Help!! My terrarium is dying!

Ok, so first of all lets look at any problem rationally. I’m going to outline the most common problems I personally have with terrariums and how I solve them. If your problem isn’t on this list, you’re very welcome to contact me.


  1. Did you remember to add the activated charcoal? That can help prevent mold growth in the soil, however sometimes mold grows on the plants as well. The best thing I’ve found is to remove the affected area of the plant (or whole plant) and be less liberal with your misting.
  2. Be careful you’re using an appropriate vessel as well, can the terrarium breathe? Don’t use a screw on lid, or a seal which is designed for storing foodstuffs. The closed terrarium needs a little room to breathe, so if you want to use one of those jars I suggest not fastening the lid all the way or removing the seal.
  3. Heat can also be a real problem with encouraging mold growth. Is your terrarium getting any direct light? If it is, put it somewhere cooler, in indirect light. Even a couple of hours of direct sun in the morning in the summer can really accelerate mold growth.


  1. Has the terrarium been in bright light? You may have accidently fried your plants – keep it away from direct sunlight.
  2. Cold glass – this is a mistake I made when I made my very first terrarium. I kept it in a cold bathroom with no heaters near a window in the middle of winter. The glass amplifies everything, so if it’s cold in a room – it’s going to be REALLY cold inside your terrarium. keep it somewhere slightly cool in the summer, and somewhere slightly warm in the winter. Just not on top of a radiator, as you may cause the glass to crack!
  3. Too wet. Are you overwatering your terrarium? Does the soil look saturated with water, or is the bottom stone layer flooded with water? This may be causing the plants roots to rot. Unfortunately the only way to fix this is to keep the lid of the terrarium until the soil dries out a little. If you’ve planted a succulent/cactus terrarium, if the plants look “mushy”, you have overwatered them and they have rotted. You will have to wait until the soil has completely dried out before replanting.
  4. Unfortunately, sometimes plants just die! If your terrarium is established, one plant may have taken over and “killed” the weaker plant(s). If the terrarium is freshly planted (within 5 days of planting) and you purchased your plants from me, don’t hesitate to contact me with your order number and I will happily send replacements.

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