Outdoor Terrarium??

joraines(7 Upstate SC)January 8, 2013

I bought this beautiful terrarium today at an antique store as a 'present' for myself for my 50th birthday which was yesterday. I have never had one and I really want to use this piece outside down between our creek and koi pond. I am wondering if anyone else has experience with an outdoor terrarium? It is painted and has glass glued in place with sillicone glue. But I dont' know if I would need to re-paint with Rustoleum or otherwise treat it to prevent as much rust as possible? Any advice is apprecaited!

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
looks like it's made of metal so any kind of rust preventive treatment certainly couldn't harm it?? lol
I've kept a 150 gallon terrarium in my shadehouse for many years though protected both from wind and direct sun it is exposed to rain . made of glass and acrylic so no problem with rust do have a problem with water accumulation Another is heat accumulation even though in shade . I leave the top off .
besides rust would there be a problem with strong winds??
Probably need to anchor it down somehow.
Any thoughts on what you intend to plant??
certainly will make a nice garden sculpture even if not an ideal terrarium gary

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 5:47AM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

Thank you for your response! I can't find much about outdoor terrariums on the internet although I'm sure it's out there somewhere. It will be exposed to some wind although will have some protection among the trees but not against a wall of any type. We will ahve to weight it down and anchor it into the ground somewhow. My husband says just take out the glass and then it will be easier to spray it for weatherproofing and it wouldn't be as easily knockeed over by wind but I want to try it first with the glass intact and see how it goes. I may put a fairy garden in it so moss and small ferns and possibly a small woodland flowering plant as it will be in the shade. The heat may be a problem but the doors can be left slightly ajar if that's a problem. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about terrarium plants. I am certainly not a master gardener but try to read as many books, magazines, internet forums, etc. about various gardening, especially for our Upstate SC zone 7b region. If you have any plant suggestons, I am all ears! We even have little tiny frogs in the spring around the pond and they might do well in there as long as little bugs and flies can get in to keep them fed. I am going to study terrarium plants before I buy!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 10:05PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

hi
Noted many others jumped in with suggestions lol Would imagine it will be difficult to keep warm during winter? If so probably the best bet would be a summer planting??
in my own experience lowland tropicals do the best in terrariums though most can't tolerate low temps.
About all you can do is experiment ?? maybe after "danger of frost" lol Good luck gary

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 5:26AM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

Thank you, Gary. My husband says just to take out the glass as it will stay fogged up all spring and summer. And I won't be putting it down there until it warms up a bit and I inteend to spray it with an enamal clear sealer. I tend to agree with him although the glass terrarium would be ideal. it will be under sahde down by our creek so I think I am chickening out of the true terrarium idea.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:52AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Very few people attempt outdoor terrs -- just too many problems.

Heat build up -- even in shade, as Gary said -- is often a major issue. All it takes is one overheating experience and everything in the terr can be dead.

Water is another issue. If you leave the terr particially open to let heat out, a good rain or one's sprinklers can
flood the terr. This can quickly lead to the death of the plants unless they are swamp dwellers.

Getting knocked over whether by wind or animals is yet another thing to worry about -- and then you have broken glass all over too.

If you leave the glass in and use it as a terr -- I'd say keep it on a well lit but shaded porch/patio. Otherwise, take out the glass as you mentioned and use it as a planter/sculpture would be my vote.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 4:37PM
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teisa(6)

Jo, I love that terrarium!!! I dream of having one someday :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:00PM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

I think I am chickening out of keeping the glass in. I am going to remove the silicone and glass and put it away in case I want to bring it indoors someday and just plant small things in it without the glass. Will probably put some sort of wire bottom to hold the soil and plant some ferns, a polka dot plant and some impatiens in it as it will be in the shade. Most likely, at least during the hot summer, I will have to water it daily but I have many, many wire baskets, galvanized buckets (with holes in the bottom) that I intend to plant with various anuals and trailing plants so will have to dip water from the pond at least every other day with my trusty black plastic bucket and water them all anyway. We had a wedding at our farm last year and a wedding reception is scheduled for April and our daughter's wedding reception will be here May of 2014 so trying my best to get plenty of perennials, shrubs and annuals going down there each year! Thank you all for your valued input. I apprecaite it very much.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:07PM
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emerald1951

Hi..I love your terrarium also....I always have had a interest in terrariums but don't have a lot of luck with them.....but I keep trying...I have never thought of using one outside I will be watching this thread...hope you don't mind I posted a picture of mine....I just have mini violets in mine......linda

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:54PM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

That's gorgeous, Linda! I went through the garden center at Walmart the other day to pick up photos at the back and saw some small ferns and other small plants. We will take out the glass, spray it well and try it down at the koi pond. My husband intends to anchor it down for me. It will go in this shady area under the trees in the background here.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:30AM
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emerald1951

Hi, what a great spot....it will look fantastic there, I would love to see a picture when you have it all set up...
I have never thought of putting it outside, but here in Minnesota it would HAVE to come in doors for the winter....good luck with your project....linda

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:00AM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

I'll be posting pix when spring ever finally arrives here! Yesterday, i 'rescued' some plants from a friend's backyard including Mahonia, Ajuga and other things and dug up some things from my Dad's woods and came home and planted them in the 60 degree sunny weather in short sleeves. Today, it is freezing out there and they are predicting a mixture of rain and snow this afternoon!!! I appreciate the complement on our koi pond area.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:15AM
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michael1846(6)

have you thought of putting it in the water to hide the anchor i think that would look cool

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:41AM
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raizaw

So I was googling "outdoor terrariums" and came across this thread! funny thing is I actually have the same terrarium as you! I was wondering if you had any luck with it as I am trying to figure out what to do... thanks =)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:31AM
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