil without saturating it. Start with a small amount of water and observe the moisture level. Add more water if needed, but be cautious not to overwater.

Q: Can I use a spray bottle to water my terrarium?

A: Yes, a spray bottle can be a handy tool for watering your terrarium. Fill the spray bottle with water and turn the nozzle to a fine mist. Open the terrarium and spray the interior, moistening the plants and soil. Be mindful not to overspray and create excessive moisture.

Q: How do I ensure the water is running off properly in my terrarium?

A: If your terrarium has a drainage hole, make sure it is not clogged. This will allow excess water to flow out. Additionally, ensure that your terrarium is positioned in a way that promotes proper drainage, allowing any excess water to collect in the tray or container it sits in.

Q: Should I keep my terrarium closed or open?

A: Whether to keep your terrarium closed or open depends on the type of plants within it. Closed terrariums create a humid environment that is suitable for plants that thrive in high humidity. Open terrariums, on the other hand, provide better airflow and are better suited for plants that prefer drier conditions.

Q: How do I care for my terrarium when I’m away for an extended period?

A: If you’re going away and won’t be able to tend to your terrarium, you can create a self-watering system. This can be done by placing a wick or cotton string between the soil and a container of water. The plant will draw the water it needs through the wick, ensuring it stays hydrated while you’re away.

Q: Can I use tap water to water my terrarium?

A: Tap water can be used to water your terrarium, but it’s important to consider the quality of your tap water. If your water is treated with chemicals or has a high mineral content, it may negatively impact the plants. To be on the safe side, you can use filtered or distilled water instead.

Q: Is it possible to overwater a terrarium?

A: Yes, it is possible to overwater a terrarium. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other moisture-related issues. It’s important to monitor the moisture level and only water when necessary. If you notice excessive moisture or signs of waterlogging, it’s best to let the terrarium dry out before watering again.


Congratulations, oh wise and witty terrarium caretaker! You have now become a watering expert, able to detect signs of thirst and drowning in your tiny green friends. Remember to keep a watchful eye on your terrarium’s specific needs and adjust your watering frequency accordingly. Don’t forget the importance of drainage!

No one wants to swim in excess water, not even your plants. And let’s not even get started on the hazards of overwatering, it’s like trying to make a cactus drink a gallon of water.

So, keep your spray bottle handy and your watering can at the ready because your terrarium is counting on you to keep it hydrated and happy. With your newfound knowledge and care, your miniature garden will continue to thrive and be the envy of all your friends. Go forth and water your terrarium with confidence!