List of Terrarium Plants

Terrariums are an excellent way to bring exotic plants into the home that otherwise would not be able survive. Whether one uses a bell jar, a specialized terrarium or a glass fish bowl, terrariums provide an unusual and whimsical way to garden. There are a number of plants that will thrive inside a terrarium.

Venus Fly Trap

Native only to a North and South Carolina in the United States, the Venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that is often coveted for terrariums. The unusual looking plant has a series of traps that lure and digest insect prey. Venus fly traps require terrariums for humidity, and should be kept in bright light (though not blisteringly hot heat). The plant should be grown in a potting soil that is an acidic mix of sand and peat moss.


Succulents can be utilized to make a low maintenance, attractive desert terrarium. Nurseries often carry a selection of tiny succulents that can be planted into a succulent terrarium. Voodoo succulent (Sedum spurium), Chinese dunce cap (Orostachys iwarenge) and sunset strain (Lewisia cotyledon) are just a few of the succulents that can be used. Start with a layer of gravel for drainage, followed with a layer of cactus potting mix and a thin layer of sand. Place terrarium in direct sunlight and water every two weeks, withholding water in the winter.

Tropical Sundews

Tropical sundews (Drosera spp.) are carnivorous plants that can be grown with some effort in a terrarium. Sundews have gleaming sticky glands that they use to attract and ensnare prey. Drosera capensis, a small sundew native to tropical Africa, and Drosera adelae, a species native to Australia, are two sundew types that are commonly grown in terrariums. Though these glistening plants are tropical, they should be kept out of direct sunlight. Plant them in a mixture of sphagnum peat moss and sand (or perlite), and water with rainwater once a week.

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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.