Select the Best Plants for a Small Plant Terrarium
written by: Donna Cosmato•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 4/10/2011
Terrariums and dish gardens are living landscapes and miniature indoor greenhouses cheering up home surroundings. Choosing the best plants for a small plant terrarium is easy-to-do by following this simple guide. Save money and invest in the best plants for your lifestyle.
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Top 5 Easy-to-Grow Low Light Houseplants
Terrariums and dish gardens brighten homes in any season. Choosing the best plants for indoors is worry-free when you use the handy tips in this guide.
Small Plant Terrarium Basics
Here are basic guidelines to consider when trying to choose the best plants for a small plant terrarium.
Focus on low light houseplants that stay small in height, grow slowly, and spread very little.
Avoid low light plants with invasive tendencies like mint or English ivy; they may overtake the terrarium.
Choose hardy small interior plants, that are low maintenance, and able to survive if they are neglected.
Purchase readymade terrariums or indoor greenhouses, or repurpose an existing container to make a dish garden.
Key features to focus on are adequate drainage and a means of maintaining appropriate humidity levels.
Determine the type of soil or growth medium, water requirements, and other specifics by the type of houseplants you choose.
Philodendrons (philodendron scandens) are the best variety for indoor gardening at any skill level. They are low light houseplants, easy to maintain, and thrive regardless of whether they receive tender loving care or utter neglect. Philodendrons are indigenous to tropical areas and prefer medium light and humidity. With an average full-grown height of about twelve inches, they are just right for indoor greenhouses.
Prayer plants (maranta leucoreura) are a nice addition with philodendrons or golden pothos. Although Prayer plants prefer high humidity, using them with other flowers, plants, or greenery generates sufficient humidity. They are small in height, about six to twelve inches, and are easy-care plants.
Golden Pothos (scindapsis aurea) is a showy indoor plant boasting beautiful green leaves with cream-colored stripes and marbling. Like philodendrons, Golden Pothos grow easily for anyone, thrive on medium light and humidity, but survive neglect. Pinch back new growth to control the shaping of the plant.
Parrot Pitcher plant (sarracenia psittacina) is a tiny carnivorous plant with intense brilliant coloration; red-veined leaves with white spots. The head of this houseplant looks like a parrot, hence the name. It is a rare and unique eye-catching plant adding pizzazz to otherwise common garden-variety terrariums.
Parrot Pitcher plants thrive with medium light, making them perfect for a small terrarium. Plant them near the front of the terrarium, and pinch back companion plants to showcase this diminutive species.
African violets (Saintpaulia spp.) add splashes of color. With over 40,000 varieties from which to choose, there is a suitable African violet for any garden. Many beginners start with miniature African violets for their first terrarium.
Planting and cultivating the best plants for a small plant terrarium is good for the health of body and soul. Caring for an indoor garden expresses the nurturing side of most people, and watching the tiny flowers and plants grow and mature gives a sense of achievement and self-satisfaction.