10 Great Terrarium Plants

Beautiful and Easy to Grow Plants

  • 01 of 11

    Choosing Terrarium Plants

    Terrarium plants
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    Choosing terrarium plants can be difficult because there are so many amazing options that would look great and thrive in terrariums. The terrarium plants listed here are so easy to grow that 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.

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  • 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. They are called artillery ferns because they shoot their seeds with a popping sound—sometimes quite a distance!

    Despite that explosive trait, these plants are delicate and have a lovely, interesting texture. Artillery ferns like medium to bright indirect light and a warm humid environment, which is perfect for a terrarium. For that reason, you'll find them easy to grow and they should thrive with minimal care.

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  • 03 of 11

    Aluminum Plant

    Pilea Cadierei Leaf
    tc397 / Getty Images

    The aluminum plant, a native of Vietnam, likes low to medium light and warm temperatures. The leaves have almost iridescent white markings that really make them shine.

    This plant grows fairly quickly, so you may have to pinch it back occasionally. Aluminum plant is easy to root as well. Simply take a small cutting and plant it in moist soil.  

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  • 04 of 11

    Polka Dot Plant

    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 (or hypoestes) have a great sense of humor. They are cheerful and come in pink, red, and silver varieties. Easy to care for, they like bright, indirect light. You might need to be pinched back if they get too tall or start to get spindly or leggy.

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  • 05 of 11

    Red-Veined Prayer Plant

    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. If they're not getting enough of it, you'll know 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.

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  • 06 of 11

    Pothos

    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, and that it is even truer in the controlled environment of a terrarium.

    Be careful not to over-water this plant and keep it in bright indirect light. Prune it back regularly so it doesn't become unruly, and your pothos should look good for years. It's also easy to propagate by rooting the stems in water.

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  • 07 of 11

    Peperomia

    Closeup of Peperomia Puteolata
    Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images

    There are about 1,000 peperomia cultivars. The common peperomia caperata 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. If you're lucky, these would be a nice pop in your terrarium.

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  • 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. The plant is also 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 10 of 11

    Creeping Fig

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

    Creeping fig (or Ficus primula), with its small, variegated heart-shaped leaves, makes a lovely addition to almost any terrarium. It is a perennial climbing vine, so you can train it to creep up structures, which could be interesting to try in a large terrarium.

    This plant prefers bright indirect light but will tolerate shade. You can easily propagate creeping fig by rooting a branch cutting in water.

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  • 11 of 11

    Croton

    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. The gold dust croton, for instance, is one of the narrow-leaved varieties that will have various amounts of gold, depending on the cultivar.

    Crotons like bright light. They are not well known as terrarium plants, but work particularly well when grown in open jar terrariums.