Which Terrarium Plants are Easy to Care For? What about Large Terrarium?  

Aug 7, 2023

Indoor plant enthusiasts love trying out new things. So, what’s better to try than growing terrarium plants? These are small, easy-to-care-for plants grown in miniature gardens, often enclosed and glass-made. The gardens are self-moisturizing, meaning little to no water work but still provide exquisite beauty. However, if you may be asking yourself which terrarium plants are the easiest to care for. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the easy-to-care terrarium plants and provide you with large and small options to explore:

Best Terrarium Plants That Are Easy to Care For

Terrarium plants come in different sizes, and your choice will depend on your preferences. In most cases, you’ll choose between open and closed terrarium-friendly ones, primarily determined by a plant’s humidity needs. The former is ideal for humid-loving plants, while the latter is better suited for plants that thrive in above-average conditions. Having looked at the essential criteria for choosing your terrarium plants, let me now give you a list of the best.

If you’re short on time, here is a quick list of the plants:

  • Creeping fig
  • Button fern
  • Baby tears
  • Ripple plant
  • Pothos vine
  • Prayer plant
  • Polka dot plant
  • Aluminum plant
  • Artillery ferns

Button Fern

The button fern is a delicate but hardy New Zealand plant scientifically known as Pellaea rotundifolia. These contrasting qualities and its slightly mopped head shape make it an excellent terrarium plant. The button fern is also drought-resistant but can do well in low temperatures; however, not freezing. It has green foliage, and it’ll do best in the following conditions:

  • High humidity of over 50%
  • Partly shaded or bright indirect light
  • Temperature range of 16-24C or 60 to 75o degrees
  • Weekly watering

Baby Tears

Scientifically, baby tears is known as Soleirolia soleirolii. Other names include mind-your-own-business, Angel’s tears, peace-in-the-home, Pollyanna Vine, and Corsican’s curse. This low-growing plant often forms mat-like patterns, is perennial, and does well in tropical regions. It thrives in the open and can cover your entire garden when well-tended. Nevertheless, you can control its growth behavior in an enclosed setting through pruning. The plant looms in late spring producing creamy ivory flowers.

If you opt to have it as your terrarium plant, ensure you provide the following conditions:

  • Partial sunlight to shaded conditions
  • Rich, moist loamy soils
  • Consistent moisture conditions

Ripple Plant

The ripple plant is an indoor plant characterized by ridged leaves that come in various colors, such as green with red or green leaves. It’s one of the 1,000+ Peperomia caperata species grown for its beauty emanating from the leaves and flower spikes. Some may also have wrinkled, heart-shaped leaves peppered with a metallic sheen.

For it to do well in your terrarium, you must provide the following:

  • Bright indirect light to low light
  • Little to no water
  • Average temperatures and humidity

Pothos Vine

While it does well in the open environment, the pothos vine is a great indoor plant to try in a controlled environment. It’s a tropical vine native to the Solomon Islands. It adds a layer of beauty as a houseplant with its boasting heart-shaped and pointed green leaves. At other times the leaves may be variegated with pale green striations, yellow, or white. Thus, it can go well with most of your interior decorations.

Botanically, Pothos Vine known as Epipremnum aureum, while its common names include Devil’s Ivy, Devil’s Vine, and Golden Pothos. The plant rarely flowers, but it gives purple, lavender, yellow, or gold ones when it does. The plant does well as a terrarium plant under the following parameters:

  • Moist and well-drained soils
  • Little water
  • Bright and indirect sunlight

Polka Dot Plant

Scientifically known as Hypoestes phyllostachya, the Polka dot is also called the freckle face plant. It’s a perennial herbaceous plant known for its variegated leaves, all being brightly colored. Most of these plants have green foliage flecked with pink. However, others may be purple, white, or red. Polka dots grow moderately and remain small indoors and in controlled settings. The plant grows well under the following conditions:

  • Moist and well-drained soils
  • Frequent watering in summer and spring and less at other times
  • Partial sun exposure

Aluminum Plant

Native to Vietnam, the Aluminum plant or Pilea cadierei thrives in low light and warm temperatures. It performs well in closed environments and is loved for its white-marked leaves that make it appear shiny. With its quick-growth nature, you must pinch it back to maintain your desired height.

Unlike when grown indoors, the plant is treated as an annual when gardened outdoors. Nevertheless, for proper maintenance and growth, ensure you provide the following:

  • Regular watering in the summer and sprseasonsason
  • Low-medium light
  • Moist and well-drained soils

Artillery Fern

Pilea microphylla, or artillery fern, derives its name because it shoots seeds producing a popping sound. It’s also called rockweed, military fern, pistol plant, or gunpowder and is native to South America, Mexico, Southeastern US, and the Caribbean.

All year round, it can survive growing as an evergreen perennial. To start growing it, you can either purchase from a nursery, use a stem cutting, or seed. The plant is moisture-loving and does well in a closed terrarium plant environment. Other optimal conditions needed are:

  • Medium water requirement or keep humidity above 45%
  • Medium or bright indirect sun

What About Large Terrarium Plants?

Large terrarium plants offer another layer of picturesque beauty that differs from closed terrarium plants. This means the plant thrives unhindered, as if in its natural habitat. Some of the large terrarium plants to try include:

Creeping Fig

Characterized by tiny heart-like variegated leaves, the creeping fig is one of the best terrarium plants to add to your collection. It’s perennial and can climb, meaning it can be a perfect large terrarium plant. Creeping Fig loves a moist and warm environment, thus ideal for growing in a closed environment.

Other must-know tips and information for this plant include:

  • Propagation method: root the cuttings in water
  • Scientific name: Ficus primula
  • Color: green
  • Water: little or no when enclosed. Occasional watering in an open terrarium
  • Light: partial sunlight

Prayer Plant

Botanically known as Maranta leuconeura, the prayer plant is one of the terrarium plants ideas you can implement easily and successfully. It grows up to 8 inches and is thus also among the best large terrarium plants to consider adopting. In addition, its green and white-marked leaves add a layer of beauty to your home.

The Prayer Plant native to Brazil and derives its name from its nighttime behavior of folding its leaves as if in prayer. During the day, it may still fold its leaves if there isn’t enough light, so this is one of the ways to know if your house conditions are right. Other conditions for optimal growth are:

  • Moist but well-drained soils
  • Partial sunlight with occasional shade
  • It needs more water during summer and spring but less at other times

Tips for Taking Care of Terrarium Plants

Even though each terrarium plant has unique needs, many will require similar conditions and care tips. To ensure your chosen terrarium plant grows optimally, the following care tips are necessary:

  • Do not water the plants directly on the leaves, which may encourage rotting. Instead, water at the base
  • Position your plant and structure in well-lit areas
  • Pinch off new growths of the plant when it gets big. Don’t allow it to grow big and touch the sides.
  • Regularly monitor for pests and diseases. One of the best remedies is using organic neem oil. Some common pests to be wary of are aphids, caterpillars, spider mites, and thrips.

Creating and nurturing a terrarium is a fulfilling gardening activity. It’s also a chance to unleash your creativity and express your personality. Furthermore, experimenting with different variegated plants can add a decorative element to your space, speaking to your heart and soul.

Frequently Asked Questions about Terrarium Plants

Below are some additional questions to help you understand terrarium plants better.

How long do terrariums last?

Terrariums have different shelf lives ranging from four months to two years. Container size, temperature, and light determine how long the terrarium will last. However, with good care, it can last longer and offer value for money.

Where can I get terrarium plants for sale?

You can get terrarium plants for sale from different spots, such as individual sellers or online stores.

Where is the best place for a plant terrarium?

The best spot to position your terrarium is away from windows or where there is bright and direct light. This is because many problems are due to too much heat or light.


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