Plants for Terrariums

Terrariums are small-scale gardens grown in enclosed glass that allows sunlight to enter but prevents moisture from escaping. High humidity levels promote lush, green foliage and reduce the need for watering. The types of plants chosen determine the success of the terrarium. Small tropical or semi-tropical plants are well suited as terrarium plants.

Pink Polka Dot Plant

The pink polka dot plant with its splash of pastel-pink spots against its rich, green foliage makes an excellent terrarium plant. Not only does it thrive in closed-container terrariums, it adds color and dimension to any grouping. This little plant grows to 12 inches or more, but can be controlled with pinching to remain short and compact. Polka dot plant prefers bright light and warm temperatures.

Gold Dust Plant

The gold dust plant, named for its speckled green and gold foliage adds a splash of color when planted with less flashy plants. Growing to a height of 3 to 6 inches, this plant is ideal as either a miniature or medium-sized plant paired with larger upright plants. Its slow growing nature assists in maintaining size. It prefers warm temperatures and medium light.

Heart-leaved Philodendron

Add heart-leafed philodendron for height as this plant grows over 12 inches. Its glossy green foliage provides a striking contrast with smaller plants and enhances the color of delicate blooms from flowering plants. It prefers medium light and warm temperatures.

Spider Plant

Spider plants provide dramatic contrast as their green and white striped foliage cascades downward giving the illusion of a fountain in the midst of other tropical plants. Choose a 3- to 6-inch plant paired with a taller philodendron surrounded by miniature plants to create a focal point and to add depth to your miniature garden. Plantlets are produced on runners. Spider plant prefers medium light and warm temperatures.

Prayer Plant

Prayer plants provide dense foliage and subtle color to terrariums. Rounded leaves fold up at night earning them they name of prayer plant. Choose a 6- to 12-inch plant to add height to your terrarium. Prayer plants prefer medium light and warm temperatures.

Baby Tears

Baby tears create a mass of foliage with tiny round leaves. These miniature plants reach a height of 6 inches and creep to cover a width of 6 inches. Their moss-like appearance provides excellent ground cover and contrasts well other large-leafed plants. Baby's tears prefer medium light and high-humidity levels.

Keywords: miniature garden, terrarium plants, small-scale gardens

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.