10 Great Terrarium Plants

  • 01 of 11

    Choosing Terrarium Plants

    Terrarium plants
    Hero Images / Getty Images

    Choosing terrarium plants can be difficult because there are so many amazing ones that will look great and thrive in terrariums. The terrarium plants listed here are so easy to grow, even a complete novice can have success. In a closed terrarium, plants almost never need water and will grow happily for years with minimal care. Make sure to buy plants that are small enough to fit into your terrarium jar, preferably without touching the sides. A good way to make sure they'll fit is to bring your jar with you to the nursery or store or bring measurements.

    Continue to 2 of 11 below.
  • 02 of 11

    Artillery Fern

    pilea artillery fern
    Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Artillery ferns aren't actually ferns at all, they are members of the Pilea family. Artillery ferns are delicate and have a lovely, interesting texture. They like medium to bright indirect light and a warm humid environment, which is perfect for a terrarium. They are easy to grow and should thrive with minimal care.

    They are called Artillery ferns because they shoot their seeds with a popping sound - sometimes quite a distance.

    Continue to 3 of 11 below.
  • 03 of 11

    Aluminum Plant

    Pilea Cadierei Leaf
    tc397 / Getty Images

    Aluminum plant, a native of Vietnam, likes low to medium light and warm temperatures. The leaves have lovely, with almost iridescent white markings. This plant grows fairly quickly, so you may have to pinch it back occasionally. Aluminum plant is easy to root, just by taking a small cutting and planting it in moist soil.  

    Continue to 4 of 11 below.
  • 04 of 11

    Polka Dot Plant or Hypoestes

    hypoestes phyllostachya syn. h. sanguinolenta of gardens 'white and rose splash' (freckle face, polka dot plant). close up of pink and white splashed foliage of plants.
    David Q. Cavagnaro / Getty Images

    Polka dot plants have a great sense of humor. They come in pink, red and silver varieties. They are ​cheerful and easy to take care of. They like bright, indirect light and may need to be pinched back if they get too tall or start to get spindly or leggy.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Red-Veined Prayer Plant or Maranta

    Prayer plant (Maranta)
    Terry Robinson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Red-Veined prayer plant or Maranta leuconeura erythroneura is a stunning plant. Prayer plants came by their name because they fold up their leaves at night, as if in prayer. They prefer medium, indirect light and will let you know if they're not getting enough of it because the leaves will stay folded even during the daytime.

    Prayer plants like to be warm, so don't keep your terrarium next to a cold window or in a chilly draft.

    Continue to 6 of 11 below.
  • 06 of 11


    Pothos plant
    ProBuild Garden Center/flickr/CC 2.0

    While golden pothos vine may look pedestrian as a houseplant, it can look fabulous in a terrarium. Golden pothos has a well-deserved reputation as a bulletproof, indestructible houseplant, which means that it is even truer in the controlled environment of a terrarium. Be careful not to over-water this plant and keep in bright indirect light. Prune it back regularly so it doesn't become unruly, and your pothos should look good for years. Easy to propagate by rooting in stems in water.

    Continue to 7 of 11 below.
  • 07 of 11


    Closeup of Peperomia Puteolata
    Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images

    There are about a 1000 peperomia cultivars. This is the common peperomia caperata, which can either have all green leaves or leaves that are blushed with some red. This slow grower does beautifully in terrariums, preferring low to bright indirect light. Peperomia also sometimes produce cool-looking flower spikes.

    Continue to 8 of 11 below.
  • 08 of 11

    Baby's Tears

    Green Leaves Of Soleirolia Soleirolii In Botanical Garden. Natural Background
    bruev / Getty Images

    Baby's tears is a small plant with a lot of common names. It is called, angel's tears, mind-your-own-business, peace-in-the-home, Pollyanna vine, mother of thousands, and the Corsican's curse. The curse may be referring to the fact that given the right conditions, baby's tears can be seriously invasive, taking over whole gardens. In a terrarium, it will behave itself quite well and is a lovely, low-growing plant that prefers bright light and consistent moisture.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Button Fern

    button fern
    Leonora (Ellie) Enking/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    There is something about a small button fern that is terrifically appealing. They are slightly mop-headed, but also kind of delicate and elegant at the same time. Button ferns like bright filtered light and consistent moist conditions - perfect for a terrarium.

    Continue to 10 of 11 below.
  • 10 of 11

    Creeping Fig or Ficus Primula

    Creeping fig
    Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Creeping fig, with its small, variegated heart-shaped leaves, makes a lovely addition to almost any terrarium. It is a perennial climbing vine, so can be trained to creep up structures, which could be interesting to try in a large terrarium. Creeping fig prefers bright indirect light but will tolerate shade. You can easily propagate this plant by rooting a branch cutting in water.

    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11


    Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) plants with colorful leaves in tropical garden.
    Roman_Makedonsky / Getty Images

    Crotons can really add bling to your terrariums. Their shiny, thick leaves come in a huge array of amazing colors and shapes. This 'Gold Dust,' croton is one of the narrow-leaved varieties. Crotons like bright light, and are not well known as terrarium plants, but work well particularly grown in open jar terrariums.