How to Create a Low Light Terrarium

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If you dreamed of having a terrarium but believed you did not have enough light in your home, you're in luck. A low light terrarium is perfect for spots that do not receive adequate light for other types of plants. Terrariums are very easy to create and require very little maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass container
  • Small rocks or pebbles
  • Activated charcoal
  • Nonmetallic screening, landscape fabric or sphagnum peat moss
  • Sterilized potting soil
  • Plants
  • Choose a container. Typically, clear glass is recommended to allow for more light. However, since that is not a problem, almost any glass container will work as long as it has an opening at least 6cm wide.

  • Clean the container thoroughly. Use a mild solution of bleach and rinse well to ensure that all microorganisms and bacteria are killed.

  • Place about 1 inch of gravel or small pebbles on the bottom of the terrariums to allow for drainage.

  • Add a 1/2-inch layer of activated charcoal on top of the gravel. This will absorb any odors.

  • Add a layer to separate the soil from the rock and charcoal. This layer can be nonmetallic screening, landscape fabric or sphagnum peat moss.

  • Add potting soil. You can purchase potting soil from your local landscape or garden center or make your own by combining three parts sterile potting soil, two parts perlite or sand and one part peat moss or vermiculite.

  • Add plants that enjoy low light such as selaginella, asparagus fern, Swedish ivy, bird nest sansevieria, maidenhead spleenwort, club moss, Chinese evergreen, parlor palm, philodendrons or artillery plant.

  • Add enough water to moisten the soil, but be careful not to over water. Do not fertilize.

  • Cover the terrarium with a lid. If you do not cover the terrarium, make sure that the humidity stays high enough.

  • Place the terrarium in a spot that receives low light, such as a north window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not fertilize your terrarium for at least one year after it is planted, and then only if it seems necessary.

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