How to Create a Bright Light Terrarium

For those of you who have ample windows in your home, especially those with southern exposures, a bright light terrarium is a great way to add a bit of scenery to a room. They are easy to create and can be done in an afternoon.


Step 1

Select an appropriate container. Although you can use plastic, glass usually works better. It may be an open or a closed container.

Step 2

Thoroughly wash your terrarium with a bleach solution to kill any organisms that grow on it.

Step 3

Place an inch thick layer of gravel on the bottom of your terrarium for drainage.

Step 4

Cover the gravel with about 1/2 inch of activated charcoal, like you would find in an aquarium, on top of the gravel to absorb any odors in the terrarium.

Step 5

Cover the charcoal with a piece of nonmetallic screen or sphagnum peat moss. This layer will prevent the soil from sifting down into the drainage layer and charcoal.

Step 6

Place a layer of sterilized potting soil down so it is about 1/3 the depth of the terrarium.

Step 7

Choose several terrarium plants that will do well in bright light. If you want a cool temperature terrarium, choose Moss sandwort (Arenaria verna), Oxalis (Oxalis spp) or Sweet olive (Osmanthus heterophyllus). If you want a warm temperature terrarium, choose Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia sandersii), Bloodleaf iresine (Iresine herbstii), Bunny-ears cactus (Opuntia microdasys), Croton (Codiaeum variegatum), Dwarf pomegranate, (Punica granatum nana), Freckle-face / Pink polka dot (Hypoestes panguinolenta), Miniature sweet flag, (Acorus gramineus variegates), Parrot leaf (Alternanthera spp) or Satin pellionia (Pellionia pulchra).

Step 8

Create a pleasing look in your terrarium by arranging the plants, starting with the largest first, before planting them.

Step 9

Water your terrarium. It is important not to over water the terrarium.

Step 10

Although your terrarium needs bright light, it needs very little direct sunlight. Find a spot near a window with a southern exposure to place your terrarium and enjoy.

Things You'll Need

Clear glass or plastic container , Clean gravel or pebbles , Activated charcoal, Sterilized potting soil , Sphagnum peat moss , Sand , Several plants , Water

About this Author

Darcy Logan has been a full-time writer since 2004. Before writing, she worked for several years as an English and special education teacher. Logan published her first book, "The Secret of Success is Not a Secret," and several education workbooks under the name Darcy Andries. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in special education from Middle Tennessee State University.

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