10 Low-Care Plants That Grow Well in Terrariums

Find the Right Plants for Your Terrarium

Terrarium plants
Hero Images / Getty Images

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. Terrariums are both decorative and easy to grow. These 10 plants are ideal for your terrarium garden.

Tip

Be 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.

  • 01 of 10

    Artillery Fern (P. microphylla)

    Pilea artillery fern

    Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Artillery ferns are not actually ferns at all but are members of the Pilea family. They are called artillery ferns because it shoots its seeds with a popping sound—and sometimes quite a distance. Despite that explosive trait, these plants are delicate and have a lovely, interesting texture. You will find it easy to grow and it should thrive with minimal care.

    • Light: Medium to bright indirect light
    • Water: Medium
    • Color: Insignificant bloom
  • 02 of 10

    Aluminum Plant (Pilea Cadierei)

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

    • Light: Low to medium light
    • Water: Regularly in spring and summer; less at other times
    • Color: Green leaves with white markings
  • 03 of 10

    Polka Dot Plant (hypoestes)

    Polka dot plant
    David Q. Cavagnaro / Getty Images

    Polka dot plants seem to have a great sense of humor. This plant is cheerful and comes in pink, red, and silver varieties. Easy to care for, it might need to be pinched back if it gets too tall or starts to get spindly or leggy.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light
    • Water: Regularly in spring and summer; less at other times
    • Color: Green leaves with white markings
  • 04 of 10

    Red-Veined Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura erythroneura)

    Prayer plant

     

    Crystal Bolin Photography / Getty Images

    Red-veined prayer plant is a stunning plant. The prayer plant got its name because it folds up its leaves at night, as if in prayer. If it is not getting enough light, you will know because the leaves will stay folded even during the daytime. Prayer plants like to be warm, so do not keep your terrarium next to a cold window or in a chilly draft.

    • Light: Medium, indirect light
    • Water: Regularly in spring and summer; less at other times
    • Color: Green leaves with white markings
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

    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. Prune it back regularly so it does not become unruly, and your pothos should look good for years. It is also easy to propagate by rooting the stems in water.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light
    • Water: Relatively little water; do not overwater
    • Color: Green leaves with white markings
  • 06 of 10

    Peperomia (peperomia caperata)

    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. Peperomia also sometimes produces cool-looking flower spikes. If you are lucky, these flowers would add a nice color pop to your terrarium.

    • Light: Low to bright indirect light
    • Water: Relatively little water; do not overwater
    • Color: Green leaves or green with red
  • 07 of 10

    Baby Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

    Baby's tears plant
    bruev / Getty Images

    Baby 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.

    • Light: Bright light
    • Water: Consistent moisture
    • Color: Creamy ivory flowers
  • 08 of 10

    Button Fern (Pellaea rotundifolia)

    button fern

    Leonora (Ellie) Enking / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    There is something about a small button fern that is terrifically appealing. Hailing from New Zealand, it's hardy and drought tolerant. It is slightly mop-headed, but also kind of delicate and elegant at the same time.

    • Light: Full shade to filtered light
    • Water: Water weekly
    • Color: Green foliage
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Creeping Fig (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 you can train it to creep up structures, which could be interesting to try in a large terrarium. You can easily propagate creeping fig by rooting a branch-cutting in water.

    • Light: Partial to full sun
    • Water: Water occasionally
    • Color: Green foliage
  • 10 of 10

    Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

    Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) plants
    Roman_Makedonsky / Getty Images

    Crotons can really add bling to your terrariums. Its 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. It is not well known as a terrarium plant but works particularly well when grown in open-jar terrariums.

    • Light: Bright indirect, dappled light
    • Water: Water occasionally
    • Color: Green, gold, and salmon foliage