Disclaimer: This review was written for the German readership of the Terrarium Blog. You can still read the review and gain some insights, but keep in mind that the product is not available on the American Amazon store.
In this review we look at the Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL in detail. 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 get with this product supposedly everything for a bottle garden, 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 variety like the Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL 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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Jodeco bottle garden XXL - The features
The Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL is available on Amazon in a single size and design. It is a cylindrical glass with a narrowed opening and a cork as a lid. The glass is said to be a so-called eco-glass. 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.
- Active 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.
Reviews on the Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL
The Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL 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 Jodeco bottle garden XXL was not delivered completely intact. One of the packs of stones was broken. While this is not the end of the world, it should not happen on a regular basis. According to the other reviews, it does not. Otherwise, the cork is criticized, which apparently crumbles 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.
Jodeco bottle garden XXL 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 now and then. Since this is a just-add-plants variety, there are no plants included, which you have to find yourself instead. This reduces the Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL to a cork jar with additional sand, rocks and activated charcoal. Other components for a substrate are not included in the scope of delivery.
If you live near Germany, you can buy the Jodeco Bottle Garden XXL 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.