Choosing Terrarium Plants

Making a terrarium is even easier with this helpful guide to choosing terrarium plants.

Growing terrarium plants is a fun hobby that kids love. And terrariums are a great way to bring plants indoors.

Growing terrarium plants is also easy as can be. In a closed terrarium, plants will hardly ever need watering and can grow effort-free for years.

Moss Flower Arrangement

What You Need

Succulents, violets, moss and many tropical plants grow well in terrariums—just make sure your plant choices all have the same watering needs.

Photo by: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser. Design by Lindsay Coletta.

Photo by Heidi Geldhauser. Design by Lindsay Coletta.

Succulents, violets, moss and many tropical plants grow well in terrariums—just make sure your plant choices all have the same watering needs.

Basic Terrarium Plant Tips

But which plants do best in these pint-sized gardens? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Generally speaking you want to pick plants that can tolerate humidity, since the enclosed nature of a terrarium traps in moisture. Also keep in mind that terrarium plants need to be able to tolerate low or indirect light.

  • Choose plants that are small enough for your terrarium. You don’t want the plants' leaves to touch the sides of the container.

  • Succulents and cacti can grow in a terrarium, but it’s best to use an open container that will retain less humidity. You should also add some sand to the potting mix to mimic the plants’ native environment.

Terrarium Plant Choices

There are many great choices for terrarium plants, but here are some favorites:

  • Moss: Mosses are a common terrarium staple as they’re easy to find and easy to grow. Scottish and Irish moss are two popular, hardy choices.

  • Baby’s Tears: Also called Angel’s Tears, this plant is made up of tiny leaves that look great in a small scale. It grows abundantly which can be a problem in an outdoor garden, but it does well contained in a terrarium.

  • African Violet: This desirable, purple-blossomed plant can be difficult to grow in an open pot. They require a humid, warm environment. A terrarium makes it easy to provide both. Plant first in potting soil, then enclose the plant in a closed glass container.

  • Creeping Fig: A dwarf variety of this tree-like plant can look like a tiny forest inside your terrarium. Creeping figs will tolerate some shade and/or indirect light. They grow quickly, but can be pruned back with ease.

  • Spider Plant: Chlorophytum comosum is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Spider plants have long, narrow leaves growing in rosettes and they like moist conditions. Also, some studies have shown that spider plant is among a group of plants that improve indoor air quality by absorbing harmful elements in the air.

More Terrarium Plant Options

How to Make Your Terrarium

Excited to start your own terrarium? Find easy step-by-step directions and some design ideas.

Create a Closed-Lid Terrarium

Easy steps for bringing the outdoors inside.

Check out these resources for supplies:

Teresa’s Plants offers everything from tiny decorations to terrarium plants and more.

Two Green Thumbs specializes in miniature gardening, selling miniature trees, tiny plants, furniture, accents and more.

Next Up

Create a Closed-Lid Terrarium

Easy steps for bringing the outdoors inside.

How to Create a Terrarium

Learn how to create a tabletop terrarium with these simple step-by-step instructions.

The Best Herbs for Container Gardening

Most common herbs adapt easily to life in containers, so if you have room for a few potted plants outside, try a small herb garden.

Start a Mason Jar Herb Garden

Move your herb garden indoors using recycled canning jars.

How to Plan a Vegetable Garden

HGTV can make vegetable garden planning less intimidating with tips on garden design and suggestions on how to choose vegetables to grow.

HGTV Obsessed Episode 17: Kelly Edwards

This week’s episode is all about gardening. We’ll talk 2021 gardening trends with Kelly Edwards, get veggie-garden advice from Kelly Smith Trimble, then learn spring houseplant care from the Plant Daddies.

Grow a Woodland Garden

Brambles and trees can hide potential jewels, says Brett McLeod, author of The Woodland Homestead. Use his tips to make the most of your wooded land.

The 12 Best Kits + Tools to Get Kids Hooked on Gardening

Foster an interest in both indoor and outdoor gardening with these educational hands-on kits and kid-sized tools.

Choosing Plants for Your Landscaping

Get tips for selecting and placing plants that work for your yard.

Companion Planting With Cilantro

Cilantro serves as a powerful companion plant in the vegetable garden, attracting beneficial insects that prey on insect pests of a variety of crops, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, beans and more.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages