The Suitable Plants For Your Terrarium at Home

Terrariums are classically a closed, glass environment, which increases the humidity and allows you to grow plants that prefer a moist habitat.

However, many gardeners have stretched the definition of ‘terrarium’ to include desert plantings, wide-mouthed bowls and tureens. These, in turn, change the growing conditions of the terrarium and allow you to cultivate many different plants.

1. Mini English Ivy

Mini English Ivy

The woody vine and heart-shaped leaves of this plant can handle a wide variety of conditions and the miniature version is ideal for dense gardens. Comes in lots of varieties and some with variegated white, gold or yellow leaves. Ivy will climb as high as it is allowed. Place in bright light but out of direct sunlight. Keep soil evenly moist but not soggy. If growing a variegated variety and the leaves start to turn all green the plant is not getting enough bright light.

2. Spreading Club Mousse

Spreading Club Moss

This moss is an excellent groundcover and forms a small mound of foliage with little tufts. Club mosses expand by creeping along slowly but is not invasive. The Selaginella family of mosses have different hues (red, golden, purple, blue) and also grow well in terrariums.

3. Jade Plant

Jade Plants

There are several Crassula species that are sold under the general name of the jade plant, friendship tree, or lucky plant. Jade plants are common indoor houseplants and often manicured as bonsai. They prefer moist soil, full (not direct) sun, and should not be over watered. Jade plants are from the Crassulaceae family, which has a number of other terrarium-friendly species.

4. Earth Star

Earth Star

This rosette-forming Bromeliad from Brazil is one of the easiest to grow. With large leaves of brownish-burgundy and irregular pink stripes down the centre, it’s a great choice for closed terrariums. It should be planted in a potting mix containing sphagnum moss or peat.

5. Golden Pothos

golden Photos

Golden Pothos are a very popular house plant. They’re attractive vines that have smooth, leathery, heart-shaped leaves with distinctive marbling alternating along rope-like green stems. Pothos vines are among the top ten air purifying plants for indoor use.

6. Nerve Plant

Nerve Plant

This tropical plant has distinctively patterned leaves in pink, burgundy and green with white veins. It thrives under the moist, warm air of a terrarium and will only reach 30cm when mature.

7. Emerald Fern

emerald fern

The lacy, delicate fronds make them a striking addition to any terrarium. Their vines can be kept to a compact size by regularly removing the tips from new growth. Just don’t plant outdoors as it’s considered a weed in some states.

8. Prayer Plant

Prayer Plant

A stunning plant with green variegated leaves which lie flat by day and fold up erect in the evening – hence the name. Prefers high humidity and well drained, slightly peaty soil.

9. Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy is a fast growing, spreading, evergreen perennial. They have slightly rounded, waxy, glossy green leaves with scalloped edges and produce pink, lilac or white flowers.

10. Creeping Fig

Creeping Fig

Very hardy plant and can easily establish itself in a terrarium – growing quite quickly. This fast-growing plant can easily take over a terrarium and should be pruned and trimmed back to encourage branching and help keep the plant compact. Place in bright light or partial shade – but out of direct sunlight. Keep soil evenly moist with high humidity. The trailing vines can be trained to creep up and climb structures and other plants in terrariums.

11. Hypoestes


Also known as the polka dot plant – found with colorful pink, red, and silver splashed leaves. Easy to are for and grows quickly in the correct lighting conditions. Plants can become leggy and new growth should be pinched off – encouraging stems to branch out creating a fuller, bushier plant. Place in medium to bright indirect light. Keep soil evenly moist but do not allow to dry out or stand in water. Wilted and dry leaves are caused by the plant not receiving enough water – Yellow leaves indicate the soil is too soggy.

12. Baby Tears

baby tears

A Small low-growing plant that does very well in contained terrariums. Grows up to 6 inches tall. Place in bright indirect light – but out of direct sunlight. Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy, with high humidity. Direct sunlight will burn the edges of the leaves and too much water will turn the leaves yellow. This fast-growing plant can be controlled by  frequent pruning with scissors will keep it contained.

Although this plant has soft fleshy stems and tiny round leaves that resemble a fern, it is technically not a fern at all but a member of the Pilea family and very easy to grow. Grows to 12 inches tall. Place in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist with medium to high humidity. Although this plant thrives with minimal care – occasionally pinch back the stems to keep the plant bushy and prevent it from becoming too leggy.

13. Lemon Button Fern

Lemon Button

This is one of the most favorite types of houseplants. It’s very easy to grow. Grow up to 12-18 inches tall. Place in a spot with plenty of indirect lights. Keep the soil moist with high humidity. Intense sunlight will dry out the leaves and they will start to turn brown.

14. Rex Begonia

Rex Begonia

Beautiful painted patterned leaves found in shades of silver, pink, burgundy and cream. A high humidity loving plant that does well in enclosed terrariums or with a cloche. Grow up to 12 inches. Place in moderate to bright indirect light. Keep the soil continuously moist with high humidity. Avoid getting water on the foliage as it will damage the leaves.

15. Purple Passion Plant

Purple Passion Plant

It’s known for its finely serrated green leaves, densely covered with purple hairs. The leaf undersides are also hairy, giving the whole plant an iridescent, velvety sheen. Prefers a bright light but should be protected from full sun.

16. Miniature Peperomia


They are low growing, creeping plants with pairs of tiny, opposing round leaves on rigid stems that readily root when they contact with the soil. This Pilea prefers lower humidity and drier soil.

17. Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and Succulents

Cacti and succulents are normally not recommended for enclosed terrariums, as they prefer dry conditions. Select a container that is open and soil that provides good drainage. Aloe, agave, Echeveria, Crassulaceae, Haworthias and sempervivum are all good choices for desert terrariums.

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