terrarium is a clear water- tight container that can hold soil, small plants, and decorative additions. It allows both heat and light to enter. Terraria (plural) can be open to the environment or sealed.

Use the open variety for succulent or semi- succulent plants (“dry plants”) that prefer dry air rather than high humidity. Some of the best plants for an open terrarium are air plants, echeveria, jade, kalanchoe, sedum, hawarthia, or small cacti.  Plants that require bright direct light also do better in an open terrarium. Avoid using plants with a large root system.

Closed terrariums are mini ecosystems that create a humid environment by retaining much of their moisture. In fact you may have to open a sealed terrarium and wipe down the sides if too much humidity builds up inside. Excellent plants for a closed terrarium are: pilea, nerve plants, baby’s tears, spider wort, aluminum plants, mini begonias, mini orchids, button ferns, and creeping fig. Avoid using tall climbing plants and plants with a large root system.

When creating a terrarium, be sure to use plants that have the same lighting, watering, humidity, and feeding requirements. It’s a recipe for failure to put a succulent plant that needs very bright light, dry soil, and low humidity in with a fern that thrives on moist soil, high humidity, and medium light. Find care requirements for specific plants in the Popular Houseplants section of the website.


How Often Should I Water Succulent Plants in a Terrarium?

Allow the soil to dry out before watering Succulent Plants in a terrarium. How often depends upon how much light and heat the terrarium gets?

Why Are the New Leaves on the Plants in My Terrarium Pale Looking and Not as Green as the Old Ones?

The new pale leaves on your terrarium plants may me an indication that your terrarium needs more bright light. Try moving it to a brighter location and see if the problem improves.

What Should I Do if a Plant Dies in My Terrarium?

It is very important to keep a terrarium clean and free of dead leaves and flowers. If a plant dies, immediately remove it and try to determine why it died.