The 11 Best Plants to Grow In Your Terrarium

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Terrarium is a fancy word for a little indoor garden in a glass jar, and they happen to be all the rage. All you need is a can-do attitude to follow some simple step-by-step instructions to turn any glass container and some potting soil into a beautiful miniature garden.

So what are the best plants for a terrarium? First, it is important to know the plants you choose all have the same watering needs.

In general, terrarium plants should be petite. You don’t want them to touch the sides of your container. They also need to tolerate humidity and low, indirect light. Here are some plants to consider when planting your own terrarium.

1. Friendship Plant

The friendship plant grows to 12 inches tall and has distinct leaves with deep craters. A good choice for terrariums because friendship plants prefer moist soil and full shade to partial sun.


2. East Indian Holly Fern

These ferns enjoy the moist potting mix and high humidity found inside a terrarium. Its glossy leaves shine behind the glass, creating texture and visual interest.

Plant Delights Nursery

3. Watermelon Peperomia

Watermelon peperomia features green and silver variegated leaves, resembling watermelon skin. This plant enjoys moist conditions and grows up to 8 inches tall, making it ideal for terrarium life.

Peperomia on wooden background

4. Starfish Flower Cactus

The star-shape starfish cactus prefers humidity (despite being called a cactus) and has stunning strap-like leaves that change color depending on the light. Its slow-growing nature also makes it well-suited for a terrarium.


5. Nerve Plant

The nerve plant is a tropical plant with beautifully patterned leaves in white, burgundy and green. It thrives under the moist, warm air of a terrarium and will only reach 12 inches when fully mature.


6. Baby Tears Plant

This plant has delicate rounded leaves and loves high humidity and low light. Use its low-growing, carpeting nature as a good base for other plants in your terrarium. A baby tears plant will stay small — only 12 inches tall — making it easy to tuck into any terrarium.


7. Golden Clubmoss

Even though golden clubmoss reaches only 6 inches in height — it likes to spread, so it’s important to keep it trimmed inside a terrarium. The light green foliage provides a bright pop of color amidst darker-color plants.

golden club moss

8. Spiderwort

Spiderwort has long stems with spade-like leaves. Once upon a time, a spiderwort lasted 53 years in the same jar. Given this, I’d say the evidence that spiderwort performs well in bottle terrariums is strong to quite strong.


9. Air Plant

Interested in an air plant terrarium?  These amazing plants don’t even require soil, they get all of the water and nutrients they need through their specialized leaves.  Stunning, funnel-like flowers top slender, pale green leaves, making the plant a different, yet great terrarium choice.


10. African Violet

The delicate African violet produces blooms in blue, pink, purple and white. Ideal for terrarium life because it grows from a mere inch to 6 inches tall and likes moist soil.

Bright violet in pot on natural background

11. Strawberry Begonia

Red vertical stalks and flowers lend this plant the nickname strawberry begonia. Reaching a max height of 8 inches, this sweet plant offers a pop of color even when the flowers are not in bloom.