13 Best Plants for Closed Terrariums to Grow

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What are the best plants for closed terrariums?

There are actually quite a number of options. If you're looking to make your own closed terrarium, this article will give you all the information you need to choose which plants will work well in a closed environment.

Because let's face it, having a closed terrarium is a great way of keeping plants indoors with minimal care on your part. Unlike open terrariums and dish gardens which require more frequent watering.

The only challenge is choosing plants that can tolerate high humidity levels. Sort this one out and you're good to go.

And, that's exactly what this article will help you to achieve:

You'll learn about several types of plant life that grow well in small spaces and in low-light conditions. All the plants are categorized according to their size so that you can select them based on the size of your terrarium.

We'll also cover a few tips to help you select the best plants for your terrarium.

If all these sound interesting to you, then let's get started:


Where to buy closed terrarium plants

Amazon is a great place to buy live terrarium plants. They have a wide variety of plants to choose from and you can get them shipped right to your door.

For instance, you can check out these tillandsia air plants for closed terrariums.

Other options include garden centers and plant nurseries, but online is probably your best bet for finding the widest variety of plants.

Besides, you have an opportunity to check out the reviews from real buyers before making a buying decision.


Best Plants for Closed Terrariums in Summary

1. Tillandsia (Tillandsia spp.)

2. Miniature Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)

3. Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

4. Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)

5. Peacock Plant (Calathea makoyana)

6. Mini Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.)

7. Creeping fig (Ficus pumila)

8. Dwarf Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

9. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum spp.)

10. Dwarf English Ivy (Hedera helix cvs.)

11. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp.)

12. Mosses (Bryophyta)

13. Nerve Plant (Fittonia verschaffeltii)


Best Plants for Closed Terrariums According to their Size

Tall Plants of 6 to 12 inches

1. Tillandsia (Tillandsia spp.)

Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are some of the most forgiving houseplants. They rely on the moisture in the atmosphere to grow and thrive.

This makes them ideal for closed terrariums where there's plenty of humidity.

However, as a matter of an abundance of caution, you should open the terrarium lid once in a while to allow air circulation.

While they look great enclosed in glass, be sure to allow plants to dry at least 4 hours after watering before placing them back in a terrarium.


2. Peacock Plant (Calathea makoyana)

The peacock plant is a stunning houseplant that's often grown for its colorful, patterned leaves. It's native to tropical regions of South America and thrives in moist, humid conditions.

This makes it an ideal candidate for closed terrariums.

Just be sure to provide bright, indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist but not soggy.


3. Mini Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.)

Orchids are a popular choice for terrariums because they're such low-maintenance plants. They don't require frequent watering and can tolerate lower light conditions.

However, they do need good air circulation to prevent the leaves from turning yellow.

So, if you're growing orchids in a closed terrarium, be sure to open the lid once in a while to allow fresh air in.


4. Dwarf Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Growing Chinese evergreens in terrariums can make even the novice indoor gardener look like an expert.

Thanks to their hardy and less demanding nature.

Besides, this plant has several striking varieties with different shades and textures to choose from.

This varying of colors will make your terrarium stand out even more with Chinese evergreens alone.

Just be sure to provide bright, indirect light and keep them moist but not soggy.


5. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp.)

Maidenhair ferns are delicate-looking plants with finely textured, lacy leaves.

They come in a variety of species and hybrids and can be found in shades of green, silver, or bronze.

Maidenhair ferns are best suited for terrariums that get bright indirect light and high humidity.

While they're generally easy to care for, maidenhair ferns are sensitive to drought and will quickly go dormant (and may even die) if they're allowed to dry out.


6. Nerve Plant (Fittonia verschaffeltii)

The nerve plant, also known as fittonia, is a beautiful tropical plant that's well-suited for growing in closed terrariums.

Especially the dwarf and compact cultivars where they create an eye-catching focal point.

They have delicate leaves that are green, silver, or bronze. They are best suited for terrariums that get bright indirect light and high humidity.

While they're generally easy to care for, nerve plants are sensitive to drought and will quickly go dormant (and may even die) if they're allowed to dry out.


Short and Rounded Plants of less than 6 inches 

7. Miniature Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)

Peperomia is a large group of plants with hundreds of species. They're known for their unusual foliage which comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

The leaves are often variegated or have interesting patterns. And, they range in size from small to large.

One common variety is the watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia). It has striking leaves that resemble watermelons.

Peperomias are ideal for closed terrariums because they're low-maintenance and can tolerate high humidity.

Just be sure to provide bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between watering.


8. Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)

A bird's nest fern (Asplenium nidus) is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that's perfect for closed terrariums.

It has long, lacy leaves that form a graceful "nest" and can be grown in a wide range of light conditions, from low to bright indirect light.

bird's nest fern is a great choice for terrariums because it is not only low-maintenance but also very tolerant of neglect.


Short, Prostate, and Spreading Plants of 1 to 3 inches 

9. Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

Baby's tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) is a small plant with delicate, tear-shaped leaves. It's a fast-growing plant that makes an excellent terrarium plant.

Baby's tears can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from low to bright indirect light.

However, they prefer bright light and will likely become leggy if grown in too much shade.

To prevent the leaves from turning yellow, be sure to keep the plant evenly moist but not soggy.


10. Creeping fig (Ficus pumila)

Creeping fig plants are one of the best indoor plants to grow. They have a natural, cascading effect and can be grown in almost any type of pot, terrarium, or container.

Whether you’re looking for an attractive plant to fill a corner on your desk or want something lush and green to create a private oasis, these creeping fig plants will do the trick.

Creeping figs can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from low to bright indirect light. However, they prefer bright light.

To prevent the leaves from turning yellow, be sure to keep the plant evenly moist but not soggy.


11. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum spp.)

Golden pothos is a trailing vine, native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. It has pointed, heart-shaped green leaves that are sometimes variegated with white, yellow, or pale green striations.

While you may be familiar with growing these popular plants in pots or outdoor, their dwarf, prostate, and trailing cultivars are just as awesome in terrariums.

Pothos likes bright, indirect light, but can also thrive in low light areas making it an excellent option for offices and dorm rooms often ideal spots for terrariums.

You should open the lid of your terrarium once in a while to allow air circulation. Besides, you can take that opportunity to regulate their growth by cutting back the tips.


12. Dwarf English Ivy (Hedera helix cvs.)

Dwarf English ivy (Hedera helix CVS.) plant is a small, evergreen that's perfect for terrariums. It has dark green, heart-shaped leaves and can be found in a variety of cultivars.

Some English ivy cultivars have solid green leaves, while others feature variegated foliage with shades of yellow, white, or cream.

Dwarf English ivy is a fast-growing plant and can quickly become too big for its terrarium home if left unchecked.

To keep it from taking over, prune it regularly and fertilize it every couple of months. It does best in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions.


13. Mosses (Bryophyta)

Mosses are non-vascular plants that lack true roots, flowers, and seeds. There are more than 12,000 species of mosses found all over the world.

While most mosses grow in shaded, damp areas, some species can tolerate full sun.

Moss is an excellent choice for terrariums because it doesn't need much care and can thrive in low-light conditions.

Some of the best mosses to grow in terrariums include:

•Fern moss (Thuidium delicatulum)

•Star moss (Tortula ruralis)

•Pincushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum)

•Climbing moss (Cladonia rangiferina)

Moss is a great option for covering the ground in your terrarium and adding a splash of green. It's also low-maintenance and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.


Key Takeaway Tips for Selecting Terrarium Plants

When selecting plants for your terrarium, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Decide the theme for your terrarium. This will help you to select plants that will better match the theme. For a tropical theme, you'll need to select tropical plants. Other common terrarium themes include desert and woodland.

2. Size: Make sure to choose plants that will fit well in your terrariums and won't outgrow them. Low and dense-growing plants are the best for closed terrariums. However, if you must use large plants, regulate their growth by cutting back their tips.

3. Lighting: Most terrarium plants prefer bright, indirect light but there are some that can tolerate low-light conditions. Always use plants that have similar light, temperature, and moisture requirements as much as possible.

4. Watering: Some plants need more water than others, so be sure to research the watering needs of each plant before adding it to your terrarium.


Conclusion

A terrarium is no doubt a delightful way to grow an indoor garden of small plants in an enclosed glass container.

With proper care, a terrarium will create a humid atmosphere that protects tender, tropical plants that are difficult to grow in the normally dry atmosphere of our homes.

Hence, when choosing plants for your terrarium, it's important to consider the lighting conditions, size, and watering needs of each plant.

There are a wide variety of plants that can thrive in terrariums, so be sure to refer to this article with the best plants for closed terrariums to select the perfect plants for your space.

Thanks for reading and happy gardening!


Featured image credit: seattletimes.com

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