A Sealed Garden That Was Last Watered 46 Years Ago

Samuel Reason | September 23rd, 2018

One keen gardener was curious in 1960 and decided to plant a seed in a bottle which he promptly sealed up. David Latimer never thought he would be on to one of the first self-sustaining ecosystems, which has become an amazing case study for biologists around the world.

When you break it down, this plant was actually planted over half a century ago, yet continues to thrive and live without any issues. The last time the plant was watered was in 1972, but the sealed garden is as robust and lively as ever.


David actually planted the Terrarium in 1960 in the 10-gallon bottle, with a bit of compost and just a quarter pint of water. Then he simply sealed it tight and placed it in the corner of the room, in the sunlight, of course, allowing nature to do its work.

Photosynthesis allows moisture and oxygen to be created inside the bottle, essentially creating its own world. The moisture will eventually build up and rain back onto the plant. Leaves will also fall down and rot, which gives the plant much needs nutrition. A beautiful example of how mother nature survives no matter what the situation, and can sustain itself.

Larimer decided to open the bottle once in 1972 and that was the last time he watered it, 46 years ago. The sealed garden has actually been sat in the same spot for the last 27 years. This is pretty incredible as his techniques could be applied to NASA scientists, allowing them to grow plants in space.

The only needed component is light, and everything else is self-sufficient as long as you were able to add some water from the start. It is actually a zero maintenance experiment, that anyone can try safely at home.

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