Terrarium plants

Bioactive Terrarium

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Terrarium plants – Closed and Open type


Did you recently come across a beautiful plant? Or are you a plant lover and want to fill your living space with bright and colorful plants? Then look no more, a terrarium plant is the best solution for you.

Using a terrarium is the best way to keep plants in the home. That way, you can monitor the plant and care for it. You will have your favorite plants at your fingertips and beautify your home at the same time. 

This article will discuss the different types of terrariums and terrarium plants. It will also discuss tips on how to care for terrarium plants.

What are terrarium plants?

Terrarium plants are plants that can survive in an enclosed space. They are housed in a terrarium and exposed to ventilation and sunlight. Terrarium plants are small plants and they have a slow growth rate. 

Terrarium plants make your living space vibrant and colorful. You can get them in any size you wish and customize them to your preference. You can decide to have a terrarium plant on your desk, bedroom, or in your bathroom. 

Not all plants can survive in a terrarium. Some terrarium plants also need special care and attention than others. 

Top 5 Open Terrarium Plants 

If you are just starting on your terrarium plants journey, then open terrarium plants are the best way to start. Open terrariums allow for much better ventilation for the plants. There is also a limited risk of the plant’s roots rotting or molds forming. 

Open terrariums allow plants to get direct sunlight for photosynthesis. Below are the top 5 plants that can survive in open terrariums.

  • Jade plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade plants need to be watered frequently and putting them in an open terrarium is the best choice for them. The jade plant is known as a money plant or tree. It is known to bring good riches and success. 

It is a common houseplant that is native to Africa. It is a luscious plant with little pink and white flowers all over it. A jade plant needs at least 6 hours of bright light hence, it is perfect to be kept in an open terrarium. 

The best time to water a jade plant is when its top soil is getting dry. This way the soil will not be watery. You can place jade plants on top of your desk because they are a symbol of good luck. 

  • Red Pagoda (Crassula Capitella)

You can change your space look by adding a terrarium with a red pagoda plant. The plant is called a red pagoda because it looks like the roof of a Japanese pagoda. It is a small succulent plant with triangular leaves. 

The red pagoda needs to be exposed to direct and bright sunlight. This will help to keep its colors striking and vibrant. Its maximum height is 6 inches and can spread up to 30 cm.

Loamy soil is the perfect soil to grow a red pagoda plant. The soil should also be light and well drained without too much water. You should also wait for the soil to have dried completely before watering and you should only water at intervals. 

  • Polka dot plant (Hypoestes Phyllostachya)

The polka dot plant has an array of beautiful colors. It gives a vibrant and impressive color pop t your living room space. The leaves have green base colors and different other colors make the dots on the leaves.

A polka dot plant has a color combination of green, pink, red, and white. It is often between 5 to 25 inches tall and spreads to over 40 to 50 cm. 

The polka dot plant should be watered intermittently during the growing season. The watering should be reduced in the winter. The best soil for the polka dot plant is loamy soil or loose potting soil. It can also withstand a 5.6 pH level.

  • Pies from heaven (Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa)

Pies from heaven is a weird-looking terrarium plant. However, it will blend well with a minimalist home setting. The color of the leave is pale grey with dark purple patches. The patches might also appear to be dark brown depending on the lighting. 

It is better to put the terrarium plant under indirect sunlight. But they can be exposed to direct sunlight at intervals. Its maximum height is 12 inches and it can spread up to 15 cm. 

The best soil to use to plant pies from heaven is well-drained cactus potting soil. You can only water the plant when the soil is completely dry. This helps to avoid excess water in the light soil. 

  • Living stones

This is arguably the best plant for small and dry terrariums. Living stones look like colorful stones rather than normal plants. It has a wide range of colors like yellow, purple, orange, etc. 

Living stones grow slowly and they can last for a very long time in the terrarium.  They are a wonder to behold and they often have two different shades.  

Living stones can withstand the harshest direct sunlight. The more they are exposed to the sun, the more they glow. Their maximum height is 3 inches and some of their other species are even smaller. 

The living stones soil requirement is a cactus potting soil with a lot of bigger pebbles. You should only water the plant when the soil has dried completely. You should not let the soil get soaked with water. 

Top 5 Closed Terrarium Plants

If you want to plant in a closed terrarium, it is advised you get plants that like humidity. Below are the top 5 plants that can survive in a closed terrarium.

  • False Shamrock (Oxalis Triangularis)

False shamrock plants are tiny leaves with dark purple patches on them. On closer inspection, they have little veins. The veins make them look like beautiful butterfly wings. 

They make a great addition to your home setting and their beautiful pink and purple patches add vibrant color to your space. It is best to expose a false shamrock plant to indirect sunlight. 

The false shamrock plant has a maximum of 20” in height. The perfect soil to grow the false shamrock is loamy or sandy soil. Alkaline soil is also good if it has a pH level of 7.8. Watering should be done at intervals to avoid stagnant overwatering or dry soil.

  • Frosty fern spike moss (Selaginella Kraussiana) 

The frosty fern spike moss is good if you want to give your terrarium a forest look. It has green succulent and lush branches. The plant has lots of tiny green leaflets. The frosty green plant adds a lot of green colors to your space. 

It is advised not to expose the frosty fern spike moss to direct sunlight. It will survive with a little shade and indirect sunlight. It only gets about 2 feet tall and it’s best kept in large terrariums. 

It’s best to be kept in well-drained soil with an acidic or neutral ph. The soil should not be waterlogged. It should be kept humid. 

  • Venus Flytrap ( Dionaea Muscipula) 

The Venus flytrap is a classic plant and it has an unusual look. It has a bizarre appearance and behaves strangely. One of its strange behaviors is to close its leaves when insects perch on it. 

The Venus flytrap is a decorative plant and when the trap leaves open, its vibrant red color is revealed. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight. It has a maximum height of 3 inches and it can spread to over 20 cm in a large space. 

Venus flytrap is best planted with sphagnum moss and sand. It is best planted with soil with a high acidic level. You should also water the plants at intervals with rainwater. 

  • Spiderwort (Tradescantia Virginiana) 

Spiderwort is a popular household terrarium plant. It has thin and long blades with a green color. It also blossoms violet-colored flowers in the spring. It likes humidity therefore it is the perfect plant for your closed terrarium.

It grows up to about 3 feet and spreads about 60 cm in an enclosed terrarium. A soil with a light acidic pH is best for growing the spiderwort plant. Chalk or loamy soil is better. The plant should also be kept moist and not dry. 

  • Nerve plant (Fittonia Spp.) 

The nerve plant has beautiful leaves with colored vein patterns. The colors of the vein pattern include white, pink, red, yellow, and purple. The color combinations are eye-catching and beautiful. 

Nerve plants also blossom white flowers that add a touch of attractiveness to your space. It is best not to expose the nerve plant to direct sunlight and it grows at a maximum size of 6 inches. 

The perfect soil for planting the nerve plant is loose and well-drained. It should also be watered constantly so the soil can be moist. 

How to choose plants for a Terrarium 

Choosing plants for your terrarium depends on the type and size of terrarium you have. If you have a closed terrarium, you should choose plants that can stand humidity. A closed terrarium keeps in moisture therefore, you need a plant that can resist humidity. 

For an open plant terrarium, you should go or succulent plants. An open terrarium contains less humidity and the plants serve as natural humidifiers. 

The next thing to consider is you should pick plants that are smaller than your terrarium. You should also pick slow-growing plants. This way, you will not have to trim your plant leaves at intervals. You also do not want the leaves of your plant touching the container. 

For the potting mix, you should make sure to add sand so that it can imitate the plant’s natural habitat.  Also, knowing the special needs of a plant is important. You should be able to tell all the needs of a plant before you get it. 

You should also know the best place to position your plant so it will not be damaged. You should avoid direct sunlight from getting to it. 

Terrarium plants care tips 

Creating a terrarium plant is fun and adventurous and maintaining it is not as difficult as many people think. Many people create terrarium plants and just abandon the plants to grow on their own. 

Proper care of terrarium plants will accelerate the growth rate the plants. It will also help to eradicate pests as well as maintain the beauty of the plant. Below are some of the tips needed to take proper care of terrarium plants. 

  1. Do not expose your terrarium plants to too much light. When a terrarium plant is exposed to too much light, it can get burned. It is best to keep the plants out of direct sunlight.
  2. To keep your terrarium from getting overcrowded, it is best if you pruned the plant’s roots. You can also trim its leaves so you can see individual plants. 
  3. You should remove a dying plant immediately after you notice it. This is to prevent the problem from spreading to the other plants. 
  4. You should also clean your terrarium glass at intervals. A dirty terrarium glass will prevent sunlight from getting to the plants.
  5. Do not overwater your plants. The best way to avoid overwatering is to use spraying can or bottle. 
  6. You should also know the types of plants to have in an open or closed terrarium. This will protect the plants from dying. 


How long do terrarium plants last?

If closed terrarium plants are well taken care of, they can last indefinitely. The longest terrarium plant lasted for 53 years. 

A terrarium plant can only last for so long. Water, sunlight, temperature, and space all have effects on the longevity of a terrarium plant. 

How many plants should you put in a terrarium?

The number of plants kept in a terrarium depends on the size of the terrarium. You can keep 2 different plants in a 6 inches terrarium. In an 8inches terrarium, you can keep 4 to 5 plants depending on their size. 

You should make sure to give your plants enough space in the terrarium. This will help with drainage and the spreading of their roots.  

Final Thoughts 

Terrarium plants have become the most popular way of keeping plants in the household. They add special and personal touches to your living space. Your terrarium plant reflects your personality and artistic visualization. 

Terrarium plants are also suitable for people who love plants but do not have the time to tend to an outdoor garden. You can raise a terrarium plant.

Terrarium plants also have their benefits. They serve as humidifiers in the home and they are therapeutic. 

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Emmanuel Orta
Emmanuel Orta

Hi, I am Emmanuel, and I love everything about insects, plants and building terrariums.

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