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.
Select an appropriate container. Although you can use plastic, glass usually works better. It may be an open or a closed container.
Thoroughly wash your terrarium with a bleach solution to kill any organisms that grow on it.
Place an inch thick layer of gravel on the bottom of your terrarium for drainage.
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.
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.
Place a layer of sterilized potting soil down so it is about 1/3 the depth of the terrarium.
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).
Create a pleasing look in your terrarium by arranging the plants, starting with the largest first, before planting them.
Water your terrarium. It is important not to over water the terrarium.
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.