How Often Should You Be Watering Your Terrarium? This Often!

How Often Should You Be Watering Your Terrarium
How Often Should You Be Watering Your Terrarium –

A terrarium is a dream come true for anyone living in a smaller space or those who didn’t inherit a green thumb. Terrariums are delightfully small and easy to manage. They look good just about anywhere and don’t require much. Some sunlight and some water, and they’re good to go! But how often should you really be watering your little garden?

How often you need to water your terrarium depends on the type of plants you are growing and whether it’s an open or closed space. An open terrarium typically needs water multiple times a week, while a closed terrarium can go a month or longer as it develops its ecosystem. The best way to check for moisture is through the soil.

Scratching your head when it comes to how often you need to water your terrarium? Don’t panic. The excellent news about terrariums is they are easy to manage, and even those suffering from too much water can be fixed in a cinch.

Today, you’re going to learn about the right amount of water for your terrarium and how often you should be doing it.

If you wonder what to do with Aeoniums after flowering, I wrote a whole where I shared the most important things to keep in mind.

How Often Should You Be Watering Your Terrarium?

One thing new terrarium owners always stumble on is how often to water their terrarium. After all, it’s not a typical garden. Closed terrariums can create their ecosystems. If they can do that, then interfering with too much water can lead to root death and an unsightly terrarium. So, what is the “right” amount?

The answer to this question is a little tricky. That is because how often you water your terrarium depends on two factors: what types of plants you are growing and what kind of terrarium you own, opened or closed.

Closed and Opened Terrariums

There are two types of terrariums to choose from: open and closed. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The different terrarium styles also require different types of plants and watering cycles.

Closed Terrarium

A closed terrarium is best for plants that can survive with plenty of moisture in an enclosed area. These plants include:

  • Baby ferns
  • Aechmea
  • Cryptanthus

One of the main benefits of a closed terrarium is that they are easy to manage. Toss in some soil, a few rocks, and your preferred plant(s); they are ready to go.

The closed-style terrarium can create its ecosystem, which means you don’t have to worry too much about watering, grooming, or primping.

Closed Terrariums are Self-Sufficient

For the most part, closed terrariums only need to be watered around once a month. Of course, this can change during the winter seasons. Sometimes a closed terrarium will only need water every few months.

How is this possible? Well, a closed terrarium comes with a lid. With the cover on, the temperature is a bit higher, and moisture appears in the soil.

Once the water from the soil evaporates, condensation will occur on the sides of the terrarium. The condensation will eventually fall back into the soil, hydrating the plants. This cycle repeats itself, creating the ecosystem.

How Often Should You Water a Closed Terrarium?

Start by adding an ounce of water to the closed terrarium. Let the water trickle down to the roots. Wait a few weeks to see if the natural ecosystem has begun. If the moisture cycle is successful, then you can move to a month-to-month basis.

After the initial watering, the best thing to do is look for condensation and see whether the soil is dry. If you can visibly see condensation on the container, you do not need to water the closed terrarium plants. However, if there is no condensation and the soil is completely dry, you will need to supply it with some water.

After the initial watering, the best thing to do is look for condensation and see whether the soil is dry. If you can visibly see condensation on the container, you do not need to water the closed terrarium plants. However, if there is no condensation and the soil is completely dry, you will need to supply it with some water.

If you have accidentally added too much water, don’t panic. Your plant isn’t doomed. The best way to combat excessive moisture is to soak it up using a clean paper towel. You will also want to remove the lid for a small amount of time, around an hour or two. With access to circulating, fresh air, the soil will quickly dry before damage occurs.

Open Terrarium

On the other hand, open terrariums are not self-sufficient. Since there is no lid, the container cannot create its ecosystem.

However, an open terrarium is necessary for plant types that enjoy circulating air and a drier environment. These types of plants include:

  • Cacti/Succulents
  • Air plants
  • Carnivorous plants

Open terrariums are a bit pickier about their watering than closed terrariums. They function more like a regular garden, although still remarkably easier to manage.

The most important thing to remember is that each plant type requires its preferred watering.

How Often Should You Be Watering Your Terrarium
How Often Should You Be Watering Your Terrarium –

How Often Should You Water an Open Terrarium?

As a general rule of thumb, the easiest way to check if your plant needs water is to touch the soil. If it’s damp, then no water is required. If bone dry, then you will need to apply water.

However, each type of plant will have its own desired watering schedule. These schedules can change depending on the temperature and humidity of the area in which you live.


Succulents are some of the most popular plants to grow right now. They are relatively easy to take care of. Their typical watering schedule consists of the following:

  • 7 to 10 days during the summer months, and
  • 10 to 15 days during the winter months.

The purpose behind this schedule is to keep up with the growing habits of a succulent. They grow more rapidly during the summer and need water to keep them healthy and hydrated. They produce less during winter, which means they won’t require as much.

Succulents don’t need a whole lot of water. They can, however, handle a higher stream. Using the high-powered notch, you can use a squirt bottle to water your succulents. Be careful not to get the leaves, though. Do not over-saturate the succulents. Spray until the soil is damp.

Air Plants

Air plants enjoy one thing – plenty of air. Just as the name would suggest, air plants need proper ventilation for growth. That is why they thrive in an open terrarium. The same rules apply to air plants as they do to succulents, only slightly different.

  • Air plants require more water during the summer months, needing between 3 and 5 waterings per week.
  • This amount lessens during the winter, although it depends on the indoor temperature. Low temperatures won’t need as much watering.

The air plant is less picky about watering, although a mister is generally preferred. That’s because the entirety of the plant can get wet, unlike succulents limited to the roots and no leaves. Misters make it easy to get everything wet and growing.

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants, like the Venus Flytrap, are fun plants to have in your open terrarium. They are fun and exciting, making them the talking point of any room it adorns.

This type of plant is also picky about its watering and can only have water applied directly to the roots. As far as how often to water, carnivorous plants are generally happy with the following:

  • Water once a week during the summer months.
  • Lessen this amount during the winter, such as every 2 to 3 weeks.

Should Terrariums Be In Direct Sunlight?

A small terrarium cannot handle direct sunlight as too much heat builds up inside can damage your plants. Terrariums thrive in bright indirect sunlight near a sunny window but not in sunbeams. A north-facing window is excellent. Aim for about 4 to 6 hours of indirect sunshine daily.

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Final Thoughts

Terrariums offer a simple solution to smaller spaces and those who are not gardening-savvy. Whether you opt for a closed or open terrarium, you can guarantee an easily manageable garden that you will love.

Open and closed terrariums have very different watering needs, though, with open terrariums needing much more regular watering than an enclosed type.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind Plants Heaven is a blog that shares information about preparing, creating, and maintaining gardens in and out of your home, regardless of where you live. My goal is to help you learn to love gardening and reap the benefits that come with it. I am still learning; therefore, the information I share on this site may not always be “expert” advice or information. But, I do my VERY best to make sure the information shared on this blog is both accurate and helpful.

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