Easy care houseplants for your terrarium
Terrariums are miniature greenhouses and they’re an attractive, low-maintenance, space-saving way to display your indoor plants.
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What are the best plants for a terrarium?
Choosing the right terrarium plants will depend on whether your terrarium is open or closed.
A closed terrarium creates its own microclimate by trapping moisture inside.
Closed terrariums are a good choice for plants that grow well in warm, humid conditions like air plants, ferns and orchids.
Open terrariums are suited to plants that prefer dry conditions such as succulents and cacti.
When choosing your plants, it’s important to keep in mind that the plants will be sharing a habitat, so they should all have similar light and moisture requirements.
10 BEST TERRARIUM PLANTS
Air Plants (Tillandsia)
Air plants are one of the easiest plants to grow and care for because they don’t need soil.
They’re able to capture moisture and nutrients from the air through tiny scales on the surface of their leaves.
Air plants flower at maturity and will only bloom once in their lifetime, but the flowers can last for months, depending on the species.
Tillandsia help to purify the air indoors and they’re a great terrarium plant, but they need constant air circulation, so they’re only suited to open terrariums.
Air plants need to be misted in warm weather and fully submerged in water once a week in summer.
African Violets are beautiful petite plants that grow to 6 inches (15 centimetres) tall.
They produce flowers in a range of colors including white, pink and purple.
African violets will grow in most soil types but they don’t like their leaves getting wet.
They’re best suited to open terrariums to avoid the leaves rotting.
Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Jade plant, also known as the Money plant is a succulent with thick rounded leaves.
They’re a low maintenance plant that will happily live in an open terrarium.
Jade plants need a well-lit position and prefer to dry out between waterings.
Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp.)
Nerve plants are tropical plants with dark green leaves and white, cream or pink veins.
They love constant moisture and humidity, so they’re perfect for terrariums.
Nerve plants grow to about 6 inches (15 centimetres) tall, but they can be made more compact and bushier by regularly pinching out the stems.
In open terrariums, the leaves can be misted with water during hot, dry weather.
Peperomia is a compact, easy to grow houseplant that is suited to growing in a terrarium.
It grows well in moderate light and prefers moist soil but doesn’t like to be overwatered.
Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
Polka Dot plants, also known as Freckle Face plants have beautiful foliage in a variety of colors including green, pink, cream, red and burgundy.
They love humidity and grow well in terrariums.
Polka Dot plants will tolerate low light but they may stretch to reach the light.
Older plants can be cut back to maintain the shape of the plant.
Pothos is an attractive vine that has smooth, heart-shaped leaves.
It’s a great, low-maintenance plant that can tolerate low light conditions and it’s one of the best air purifying indoor plants.
Pothos doesn’t like to be overwatered and it will need regular trimming to keep it tidy.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are hardy, easy to grow houseplants that get their name from the new growth that hangs down from the plant, like spiders.
These low maintenance plants are adaptable to many different conditions including terrariums.
Spider plants like bright, indirect light but direct sunlight can burn the leaves.
Many types of succulents can be grown in an open terrarium.
Succulents don’t require much water so they’re a low maintenance terrarium plant.
Cacti can be grown in a terrarium that has a large opening. This is necessary for air flow to keep humidity low.
Tips for Growing Healthy Terrarium Plants
- Combine plants that have similar temperature, light and water requirements
- Ensure your plants have access to natural light
- Some plants in open terrariums will need regular misting during warm dry weather
- Cut off any leaves that are moldy
Terrariums can be placed near a window, on a shelf or hung from the ceiling.