Gardening 101: When & how much to water my plants?

General Care

The number one headache when it comes to gardening and care for your terrarium. When to water and how much to water?

Here’s are some tips for plants killers.

Generally, plants used in terrarium can be classified into 3 groups.

Cactus and Succulents

They could be easily recognized by their fleshy leaves and stem. These leaves and stem are fleshy because it stores lots of water in its body. As such, these plants can survive many days without water. Watering is required when the soil is completely dry. If you observe wrinkles on its leaves or body, it is telling you that it is undergoing dehydration. This is the time where you gave them extra water more than usual. No worries, the wrinkles will be gone after a few days.

Dehydrated Succulent

Fig 1: Dehydrated Succulent

Do not water the leaves of cactus and succulents. Firstly, it will leave water marks on the leaves. Also, if the water on the leaves does not dry up in time, it is going to damage the leaves. Furthermore, the plant does not absorb water through its leaves so only water directly into the soil.

Over-watering will rot the roots of the plants. If you suspect it’s a case of over-watering, remove the plant from the soil and check the roots. If it starts to turn black, it is a case of root rot. You may try to put the plant under the sun to dry up the roots but it’s not a guarantee method to save the plant if root rot is severe.


These plants often come in small lumps with small leaves or grow in small cracks on pavements. They absorb their nutrients from the air and does not have real roots. As such, misting is done directly on the leaves of the moss for watering.  When it is under-watered, the moss leaves may become smaller or turn yellowish/brown.  Within days, you will notice the leaves are back to its original colour and size.

In the case of over-watering, it encourages fungal growth which may present itself in the form of transparent gel liquid or white mold on the leaves. In such case, just remove the mold and have the moss under the bright light for a while to evaporate the moisture to prevent fungal growth.

Moss Fungal Attack

Fig 2: Moss Fungal Attack

Carnivorous Plants

Sundew, pitcher plants and venus fly trap are some of the common carnivorous plants. Generally, these plants need its soil to be moist at all times. To ensure this, the pot of these plants are usually submerged in a tray of water. The plants will absorb water from the tray as and when it needs it. When over-watering occurs, you will notice that dark brown will develop from the center of the plant and gradually propagate out to the end of the leaves. When such happens, try to dry the soil up. You may still be in time to save the plant from severe root rot.

Sundew Root RotFig 3: Sundew Root Rot

Caring for these plants is as easy as ABC with the above guidelines. Head down to J&J Terrarium E-store now and get one terrarium home! We understand your concern and provide you care instruction sheets, watering kit together with each terrarium bought.