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I Killed It.

Dear Terrarium Dino Battle,

In the immortal words of The Band, “My biggest mistake was loving you too much.”

My normal plant watering regimen equates to the philosophy that water = love.  I generally pour in as much love as I think our flora can handle, then allow the excess love to run out the drainage holes in the bottom of the vessel. (Note to self: Terrariums have no drainage holes. Just crushed rock. There is no escape.) Your mom told me don’t do it. I didn’t listen.

Sorry about all the love.

Your Resident Black Thumb,

Things at YBH aren’t always cupcakes and tulips. Our terrarium just… didn’t work out as planned. We very carefully followed the directions from Sprout Home, gave it the right amount of light, and kept it nice and warm. I just happened to drop the ball when it came time to water the poor habitat. We were told to mist the terrarium. Somehow, in my mind, misting just didn’t seem to be delivering enough water. I’m not the most patient man on the planet, so (against the wife’s warnings) I went ahead and let loose with half a pint glass of water. Needless to say, things got pretty soggy pretty fast. Dang it.

After a few days of repeated I told you sos from the Missus (grumble, grumble), I finally succumbed to the error of my watering ways and we went in to full on panic rescue mode. We removed all of the plants and placed our soaked-dirt vessel on the window sill during the only four days we’ve seen the sun (because, unfortunately, this whole debacle happened during the wettest April we’ve seen. Ever.). The dinosaurs were lonely, but now had a wide-open space in which to battle each other.


We referred again to the Sprout survival guide, re-potted our now removed little soldiers, and prayed for the best. After the plants were moved to safer conditions, we even used a hair dryer on the “cool” setting to further dry out the soil. And it actually kind of worked. A little.


Luckily, our emergency plant resuscitation was able to salvage one of the two. (We’re not all bad.) In a miraculous sign that spring is here, there are even a couple of new buds sprouting on this big guy. Looks like he’ll pull through after all…

But the bright-green moss was less-than-lucky. R.I.P. little fella. You were a great addition to our home in your short attempt to survive my grim reaper-like black thumb of death. Sorry ’bout that.

But at long last, hope springs eternal! We’ve done more research, talked to the experts at Sprout again, and learned from our (read: my) mistakes. We’ve salvaged what we could, planned a couple of simple additions and will rearrange appropriately. And then, of course, share v2.0 with you. We haven’t given up.

Any other tragic terrarium tales out there? We can’t be the only ones to have screwed it up on our first try, right? Right?

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  • Cait @ Hernando House5.17.11 - 12:35 PM

    Oh no! This is why I haven’t made a terrarium!

    Good luck with V2.0!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B5.17.11 - 12:47 PM

    There is something endearing about that post-apocalyptic/prehistoric dirt landscape.

    Yet … with every minute, the new growth fights its way to trembling new-found life, and we are reminded that There Is Always Hope.


  • Penina5.17.11 - 3:34 PM

    Mine died too. So sad.ReplyCancel

  • Scott5.17.11 - 3:38 PM


    Consider this a call to action for v2.0… Commence!ReplyCancel

  • aleksandra5.17.11 - 3:52 PM

    take heart, things shrivel and die when i even *think* about trying a terranium. i’m sure the dinos will forgive you soon enough!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Twarek5.17.11 - 3:56 PM

    Scott don’t feel bad John kills all inside plants too. So welcome to the family.ReplyCancel

  • Kim5.17.11 - 4:25 PM

    Jennifer, sadly, it took killing a terrarium to finally welcome him to the family! (J/K!)ReplyCancel

  • em5.17.11 - 5:10 PM

    ah, kim and scott. this is the story of nick and i and our orchids!! i tsk’ed him away so many times, then one day as they were dying i picked up the pot and water poured out and nick had to admit he’d been secretly over-loving them behind my back!ReplyCancel

  • Jen5.17.11 - 5:59 PM

    I swear to GOD I killed one of mine this past week too! I have a few and they normally do great but this one? Dude-the plants didn’t just die? They like “melted” into these gooey, gross, gelatinousness things. Totally bizzare.ReplyCancel

  • Kim5.17.11 - 6:02 PM

    Em, if only they listened to us. We don’t talk just to hear our own voice, right? Ha!ReplyCancel

  • pixie5.17.11 - 8:07 PM

    bah ha ha…love the dirt and dinos…ReplyCancel

  • Holyoke Home5.18.11 - 11:09 AM

    Hey, at least one of them came back! One out of two (when it comes to plants) is pretty good. I’m sure the dinos enjoyed all the extra space. They like to roam free.ReplyCancel

  • Allison5.19.11 - 1:44 PM

    It is SO difficult not to overwater plants. I agree! You think you’re being kind and attentive and then bam, they’re dead. Good luck with v2.0!ReplyCancel

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