The terrarium originated in Greece, over 2,000 years ago, as a clear glass container with a closed lid used to display plants. A terrarium provides a high-humidity environment for plants and is commonly used for plants that are difficult to grow indoors because of their moisture requirements. Terrariums are available as closed containers, open containers or dishes and are considered low maintenance when planted properly.
The African violet (Saintpaulia spp) is a low-growing plant that reaches a height of 1 to 6 inches. This plant produces fleshy leaves with a hairy texture and a five-lobed flower in shades of purple, violet, pale blue and white. Place the African violet in a terrarium that receives medium light, warm temperatures and has good soil drainage. African violet plants grow well in both an open or a dish terrarium.
The baby tears plant (Helxine soleirolii) is a small ground-cover plant that reaches a height of 1 to 3 inches. This non-flowering plant is creeping in nature with a moss-like appearance, but can be pinched off to create a mound. The plant prefers medium light conditions and warm temperatures. Baby tears grow well in either closed or open terrariums.
The bird's nest plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is hardy plant that will grow well in most environments. The plant produces green rosette leaves and will rarely flower. Place the plant in an area that provides low, medium or full light and a warm environment. Bird's nest is a low-growing plant that reaches a height of 3 to 6 inches and will grow well in a dish-type terrarium.
The creeping fig (Ficus pumila) is a low-growing plant that reaches a height of 1 to 3 inches. The plant is an evergreen vine that prefers medium light and warm temperatures. Creeping fig will form into a dense mat and cling to rough surfaces in a terrarium. The creeping fig will grow well in either a closed or dish-type terrarium.
The dwarf gloxinia plant (Sinningia pusilla) is a small, delicate plant that reaches a height of 1 to 3 inches. The plant is a relative of the African violet and is available in single- or double-flower types in the colors of white, pink, red and purple. Place the gloxinia plant in an area that has medium light conditions and warm temperatures as the plant will not tolerate cold. Dwarf gloxinia grow well in both a closed or open terrarium.
Gold Dust Dracaena
The gold dust dracaena (Dracaena godseffiana) is a slow-growing plant that reaches a height of 3 to 6 inches. The plant is non-flowering and produces oval leaves with green and cream spots. Place the plant in medium-light conditions and warm temperatures for best results. Gold dust dracaena grows in terrariums that are closed, open or dish style.