In this review, we take a detailed look at the Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium. Unlike the complete sets including plants that we have looked at so far, this bottle garden is a so-called Just-Add-Plants variant. So you should supposedly get everything for a bottle garden with this product, except just the plants.
Can this option compete with the proper complete sets from Ecoworld and Growing Concepts? The appeal of complete sets is the exotic plants you get with them. Of course, a just-add-plants variant like the Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium doesn't have that to offer. So, the product should prove decent quality elsewhere. Let's start the review and take a look at it.
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Table of Contents
Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium - The Features
The Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium is available on Amazon in a single size and design. It is a cylindrical jar with a narrowed opening and a cork as a lid. The jar is said to be a so-called Eco jar. However, the manufacturer does not specify what exactly that is, and I admittedly do not know what that is supposed to mean.
The glass itself has a diameter of 19 cm and a height of 30 cm. Judging from the picture below, the diameter of the opening is about 15cm, which should still provide enough room to put your hands in there. This will help you later when building.
Of course, the scope of delivery includes something more. From the picture you can already see that the complete set for an closed terrarium also comes with instructions. This is good, as always, because the product is aimed at beginners. In addition, you get four more materials for construction.
- Activated carbon
- Fine sand
- Coarse sand
According to the description on Amazon, that's all. So have to look for soil and fibers to mix a substrate yourself.
The reviews of Annastore XXL plant terrarium
The Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium is highly praised among the reviews of buyers on Amazon. While it only has 40 reviews at the time of this review, they average 4.7 out of 5 stars. 73% of the reviews give it 5 stars. The worst review is even only 3 out of 5 stars, which is pretty high. Let's take a look at it in detail.
As mentioned, most reviews are 5-star reviews, but they do not go into much detail. This usually indicates that the product fully meets the customer's expectations.
One of the reviews goes on to say that the glass was very well packaged and that the contents of the product are exactly as described. The good packaging is also really positive, as another review talks about how thin the glass actually is. A thin glass thickness makes you feel much closer to the closed terrarium right away. It makes it look bigger.
The included instructions for beginners are also positive, as they certainly answer most questions. To what extent these instructions go into detail, however, is not apparent from the product description. Ultimately, it can also say nothing about special plants, because you get them yourself.
The worst review with three stars indicates that the Annastore XXL plant terrarium was not delivered completely intact. One of the packs of stones was broken. While this isn't the end of the world, it shouldn't happen on a regular basis. According to the other reviews, it doesn't. Otherwise, the cork is still criticized, which is said to crumble a bit.
Crumbling corks are really critical for closed terrariums, as it is important that they are permanently sealed airtight. Without an airtight seal, the water cycle will slowly but surely break down, eventually causing the plants to dry out. Fortunately, even for crumbling corks, there are still ways to seal the closed terrarium. Here are tips and tricks on how to air seal your closed terrarium.
Personally, I criticize with the lack of a proper substrate. Such complete sets are aimed at beginners in the field of closed terrariums. Most buyers will have little idea about double bottoms and well aerated substrates. It would be better if the manufacturer would include a ready mixed substrate or at least soil and dried fibers. After all, a good substrate is the most important basis for a functioning, closed terrarium.
Read here how to mix a good substrate for closed terrariums.
Annastore XXL plant terrarium gets good reviews from most buyers. Not even the worst review is really bad, but just mediocre. The glass seems to be of good quality, only the cork seems to crumble every now and then. Since it is a just-add-plants variant, there are no plants included, which you have to find yourself instead. This reduces the Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium to a cork jar with additional sand, rocks and activated carbon. Other components for a substrate are not included in the scope of delivery.
You can buy the Annastore XXL Plant Terrarium here. Personally, I do not make a purchase recommendation here, because you actually still have to go outside to set up this complete set. Thus, it actually does not really fulfill its purpose.
You can also gather the materials for a bottle garden yourself much cheaper and let your creativity run wild with it. Here you can find the ultimate guide to a closed terrarium.