Top 10 Small Plants for Terrariums

Terrariums are a delightful way to bring a touch of nature indoors. They create miniature ecosystems that thrive in closed containers, adding a vibrant burst of greenery to any space. However, finding the perfect plants for small terrariums can be a challenge. You want plants that will stay small and not outgrow their containers. To help you navigate this quest, we have curated a list of top 10 must-have plants for tiny terrariums. So, put on your gardening gloves and let’s explore!

1. Pilea glauca: The Elegant Vine

Pilea glauca

Pilea glauca is an elegant vine, perfect for small closed terrariums. Its exquisite silvery leaves add a sense of scale and beauty to your mini garden. Whether you have a tiny build or a larger terrarium, Pilea glauca is a must-have.

2. String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata): Charming and Unique

String of Turtles

String of Turtles is a terrarium plant staple. With its lime green rounded leaves and dark markings, it creates the illusion of baby turtles cascading across your terrarium. Feel free to give it a haircut if it grows too long for your liking.

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3. Fluffy Ruffles Sword Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’): Big Energy in a Small Package

Fluffy Ruffles Fern

Love the Sword Fern but struggle with its size? The Fluffy Ruffles Sword Fern is the perfect solution. It retains all the energy and beauty of its larger counterparts but fits perfectly in a tiny terrarium.

4. Marcgravia sintenisii: A Captivating Shingling Plant

Marcgravia sintenisii

With foliage that transitions from vibrant red to green, Marcgravia sintenisii emulates the colors of a mesmerizing sunset. Mount it on hardscape or a terrarium background to create a stunning visual impact.

5. Peacock Fern / Peacock Moss (Selaginella uncinata): True Beauty

Selaginella uncinata

Peacock Fern, also known as Peacock Moss, captivates with its stunning blue-green shades and iridescent tones. Its delicate turquoise foliage and creeping growth pattern add texture and contrast to your terrarium.

6. Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila): For Wild Lush Overgrowth

Ficus pumila

If you love wild, luscious overgrowth, Creeping Fig is the plant for you. This bright green vine will effortlessly take over your terrarium, creating a lush and vibrant environment.

7. Humata heterophylla: The Often Overlooked Marvel

Humata heterophylla

Humata heterophylla is a tropical delight with spearhead-shaped leaves and delicate ridges. It makes an excellent ground cover and adds feather-like fronds to your terrarium.

8. Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata): A Unique Addition

Dischidia ovata

Watermelon Dischidia features oval-shaped emerald green leaves with white venation, giving it the appearance of a watermelon. This vining plant adds a unique touch to your terrarium and can be trimmed back to fit small spaces.

9. Mini Asian Water Fern (Bolbitis heteroclita ‘Difformis’): Delicate and Versatile

Bolbitis heteroclita

Bolbitis heteroclita ‘Difformis’ is a dainty fern with delicate frilled fronds that resemble parsley. It adds texture to any terrarium and looks fantastic when planted alongside broader leaves.

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10. Nerve Plant (Fittonia): A Classic Terrarium Plant


No terrarium roundup is complete without Fittonia. This bright and striking plant, with its signature venation in contrasting colors, adds a splash of vibrant beauty to your terrarium.

BONUS Mood Moss (Dicranum scoparium): Lush and Versatile
Mood Moss

No terrarium is complete without moss, and Mood Moss is our all-time favorite. Its versatility, fluffy texture, and vibrant green color make it a perfect addition to any terrarium.

Remember, this list is just the beginning. There are countless small plants out there waiting to be discovered. So, let your imagination run wild, and create a stunning terrarium that brings nature’s beauty into your home.

For all your terrarium needs, visit Ames Farm Center. Happy terrarium gardening!