Terrariums can seem intimidating to beginners, but they don't have to be. In this blog, we're going to cover the best plants to go in enclosed terrariums to help take the guesswork out of what you should include in your terrarium. These ten plants are almost "set it and forget it," so they will require little maintenance from you once placed in their new home. Let's get started!
What are the best plants for a closed terrarium?
The best closed terrarium plants have a few essential requirements. Closed terrarium plants love warm, moist, and humid environments. They are plants that will fit in the container you're using, or ideally, they're slow-growing, so you don't have to prune them constantly. You should also consider having plants with similar lighting requirements if you'll be planting more than one species in the same terrarium.
Can you put any plant in a terrarium?
As long as they will fit, most plants can go in a terrarium—the critical distinction is whether you're using an open or closed terrarium. If your plant does not love moisture and humidity, it does not belong in a closed terrarium. Instead, it would be best if you used an open terrarium. We'll review the difference between the two below.
What is the difference between closed and open terrariums?
If you're new to terrariums, you might think closed and open terrariums are different mainly from an aesthetic perspective. But they are incredibly different, and it's important to understand that. Closed terrariums are their own ecosystem. They have their own mini water cycle. This is why they don't water often and require very little care overall.
Open terrariums are sort of like another container to put your plant in. It is an open glass container, so it doesn't have any water cycle or self-sustaining qualities. You do still need to make sure your open terrarium has good drainage, though.
10 of the Best Closed Terrarium Plants
All of these plants love moisture, but remember, "moist" does not mean sopping wet.
These make excellent terrarium plants as most carnivorous plants love to be constantly moist and appreciate full sun. Many are native to bog-like environments, so it makes sense!
Nerve plants appreciate bright, indirect light, as well as consistent soil moisture.
Lemon Button Fern
Ferns are excellent candidates for terrariums. They love bright to medium, indirect light, and moisture. It's for this reason that ferns are a popular option to decorate bathrooms.
Mosses are very popular for terrariums because they are extremely useful in designing mini landscapes. Mist your moss to maintain constant moisture but make sure it's not sopping wet. Provide it with bright to medium, indirect light. Note that there are many different kinds of moss, but most prefer a warm, humid environment.
Baby tears is another plant that works well as a ground cover. Provide your baby tears with bright to medium, indirect light. Keep the potting mix consistently moist.
Keep your Syngonium in bright to medium, indirect light, although darker varieties can tolerate some low light. Syngonium plants do not like to dry out, so keep the potting mix moist.
Aluminum plants appreciate bright, indirect light. And yep, you guessed it—keep the potting mix moist!
Pothos prefer bright to medium, indirect light, although they can tolerate some lower light. These plants do well when the top inch or so of the potting mix has dried out, meaning the mix always stays somewhat moist below the surface.
Maidenhair ferns make a lovely, delicate addition to a terrarium. Give your maidenhair fern bright, indirect light and keep it evenly moist.
Keep your mini orchid in medium to bright, indirect light. Water your orchid when the medium it's growing in is dry. For this reason, orchids might do better in a single-plant terrarium or planted along with other orchids instead of with other plants that like to remain constantly moist. Orchids do like humidity which is why they still make excellent terrarium plants.
Some of these plants are on the larger side, and some are on the smaller side. Choose whatever fits your needs, or go crazy and put lots of small plants in a larger terrarium!
Selecting the right plants is part of considering the overall design of your terrarium—choose plants that match the vibe you want. Perhaps you want to have a single plant as a real statement-making piece. Or maybe you want something that looks more lifelike, like a little terrarium world!