The first plant terrariums appeared in the Victorian era and certainly created a sensation. They are very undemanding in their spectacular appearance. Because evaporation in an almost closed container is limited, watering is required infrequently and modestly. Creating a composition does not involve a lot of cost – just a container, soil and plants.
Microclimate in a terrarium is similar to a tropical one: high air humidity and rather fast heating when exposed to sunlight (which is better to be careful with, so that the plants don’t boil). Accordingly, compact species from similar natural environment will adapt best to such conditions – humid air will only benefit them.
Relief leaves with beautiful coloring can be both an accent and a background of a composition. Peleia grows quickly, tolerates a lack of light, and sometimes delights with small pink flowers. The maximum size it can reach is 30 cm in height and diameter – almost any container will do for growing.
Cryptanthus bivittatus Cryptanthus bivittatus
An ornate star-shaped plant of the Bromeliad family. The coloring of the strap-shaped leaves can combine red, crimson, white and deep green – the brightness of the stripes varies depending on the amount of light. The plant grows slowly and reaches 15 cm in height – ideal for growing in a terrarium.
Fittonia Verschaffeltii Fittonia verschaffeltii
The tropical nerve plant, as it is popularly called, has beautiful miniature leaves of burgundy or white-green color. Warm and humid air, no draughts – optimal conditions for keeping fittonia. It does not reach more than 30 cm in height.
Peromia crumpled Peperomia caperata
It gets its name from the interesting texture of its leaves. Their deep green hue is nice on its own, but if you prefer variegated forms, there is also a variegated peperomia. Although the flowers are small, they make a fine match for the foliage. The maximum height of the plant is 15 cm, the ideal keeping conditions are high humidity and a small, but regular, access to light.
Selaginella crausa Selaginella kraussiana
Although celaginella does not reach more than 15 cm in height, it willingly spreads out and can occupy an area of half a meter, for which reason it is used in the southern regions as a groundcover. Therefore, when growing in a terrarium, the plant requires periodic pruning. Bright green foliage blends well with darker plants. Keep the substrate moist, but not too wet.
Pileia glauca Pileia glauca
Small silvery leaves, looking like coins, will not leave anyone indifferent. Pelea glauca reaches up to 30 cm in height, prefers high humidity and low light, can be grown on support and due to its delicate forms it blends well with other plants.
Grain Acorus gramineus
Another extremely undemanding plant for a terrarium. It doesn’t exceed 35 cm in height. Don’t forget to ventilate the tank periodically (if it is closed) and check for condensation on the walls – its absence means it is time to water the plants (just a little).
The color of the thin leaves changes smoothly from green at the base to almost black at the ends. The plant grows to a height of about 35 cm and is therefore better planted in larger terrariums. To keep growth in check, refrain from fertilizing.
Asplenium bulbiferum Asplenium bulbiferum
Another plant for a large terrarium: the height of an adult asplenium is just over half a meter, the diameter of the shrub exceeds one meter. The plant needs regular pruning, prefers diffused light and is in harmony with fittonia, miniature varieties of coleus and mini orchids.
Stonecrop wattle Saxifraga stolonifera
Due to the interesting red-burgundy coloring of the heart-shaped leaves, the stonefly will do a great job as an accent. It grows quickly, but its branches will not exceed 20 cm in length.