Creating a low light terrarium

Create a Low Light Terrarium

A terrarium can be created in many different ways and styles, all depending on what you are looking for. A terrarium is basically a small landscape that one uses to put in living plants and even small insects to make it look lively. It\’s an interesting concept that has been developed some time back. It allows people who love gardening to have a mini version of a garden wherever they want. Usually, it\’s those who can\’t afford to have a garden, space being the number one reason, to have a terrarium.

Since there are many types of terrarium, it\’s hard to decide on one. But, as soon as you have your priorities set up you will be able to decide on one. One of the most popular types of terrarium is a low light terrarium. It\’s very common where it\’s hot and sunny. Mostly, it is suited for plants that tend to grow well in low light.

A low light terrarium is great for spots that do not receive adequate light for other types of plants. Terrariums are very easy to create and need very little maintenance. Here are the steps on how you can create your own low light terrarium.

You will need:

  1. Glass container
  2. Activated charcoal
  3. Sterilized potting soil
  4. Small pebbles or rock
  5. Non-metallic screening
  6. Sphagnum peat moss or landscape fabric
  7. Plants


  1. First, choose a container which is a clear glass to allow more light. You can use any glass container that will work as long as it has an opening of at least 6cm wide.
  2. Before using the container, clean the container thoroughly. You can use a mild solution of bleach and rinse well to ensure that all microorganisms and bacteria are killed.
  3. Then, place about 1-inch of small pebbles or gravel on the bottom of the terrariums to allow for drainage.
  4. On top of the gravel, add a ½ inch layer of activated charcoal. You could also make a layer of non-metallic screening, sphagnum peat moss or landscape fabric.
  5. To the layer, add potting soil. You can buy potting soil from your local landscape or garden center or make your own by mixing three parts of sterile potting sol, one part of peat moss or vermiculite and two parts of sand or perlite.
  6. Next, add plants that live under low light such as asparagus fern, maidenhead spleenwort, Chinese evergreen or artillery plant. Be careful not to over water the soil, just add enough water to moisten the soil. Avoid fertilizing the soil as well.
  7. Use a lid to cover the terrarium. Make sure that the humidity stays high enough if you prefer not to cover the terrarium. Place the terrarium in a spot that receives low light such as north window or any other place in your house that receives low light.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature

Terrarium and Cage Construction and Care