It is such a bright idea to repurpose a light bulb and turn it into a unique mini terrarium and a welcome touch of nature into a small space. Terrariums are low-maintenance, simply beautiful, and space-saving, making them an excellent ornamental addition to your home or workspace. Learn how you can make a light bulb terrarium with these easy steps.
You might be wondering how plants thrive in a small enclosure such as a light bulb. The same principle applies to greenhouses. The clear glass from the bulb allows the heat from the sun to pass, trapping some of it inside and creating a warm, moist environment. Plants release water vapor that condenses on the glass and turns into water droplets. The droplets rehydrate the soil that releases carbon dioxide that the plants reabsorb. Thus, this mini-ecosystem is self-sustaining. It can be open or closed. Open terrariums suit plants that need little water and moisture while closed terrariums suit those that require more, such as in tropical ecosystems.
- Light bulb: you can reuse an old one or buy a new ornamental bulb that has already been prepped if you prefer the easy option.
- Sand: you can buy from garden shops but if you use beach sand, dry them out completely. (or you can just get it from Amazon.com)
- Tiny pebbles
- Preserved moss and reindeer moss
- Air plant
- Decorative items such as glass stones or small rocks
- Long tweezers
- Tools such as cotton balls, pliers, funnel, and protective items such as gloves, and protective eye wear
- Set up your workspace by placing a cardboard box or a piece of paper on a surface to catch all debris. Wear your glass and gloves.
- Prepare your light bulb if you are making your light bulb terrarium from scratch. Use tin snips to cut the top end. Use pliers to pinch the glass and wire and dump it. Clear the light bulb by pouring a small amount of sugar or salt. Swirl them around so that the white powder clears up. Wrap jute rope around the top and secure with glue. Leave one end long for hanging if you prefer to hang it.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of sand into your light bulb.
- Using your tweezers, layer the moss and distribute it over the sand. Add the preserved moss first followed by the reindeer moss.
- Add your air plant.
- Arrange the rocks of pebbles as the final touch.
- You may clean the bulb if it gets dirty using a cotton swab or paintbrush.
Good to know
If you are using other types of plants, you can add small rocks or pebbles as the base layer to serve as drainage. Then, add activated charcoal using a funnel. After that, add soil until about 1/3 of the bulb is filled. Add your plant, delicately pushing it to contact the soil. Add about a tablespoon of water or just enough to keep the soil moist but not wet. If making a closed terrarium, use a cork to close it. If using an air plant, it is best to keep it open.
There are two ways to display your light bulb terrarium. One is to hang it from a string or use a small ring stand to set it on a tabletop just like the image below;
Keep your terrarium in indirect sunlight to prevent the plants from burning. Mist it with water every week or two. If using succulents, you need bright, indirect light and keep the terrarium open for proper ventilation. If you are using moss, keep the terrarium closed for mosses prefer higher humidity environments. Make sure you place it in a spot that is not too dry or windy. Artificial lighting is enough if a room is not well lit.