Plants for Closed Terrariums: Our Top Picks

Maintaining a closed terrarium can be quite difficult, but if you know the best plants for closed terrariums, it can actually be quite easy. Learn how to take care of your closed terrarium while knowing which plants to choose when making your own.

Closed terrariums create a magnificent ecosystem that adds much beauty to your home. It only takes one or two closed terrariums to transform your home decor from drab to fab. You don’t need to be an expert to create a perfect closed terrarium. All you need to do is choose the right plants that thrive in relatively warm and humid conditions. It would be best if you also chose small enough plants for your terrarium that thrive in low light. The terrarium should be easy to maintain if you choose the right plants.

So, what are some of the best plants for a closed terrarium? The best plants for a closed terrarium thrive in relatively humid and warm temperatures. These plants must be well-adapted to survive in relatively low light and are generally petite, depending on the size of your terrarium. Some plants that meet these conditions include African Violets, ferns, moss, the nerve plant, Mini English Ivy, Strawberry Begonia, the Baby Tears plant, and the Mini Pixie. Others include the Moon Valley Pilea, Aluminum plant, String of Turtles, and the Creeping.

This blog post discusses some of the best plants for closed terrariums. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

What Is a Closed Terrarium?

A closed terrarium is an enclosed environment used to grow plants indoors. This type of terrarium provides a humid, warm, and controlled atmosphere, making it ideal for growing plants that cannot tolerate drastic changes in temperature or humidity levels.

The container should be sealed tightly with either glass or plastic, ensuring the right conditions are met inside the terrarium.

If you are relatively new to terrariums, you might be tempted to think that closed and open terrariums are the same. However, this is not the case.

A jar transformed to a closed terrarium.
Closed terrariums are their own ecosystem.

Closed terrariums are sealed and require little maintenance compared to open terrariums, requiring more frequent watering, misting, and good airflow.

Closed terrariums are their own ecosystem. They even have their own mini water cycle. This is why plants in a closed terrarium should be kept from being watered frequently.

What Makes a Good Closed Terrarium Plant?

Closed terrariums are tropical rainforest generators where it is warm and humid. It means that plants need to be adapted to thrive in such conditions. Here are the things you should look for when choosing a closed terrarium plant:

A closed terrarium on a shelf.
Closed terrariums are tropical rainforest generators where it is warm and humid.
  • Small size – The container you use will determine the size of plants you can put inside your terrarium, so make sure to choose those that are small enough to fit.
  • Low light – Plants in a closed terrarium are exposed to minimal light, so make sure that the plants you choose can grow with little or no direct sunlight.
  • Thrive in humidity and warmth – The environment inside your terrarium should be warm and humid, so pick plants adapted to such conditions.
  • Survive with minimal airflow – Typically, a closed terrarium does not have much airflow, so make sure the plants you choose can survive with minimal air circulation.

What Are the Best Plants for a Closed Terrarium?

Now that you know what makes a good, closed terrarium plant, let us discuss some of the best plant species to consider for your terrarium:

1. Ferns

Ferns are ideally suited to life in a closed terrarium. These plants love the consistent humidity and heat that a closed terrarium environment provides and love low-light conditions.

A fern on a small closed bottle terraium.
Ferns are ideally suited to life in a closed terrarium.

With terrarium ferns ranging from miniature varieties of common houseplants to relatively compact tropical ferns, there is a lot you can choose from.

2. Mosses

One of the most popular plants for a closed terrarium is moss. Moss loves moist, humid areas and does well in an enclosed environment.

Not only do they look great, but they also provide a beautiful green carpet that enhances the look of your terrarium. Plus, some species can even filter air pollutants, making them an ideal choice for closed terrariums.

3. Friendship Plant

With its bronze veins, well-textured green leaves, and red undersides, the Friendship plant is one of the best beginner plants for anyone interested in having a closed terrarium at their home.

The Friendship plant gets its name due to its fast rooting, making it relatively easy to share with your family and friends. Given the right growing conditions, the little plant can even reward you with pale pink flowers once in a while.

It would be best to keep the potting mix moist and expose it to at least six hours of indirect sunlight daily. The plant can grow up to 12 inches tall.

The Friendship plant is an easy-care and fast-growing plant that provides your closed terrarium with an extra lush feel.

If you are looking for something more upright, combine it with the Moon Valley species. However, if you are okay with getting too leggy, pinch off its growing tips to make it more compact.

4. Nerve Plant

The Nerve plant is ideal for a closed terrarium as it can thrive in a warm, humid environment. It has long, narrow leaves, often arranged in bright green waves or fans.

You can make your nerve plant look even more appealing by adding pink or white accents to its foliage. Plus, you don’t have to worry about finding the right soil mix or light requirements as it can adapt to various conditions.

A nerve plant on a closed tarrarium.
The Nerve plant is ideal for a closed terrarium due to its bright and lively foliage.

You should water your nerve plant when the topsoil starts drying out. Ensure not to overwater, as this may cause its foliage to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

The Nerve plant is ideal for a closed terrarium due to its bright and lively foliage. The plant can grow up to 10 inches tall.

5. African Violets

African violets are small, delicate plants that thrive in humid and warm environments. They require a little sunlight but can survive quite well in the low-light conditions of a closed terrarium.

These plants also flower frequently and give out delicate purple flowers, which makes them a great addition to any terrarium.

The African Violet is relatively easy to care for and is an excellent choice if you want something that does not need maintenance or trimming. The plant will do just fine with some occasional light watering.

6. Peperomias

The Peperomia genus refers to a group of relatively small, compact plants that grow on rotting wood in their natural habitat. They can grow to about 12 inches under the right conditions. These plants are primarily found in South America’s tropical and subtropical areas.

While individual species vary in size, color patterns, and shape, most peperomia leaves are generally thick, smooth, and relatively fleshy. Like other tropical and subtropical plants, they thrive in relatively low light conditions. Most of them do well under full shade.

Some of the most popular peperomia species for closed terrariums include the Peperomia caperata, which grows to a height of about six inches; the Peperomia obtusifolia, which is a bit large but still stays under a foot, and the Peperomia argyreia that has attractive silver stripes in its leaves.

The peperomias are ideal for closed terrariums because of their low maintenance and ability to thrive in humid environments. They also provide your terrarium with an exotic look.

7. Miniature English Ivy

The miniature English Ivy, Hedera helix, is an excellent choice for a closed terrarium. It is widely appreciated for its fast growth and attractive foliage that can vary between deep greens and variegated varieties.

A hedra helix on a terrarium.
The miniature English Ivy is an excellent choice for closed terrariums due to its fast growth rate, easy maintenance, and attractive foliage.

The English Ivy does best in indirect sunlight, but it can survive even in low light conditions of a terrarium as long as the soil is kept moist. It will quickly be vining up and create a lush, green coverage of your terrarium. Just make sure to prune it regularly and keep the vines in check.

The miniature English Ivy is an excellent choice for closed terrariums due to its fast growth rate, easy maintenance, and attractive foliage that can give your terrarium an extra touch of green.

If you are okay with getting too leggy, you must pinch off its growing tips to make it more compact. It will remain alive and vibrant even after the pruning has been done.

8. Baby Tears Plant

The baby tears plant is a delightful addition to any closed terrarium. It is an evergreen plant with small, bright green foliage that looks like tiny drops of water.

These plants do best in partial shade but thrive in low light conditions as long as the soil is always kept moist. This means that you will need to water the baby tears plant often.

Baby tears are great for closed terrariums because of their size, vibrant colors, and low-maintenance requirements. They look best when planted in clusters or grouped with other small plants.

Its little leaves and delicate foliage can add character to your terrarium and make it look lusher. Plus, it is a great oxygen producer, making your terrarium healthier.


Closed terrariums can provide a beautiful and exciting ecosystem in your home. However, choosing the right plants that are well-adapted to survive in relatively warm and humid conditions with little or no direct sunlight is essential.

Some of the best plants for closed terrariums include Peperomia, Miniature English Ivy and the Baby Tears Plant.

All these plants can add a unique touch of beauty to your terrarium while providing you with low maintenance requirements.

So, consider all your options before choosing the right plants for your closed terrarium!

Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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