As the name suggest bottle garden is a container in which plants are grown, usually a plastic or glass bottle with narrow neck and a small opening. Plants are grown inside the bottle with little or no exposure to the outside environment. The oldest known bottle garden inexistence was planted in 1960 and sealed in 1972.
They can be very decorative and you can have your garden in little space, a very economical way to study miniature eco-system. A bottle garden has the essential requirements of soil and water for the survival of plants, as well as a reservoir of water, as water is trapped inside the bottle and unable to evaporate. The carbon dioxide from plant respiration is used for photosynthesis, and the oxygen from photosynthesis is used for respiration. As such they require almost no maintenance.
How to Grow a Garden In a Bottle
It is easy, creative and fun to make. A bottle can be recycled to function as a miniature greenhouse.
Select a Bottle: The bottle should be large enough to allow room for plants to grow. Clean the bottle and allow it dry, the larger the opening, the easier it’ll be to maintain the garden.
Turn the Bottle onto its side: This will form the base of the bottle garden
Place Pebbles And Sand On The Base Of The Bottle: Use small spoons to add pebbles and sand and move them around, to provide a better drainage base for the plants. Wet the sand before putting in place.
- Adding a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the drainage layer will minimize any smell caused by decomposition within the bottle.
- An additional thin layer of sphagnum moss will prevent the soil from settling into the drainage layer.
Cover The Sand And Pebbles With Soil: The soil should be good quality and pre-dampened.
Plant The Garden: Choose seeds of small indoor plants. Place the seeds in the soil using tweezers, a long, thick stick or chopsticks. Put the seeds indifferent spots to make an interesting arrangement.
- Bottle gardening lends itself well to plants which require a good deal of humidity (e.g. tropical plants) because the bottle will trap moisture.
- Do not mix plants with different requirements, especially in terms of water, growing a thirsty plant next to cactus will make for difficult maintenance.
- You can also make an aquatic bottle garden.
Watch The Plants Grow: Tend to them as they mature. The plants will need air and moisture. Be sure to perforate the lid or cap of the bottle or jar, or don’t put it on at all. Use a water sprayer to put moisture into bottle. Only water when no condensation is observed on the glass. It’s always better to under water than to prevent the growth of fungus or mold.
David Latimer first planted his bottle garden in 1960 and last watered in 1972 before tightly sealing it shut as an experiment.
- The hardly spiderworts plan inside has grown to fill the 10 gallon container by surviving entirely on recycled air, nutrients and water.
- Gardeners Question Time expert says it is a great example just how pioneering plants can be.