A garden on your table: Meet Jincy who makes terrariums

Image Credit: Special Arrangement/Manorama Online

Terrariums are the latest trend in home décor, adding a tropical vibe to the areas. These miniature gardens that are grown inside sealable glass containers or jars look incredibly attractive due to the gradation of colours that are used in it. Interestingly, terrariums are fully functional tiny eco systems that are mostly self-sustainable. So, you do not need to open the sealed glass to water the plants.

Terrariams are often used as decorative or ornamental items rather than for its benefits. The first terrarium was made by the English Botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in the 19th century. Jincy Varghese, a native of Vennikulam near Thriuvalla turned to making terrariam after she was impressed by the aesthetics of it. She now owns a brand called Micro Forest that sells customised terrariums.

Image Credit: Special Arrangement/Manorama Online

“I was working as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. But, eight months ago, I quit my job and returned to Kerala. I began thinking about various business ideas that I could start here. I love tending to plants and decided to make my hobby a profession. I also sell customised cakes,” says Jincy.

Since the lockdown, Keralites have been enjoying growing indoor plants. However, most people complain that it difficult to maintain and water them when they began going back to their jobs. Terrarium could replace the typical indoor plants that require constant watering and care.

Image Credit: Special Arrangement/Manorama Online

Zero maintenance is the highlight of the terrarium. All you need to do is to place them in a corner that receives good sunlight. The condensation and evaporation take place inside the sealed glass jar like a cyclical process. So, a terrarium could survive itself as a small eco – system.

How is it made
Jincy says that she watched online videos to learn the art of terrarium making. She makes terrarium as per order. Besides, she also makes it as a hobby and to try different designs and combinations. The plants are purchased from nurseries and via online. Jincy thinks that patience and hard work are the keys to making a good and attractive terrarium. She sells a terrarium only after observing the growth of the plants inside the glass jar. It would take at least three months to see whether the plants are adapting well to the terrarium eco system.

Tropical plants like ferns and moss are perfect for terrarium. There are two types of terrariams – sealed and open. Making a sealed terrarium is the most challenging as it is difficult for the plant to survive inside it. Tiny insects like springtails and isopods are dropped in the terrarium as their presence is significant for the survival of the eco system. Most people prefer open terraria as they are simple and easy to assemble. Fungus and over heat are the main factors that could affect the health of the terrarium. Jincy has now begun experimenting using glass jars that are 3 inches to more than a foot tall.

Jincy markets her terrariams mostly on social media. The price of the terrarium could differ depending upon the size of the glass jar.

The bottles are mostly imported from Dubai and China. From small jars in which two or three plants could be grown to the big ones in which up to fifteen shrubs could be arranged, Jincy focusses on custom made terrarium.

The prices begin from Rs 2000 onwards. It’s been six months since Jincy began her terrarium business. She is happy that she is earning a decent income from this business. Moreover, she is proud that she has turned her favourite hobby into a lucrative business idea.

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