Terrarium Plants

Here's Everything You Need to Know About Various Terrarium Plants

Terrarium, also called vivarium, is basically a clear glass jar used for growing live plants. Let's get to know more through this Gardenerdy article.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017
Cultivating live plants in a glass jar is a concept which goes back to ancient Greece and New England. As the plants are grown in a transparent medium, they are easy to maintain and have the looks to become the focal point of the room as well. Having a terrarium of your own is one of the greatest ways of indoor gardening, with least maintenance needed.

There are various kinds of ready-made vivariums available that one can bring home. But, if you wish to be a little more creative, you can also create one using an old or empty aquarium, fishbowl, or jars. All you have to do is to decorate it with some beautiful plants. But make sure that it contains a good and tight lid so that the plants get ample humidity.


Since terrariums are placed indoors, one has to be careful while selecting live plants. As a basic rule of thumb, check for the atmospheric compatibility of your house with the plants you choose. Most require high humidity levels, at least during the time of plantation. Once the terrarium is set, the leaves collect moisture from the condensed water present on its inner walls. In this way, they can survive for weeks without having to water them regularly.

There are plenty of houseplants that are perfect to be grown in terrariums. If you are finding it difficult to give extra time for their maintenance, then you must opt for slow-growing plants. On the other hand, if you can find enough of spare time for trimming and maintaining the plant, then fast-growing varieties are an ideal choice for you.

Lastly, it is always important to create the perfect base for the plants. This base should be made of a suitable gravel with some activated charcoal on top of it. Another thing to take into consideration is their placement. Make sure that they are placed in the middle, so that their branches do not touch the inner sides. This factor actually restricts the number of plants you want. Try to keep it as spacious as possible, which is ideal for their proper growth.

List of Plant Varieties

Most of these plants are low-light plants, so make sure that they don't get exposed to extremely bright light and/or direct sunlight. When it comes to the size, one can choose species of any size. Miniature varieties reach up to a moderate height and this way they are easy to maintain. However, there are also some taller varieties that you can choose. For example, the golden pothos, cobra lily, aluminum plant and maidenhair fern, etc. Here is a random list that require low to moderate amount of light and moderate water levels as well.
  • Irish Moss (Height - 1" to 3")
  • Miniature Peperomia (Height - 1" to 3")
  • Swedish Ivy (Height - 1" to 3")
  • Maidenhead Spleenwort (Height - 1" to 3")
  • Bird Nest Sansevieria (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Tahitian Bridal Veil (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Nerve Plant (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Rattlesnake Plantain (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Partridge Berry (Height - 1" to 3")
  • Spider Plant (Height - 1" to 3")
  • Aromatic Wintergreen (Height - 1" to 3")
  • African Violet (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Club Moss (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Emerald Ripple Peperomia (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Creeping Charlie (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Earth Star (Height - 3" to 6")
  • Button Fern (Height - 3" to 6")
A good ground cover plays a huge role in maintaining the humidity levels. Also, choose plants with contrast colors just to make it more attractive. Water them once a fortnight and DO NOT EVER fertilize them. For providing nutrition, remove the topmost layer of the existing gravel and add a layer of fresh potting soil.
Creeping Charlie
Houseplant - Peperomia caperata a potted plant
Club Moss
Close view of a potted African Violet
Partridge berry plant with fruit
Nerve plant or Mosaic plant (Fittonia albivenis) , (Fittonia verschaffeltii)
Sansevieria trifasciata golden hahnii on white background
Image of spleenwort fern (Asplenium) growing in a stone wall
Coleus plant in pot on wooden background
Peperomia on wooden background
Irish moss (Sagina subulata)
Pilea cadierei (aluminium plant or watermelon pilea)
Cobra lily
Devil's ivy on white background
Goldfish in a night illuminated aquarium