Let’s Talk Terrariums

As interior landscaping is becoming increasingly popular in both commercial and mixed-use settings due to the numerous benefits, we turn our attention to terrarium’s. These low-maintenance, space-saving wonders can create micro environments to suit the aesthetic of any space and can join the likes of green walls and atrium’s as interior landscaping masterpieces that you can customise to suit your unique flair, The O&I team catch up with Denny Mo, Director at Angles+Earth Terrariums based, right in the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s CBD to find out more about this growing trend.

What is a Terrarium?

A terrarium can quite briefly be explained as a seal-able glass container, containing soil and plants, and can be opened for maintenance to access the plants inside of it. However, terraria can also be open to the atmosphere rather than being sealed. Terraria are beautifully decorative items. Closed terraria create a unique environment for plant growth, as the transparent walls allow for both heat and light to enter the terrarium. The sealed container combined with the heat entering the terrarium allows for the creation of a small scale water cycle. Terrariums contain their own micro environment which you get to choose. Unlike pots which house plants, the glass casing of the terrarium allows you to control and maintain an environment allowing you to grow whatever you like to suit the aesthetic of a space. You can use it to capture a piece of forest, a desert or even a river.

Best Plants to Place in a Terrarium ?

Now this will depend on whether it is a closed or open terrarium. Closed terrariums are best suited to tropical plant varieties, such as mosses, orchids, ferns, and air plants, because the conditions are quite similar to the humid and sheltered environment of the tropics. The sealed nature allows for the circulation of water. Closed terraria require a ‘peat-lite’ ( peat moss, vermiculite & perlite typically ) soil mixture to ensure the growing conditions are good. Open terraria are suited to plants that prefer less humidity and soil moisture, such as temperate
plants. Not all plants require -or are suited to- the moist environment of closed terraria. For plants adapted to dry climates, open, unsealed terrariums are used to keep the air in
the terrarium free from excess moisture. Open terraria also work well for plants that require more direct sunlight, as closed terraria can trap too much heat potentially killing any plants inside.

Tip: Make sure you group the same type of plants

together, don’t plant succulents with indoor

plants as their soil, water and sun requirements

are different

Angles + Terrarium’s Store Front in Cape Town’s CBD

Wallscapes Octogon

Where is a Terrarium best suited?

All terrariums should be placed in a spot where they can receive some sunlight and fresh air (open window). If there is no direct sunlight, they won’t perform very well.
Tell us about your new automated terrarium & its unique aspects?
My automated Briolette terrarium is my proudest invention. Since I’ve been building terrariums, I’ve been comparing them to what the world has on offer
in the space of geometric terrariums. Geometric terrariums are made using a traditional technique called stained glass. The art of this comes down to the complexity of the shape. My briolette
terrarium is a unique design that is made nowhere other than right here in Cape Town. The shape is so complex it took a little over a year to get the geometry correct and is delicately pieced together from 130 faces of diamond shaped glass, taking 2 weeks to assemble. Coupled with an automated lighting and ventilation system where wires are hidden within the joins of the solder, this is the most complex geometric terrarium I believe, that has ever been built. This terrarium will revolutionise the market as typical terrariums do require manual maintenance.
This however is fully automated and can be controlled via an app on your smartphone.

Projects you would like to work on in the future?

Perhaps this is good platform to discuss our idea, which is relatively simple… To create Africa’s first Bio-Dome. One giant terrarium. We’ve been plotting and planning for quite
some time. Our team hopes to collaborate with the right people to make this a reality. You can spot some of Angles+ Earth’s projects around South Africa with one of their biggest
clients being the Raddison group (various locations). Denny Mo explains that “the spaces are filled with our terrariums. They also have a maintenance contract with us so we come
in once every two weeks and we keep their terrariums healthy. It’s been well over a year now and the terrariums are doing well. We are certain the clients enjoy them too.’

Automated Terrarium
Denny Ho, Director of Angles + Terrariums


This company is a terrarium company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Their work revolves around the medium of glass and micro environments. They strive to modernise the art of terrariums and glass by combining various techniques, research and functional design. Everything is handmade right here in South Africa. This company is obsessed
with nature, so much so they find ways to contain it. To create a terrarium, they believe you must first understand
the macro-environment-then you can recreate it. Their goal is to revolutionise the art of glass and create glass suitable
for landscapes.

visit l +27 73 155 7333 l