How Often Do You Water a Terrarium? This Will Save You.

This question is regularly asked amongst soon-to-be terrarium owners, and a simple answer isn’t enough. How often do you water a terrarium exactly?

I have gathered information from a reliable source, which mentions that you only need to water your terrarium once a month.

But waityou’re missing out on an important piece of information.

There’s more to giving your terrarium water once a month and I’ll tell you why. This will help provide a longer-lasting life for the future of your mini-ecosystem. 💡

Before we get started, don’t hesitate to check out questions that are related to terrariums here.

If you’re reading this right now, you probably don’t want to miss the important advice that I’m about to tell you. Are you ready?

Let’s get started.

Why shouldn’t you water your terrarium based on the schedule?

how often do you water a terrarium
Photo by Scott Webb | Terrarium is usually watered once per month.

As we all know it, terrariums are usually consist of dry desert plants. This means that they don’t require much water. According to many forums and trustworthy websites, the rule-of-thumb is to water your terrarium at least once a month – but…

that isn’t the correct way.

You shouldn’t water your terrarium base on the time and schedule, but rather take a look at it closely to see if it needs water. You can ask yourself the following questions in the next question, which can help you decide if your terrarium needs water.

There are certain ways to see if your terrarium needs water, but there are also different types of terrariums. This would mean that it requires different things to look out for.

This doesn’t only apply to open terrariums but also closed terrariums. If you’re unsure of whether you have an open or closed, the next section will cover it.

How do you water closed terrariums and open terrariums?

Terrarium in clear glass jar
Photo by Katarzyna 

If you didn’t know yet, there are two types of terrariums which are open terrariums and closed terrariums.

  • An open terrarium is a terrarium without a lid and it isn’t sealed by anything.
  • A closed terrarium is a terrarium that uses a lid or requires something to seal it. Most closed terrariums are bioactive terrariums.

Watering an open terrarium: The best way to know that if your open terrarium is in need of water is to take a close look at the plants and the bottom of your terrarium. This is what you should keep an eye out for when planning to add water.

  • Is there no water on the bottom of your terrarium container? 
  • Does the soil appear to be dry?
  • Are the leaves of your plant beginning to droop?

If all these questions answer yes to you, then you should definitely water your open terrarium.

Watering a closed terrarium: As for closed terrarium, you probably know that most of them are a self-sustaining ecosystem. Still, you have to add water depending on the situation.

If there’s a little hole in your jar or container, you will never know how much water is taken from evaporation.

Most terrarium owners would recommend once a month because it’s harder for water to escape when your terrarium is closed – but here is a question you should be asking yourself when you’re thinking of watering your closed terrarium.

  • The weather is warm today. Am I seeing condensation happening from the inside of my closed terrarium?

If this answers yes, then there’s no need to be watering your terrarium.

Tip: For closed terrariums, you don’t want to overflow it with water. When you have an overflowed container, it can cause plants to rot and create a disturbing smell for your terrarium.

Check out this video I found that could help you out!

What are some ways to water your terrarium?

what are some ways to water a terrarium
Photo by cottonbro

First of all, you don’t want to flood your terrarium otherwise, it’d be causing serious problems that you’ll regret. To water it in a careful manner, you should be using these two methods that terrarium experts recommend to prevent flooding:

  • Spray Bottle: By using a spray bottle, you can create a mist for the plants in your ecosystem.
  • Water Can: You can also use a watering can but be careful – this can pour more water than using the spray.

When you’re watering your terrarium, it’s recommended to use demineralized water or water from the rain.

This is due to tap water containing a hint of salt that can create a build-up inside of the terrarium, which can cause harm to your plants.

By doing this, you can help your mini-ecosystem in the long run and you won’t have to be dealing with any additional issues. The problem with a flooded terrarium jar can vary and it can really cause you a lot of frustration.

  1. Plant rotting: It can cause your plants to rot, which you should absolutely avoid.
  2. Smelly Jar: Your terrarium will start to smell like rotten eggs. No thanks for that.

Obviously, you don’t want to encounter those two situations ever in your terrarium’s life.

How do you remove extra water in your terrarium container?

why does my terrarium smell?

I’ve already covered this topic in the “Why does my terrarium smell” article and I highly recommend reading this. To give you an idea of draining out the extra water, there are three methods that you can try.

  • Method 1: Depending on the type of container that you’re using, you can use a drill to create a hole on the bottom of the container. This will help the terrarium by having extra water leaving the bottom of that container. You can find something strong to seal the container afterward.
  • Method 2: This method requires a long thing tube, which you can buy online or at a pet store. After purchasing, you have to stick one end of the tube into the water and use your mouth to create a vacuum of water exiting the other end of the tube. (the worst possible method)
  • Method 3: This is one of the best and recommended methods. You can buy a drill pump and connect it to your drill. This is almost similar to method two, but you don’t have to use your mouth for this. Once connected, you can pump out the extra water from your terrarium.

The method that requires the most spending would be method three, but it’ll save you from almost drinking dirty water. 🙂

Here’s a YouTube video I found to help you out!

From VivariumTips,


Hopefully, this guide taught you how you can water your terrarium properly. If you’re in search of more informative articles related to the terrarium, feel free to check out:

Did you know? There are other vivariums that are related to terrariums. Check this out.

Love reading about terrariums? Here is a list of popular books that I compiled.

The best way to support this blog and get more free information is to share any articles on VivariumTips with your friends. 🙂