What Plants Grow in a Terrarium

Whether used to grow plants that require high humidity or to simply contain a small number of ornamental plants, terrariums are a fun way to bring an array of plants indoors. Terrariums make wonderful gifts and are easy to assemble, requiring a clear glass bowl or bell jar, soil and a handful of carefully chosen plants.


Succulents are an excellent choice for a low-maintenance terrarium. There are many different species of succulents that are widely available in small sizes at nurseries, and often even at supermarkets. Popular species include Voodoo Sedum (Sedum spurium), which boasts small red flowers and fleshy foliage, and the colorful Sunset Strain (Lewisia cotyledon), a multicolored succulent native to California. Succulent terrariums should always have well-draining soil and bright sunlight.

Thimble Cactus

Native to Central America, Thimble Cactus (Mammillaria fragilis) is a small, easy-to-care-for cactus that looks lovely in a desert-themed terrarium. The pale green cactus produces offshoots that give the overall plant a layered, globular appearance. Covered in small white needles and accented with waxy yellow flowers, the Thimble Cactus is an attractive cactus that can be paired with other succulents. The Thimble Cactus should be grown in bright light in well-drained, gravelly soil.

Venus Fly Trap

Native exclusively to North and South Carolina in the United States, the Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that uses a trapping mechanism to catch small insect prey. Exotic and fascinating, Venus Fly Traps are commonly grown in terrariums by carnivorous plant enthusiasts. While widely available, they plants do require a moderate amount of care. Venus Fly Traps should be grown in a terrarium in bright (but not blisteringly hot) light. Venus Fly Traps require acidic, well-drained soil.

Keywords: terrarium plants, plant types, terrarium care

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.