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Can I Use BBQ Charcoal For Terrarium? (Crucial Notes)

When you’re not planting directly on the soil, you need to carefully select the farming materials for your home/ornamental plant.

As a gardener who uses terrariums, one of the biggest questions you may be needing answers to, is, “can I use BBQ charcoal for terrariums?” No, it’s not advisable to use BBQ charcoal for terrarium, and you’ll find out why shortly.

Well, maybe you haven’t heard about it, but charcoals have been proven to play an important role in helping potted plants grow healthily. However, the confusion faced by many gardeners is deciding the exact type of charcoal to use.

Charcoals are introduced at the bottom of plant pots to help prevent a lot of things that could affect the plant’s growth.

Why Is Charcoal Important When You Plant With Terrariums?

Not all kinds of charcoals, but activated charcoal helps trap toxins and bacteria in the soil used in your terrarium.

Activated charcoal can equally absorb soil nutrients when it’s in excess and release them when it seems the soil needs them back.

Another thing that charcoals do is prevent overwatering, restrict pests from coming to your plant, and fight bacteria. Looking at the benefits of charcoal, you may be planning to add it to your terrarium if you arent’ using it already.

But then, you should know that there are different types of charcoals and not all of them are good for use in terrariums.

Can I Use BBQ Charcoal For Terrarium?

BBQ charcoal, also called grilling charcoal, is the type of charcoal used for preparing barbeques and other foods.

It is not basically meant for this type of farming; probably, you have some BBQ charcoal left and that’s why you want to know if you should use it for your Terrarium?

The simple answer to this question is “NO.” It is not advisable to use BBQ charcoal or grilling charcoal for closed-in planting.

Grilling charcoals do contain fuel additives, which makes them liable to start burning at certain temperatures.

More so, some of these BBQ charcoals contain extra chemicals, which makes them unsafe for use in your terrarium.

BBQ or grilling charcoals should be used specifically for the purpose they are meant to search, which is cooking/grilling.

Okay, since you cannot use BBQ charcoal for closed-in planting, what are the best types of charcoal to use?

Which Charcoal Is Good For Terrariums?

The best charcoal you can use for a terrarium is activated charcoal. Yes, activated charcoal provides a lot of benefits to your plants, which includes protection from pests and overwatering.

Activated charcoals also remove toxins from the soil and keep out bad scents.

Whether you’d be closing the terrarium or not, activated charcoal is good to use. Another type of charcoal to consider is horticultural charcoal; this type is also safe to use and delivers the same benefits as activated charcoal.

Dangers Of Using BBQ Charcoal For Terrariums

One of the greatest fears of using BBQ charcoal is that it could ignite and start to burn due to the chemical (fuel additives) it may contain.

More so, it doesn’t actually deliver the benefits you were expecting – you can only get the benefits when you use activated charcoal or other recommended charcoals for terrariums.

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Can I use BBQ charcoal for terrariums? The answer is NO, you shouldn’t use that. Activated charcoals are relatively affordable, you can get that instead. You should add the charcoal first before adding sand to the terrarium.

Interestingly, with the presence of activated charcoal, if you mistakenly overwater your terrarium, the excess would be absorbed by the charcoal instead of logging at the bottom. 

Different gardeners tend to have different ways of introducing charcoals to their plants.