1. To plant directly in the conservatory, choose small plants, those in 2- and 3-inch pots. Go for a combination of taller plants and sprawling plants as well as a mix of foliage colors and shapes.
2. If the plant is a little too large for the conservatory, you can divide it -- tear off a portion and plant it.
3. If you need to add soil, any good-quality all-purpose potting soil will do. If soil shows in the finished planting, tuck in bits of green florist's moss on top of the soil to cover and to add effect.
4. Trim off any foliage that would touch the glass, fostering bacterial growth and contaminating everything. Then add stones, little sculptures, acorns, dried leaves, twigs, and other natural elements for decorative touches.
- Place in diffused light (mini conservatories usually heat up too much in bright light). Give the plants a good watering when placing them in the conservatory. You may not need to water again for months; just keep soil evenly moist. Do the usual trimming and pinching of any yellowing or fading foliage and flowers.
- While many plants love the humidity in a mini conservatory, some may develop problems if they don't have good air circulation. It's a good idea to remove the glass for a few hours every few days or so to prevent fungal or mold problems, especially with flowering plants.
- Small plants will probably need the bottom of their root ball knocked off.
- However you use them, these exquisite little marvels will give you hours of enjoyment. All it takes is the conservatory itself and a little flight of fancy to design a garden under glass.
To discover which plants flourish in the humidity, download our free Humidity-Loving Plants chart. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat.)