Indoor Landscaping – Life of Plants in Artificial Conditions

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Liubov Ilchuk)

March is the time when we celebrate wild species, water, forests, and the living world, with the common thread being let’s preserve our nature. Spatial planning, agriculture, and other human activities are degrading daily and reducing the natural expanses that are home to biodiversity.

While we penetrate every part of nature, destroying it and replacing it with concrete walls, we are also aware that we cannot live without it. That’s why people find different ways to get a fraction of nature into their living space.

We must admit that nothing can embellish and give life to concrete walls like plants can. Today, I would like to write about an innovative solution designed by scientists, which allows landscaping of underground spaces that are notoriously difficult to grow plants.

In this specific case, we are talking about the lobby of a Prague subway line. Architectural solutions never cease to amaze us, so this time, the scientists of the University Centre for Energy Efficiency of Buildings (UCEEB) of the Czech Technical University designed a terrarium as an aesthetic experience for subway passengers.

The subway is a very unfavorable environment for plants, which causes numerous challenges for engineers. The terrarium is made of hardly flammable material and is operated by a smart system that takes care of the plants’ needs. Installed sensors monitor different values based on which they control irrigation, i.e. soil and air humidity. Special artificial lighting will replace the sunlight and will also regulate the temperature. The smart system simultaneously monitors the CO2 level inside and outside the installation.


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Bringing a piece of nature into your home is very simple and affordable today. There are ways you can make a closed terrarium yourself and create a small ecosystem in it. You don’t need smart systems to self-regulate the living conditions inside the terrarium. Special lamps for plants replace sunlight and provide the necessary heat simultaneously, which you can adjust yourself.

What is interesting about closed terrariums, and what additionally contributes to the feeling that you have a piece of nature in your home, is the natural water cycle. Regardless of the light in the terrarium (natural or artificial light created by plant lamps), you don’t have to water the plants. If everything is installed correctly, it is enough to sufficiently water the plants in the beginning. Then, this closed system and the heat from the sun or plant lamps will regulate water circulation through evaporation and rewetting of the soil.

Such possibilities should by no means trump the preservation of plants in their natural habitat, but they are wonderful ideas for how we can care for them in closed spaces while making our lives more fulfilling.

Katarina Vuinac