11 Best Plants for Terrariums: Creating Your Miniature Green World

Terrariums offer a unique way to bring a piece of nature into your home or office, serving as a living piece of art that requires minimal maintenance. Choosing the best plants for terrariums is crucial to create a thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem. This guide will introduce you to 11 plants that are perfect for terrariums, focusing on their suitability for the closed, humid environment a terrarium provides.

Why Choose These Plants for Your Terrarium?

The best plants for terrariums are those that thrive in high humidity and can adapt to the limited space of a terrarium. These plants are chosen for their small size, low maintenance needs, and ability to create a visually appealing miniature landscape.

Top 11 Plants for Terrariums

1. Moss (Various Species)

Moss is a staple among plants for terrariums, celebrated for its ability to create a verdant, textured ground covering that mimics a miniature forest floor. Its low height and preference for moist environments make it an ideal base plant, contributing to the terrarium’s overall health by maintaining humidity.

2. Ferns (Miniature Varieties)

Miniature ferns are a dreamy addition to any terrarium. Their preference for indirect light and love for humidity align perfectly with the terrarium environment. Varieties like the Button Fern or Lemon Button Fern add an intricate layer of greenery, showcasing the diversity possible in terrarium plantings.

3. Fittonia (Nerve Plant)

Fittonia or Nerve Plant for Terrariums

Fittonia, or Nerve Plant, stands out in terrariums due to its vividly veined leaves, bringing an explosion of color to the miniature landscape. Its need for consistent moisture and avoidance of direct sunlight makes it a perfect match for the terrarium’s conditions, ensuring a thriving display.

4. Pilea (Aluminum Plant)

The Aluminum Plant, with its unique silver markings, adds a futuristic touch to terrariums. This plant’s compact growth and preference for moist, well-drained soil align seamlessly with terrarium care, making it a low-maintenance choice for enclosed ecosystems.

5. Peperomia (Radiator Plant)

Peperomia for Terrarium Plants

Peperomia plants are cherished for their diverse appearance and adaptability, making them excellent plants for terrariums. Their ability to thrive in the humid, indirect light of a terrarium and their minimal root system make them a hassle-free addition that adds variety and texture.

6. Selaginella (Spike Moss)

Selaginella, often called Spike Moss, offers lush, vibrant greenery with a fern-like texture, perfect for adding depth to your terrarium. It thrives in the consistent moisture of a terrarium, contributing to the ecosystem’s balance and beauty.

7. Hypoestes (Polka Dot Plant)

The Polka Dot Plant injects a playful burst of color with its spotted leaves, making it a favorite for adding visual interest to terrariums. It’s ideal for terrarium environments, as it flourishes under indirect light and requires the high humidity that terrariums naturally provide.

8. Cryptanthus (Earth Star)

Cryptanthus for Terrariums

Cryptanthus, or Earth Star, is a terrestrial bromeliad whose star-shaped, colorful foliage provides a striking contrast to the greenery typically found in terrariums. This plant’s low-light and moisture needs make it an excellent fit for the terrarium lifestyle, requiring little care to maintain its vibrant appearance.

9. Baby Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

Baby Tears, with their delicate, lush carpeting effect, create a magical, fairy-tale foundation in terrariums. Their rapid growth and love for humid conditions make them an ideal ground cover, adding a sense of fullness and life to the terrarium’s landscape.

10. Terrarium Ivy (Small-Leaved Varieties)

Small-leaved ivies bring a touch of classic elegance to terrariums, with their ability to climb or cascade gracefully over the sides. These ivies adapt well to the humid, indirect light conditions of a terrarium, offering a dynamic element that encourages vertical growth or ground coverage.

11. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

The Venus Flytrap adds an exotic and interactive aspect to terrariums, fascinating onlookers with its carnivorous behavior. This unique plant thrives in the moist, bog-like conditions of a terrarium and is a testament to the diverse ecosystems that terrariums can replicate, making it a captivating choice for enthusiasts looking for something out of the ordinary.


Creating a terrarium is a rewarding experience that allows you to craft a miniature ecosystem that can bring life to any room. The best plants for terrariums, as highlighted in this list, are chosen for their compatibility with the humid, enclosed environments terrariums provide. By selecting the right plants, you can ensure your terrarium is not only beautiful but also thriving. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, these plants offer the perfect starting point for creating your very own green oasis.

For more information on plant care and exploring the wonderful hobby of household plants, check out the rest of our indoor plant care guides on the LeafWise website!