Are you looking for a definitive guide on choosing the right plants for a completely sealed ecosystem? Closed terrarium plants could be the perfect option for you!
These specific types of plants thrive in this type of environment and I am here to give you everything you will need to get the ball rolling on your next build.
In this article, you’ll learn all about the benefits of closed terrarium plants, the types of plants best suited for these terrariums, how to set up and care for your terrarium, and some useful tips to keep your plants alive and thriving.
Benefits of Closed Terrarium Plants
Closed terrarium plants offer a number of benefits to the sealed environment. First, since they are housed in closed containers, they aid in keeping the inside of the container a highly humid environment. This means that they require much less maintenance than open terrariums or other house plants.
In addition, closed terrariums can help to increase focus and productivity in the workplace. The lush greenery of closed terrariums can provide a calming and inviting atmosphere, which can help to reduce stress and boost creativity.
Furthermore, closed terrariums require minimal care, so they can be kept looking beautiful with minimal effort.
Best Types of Closed Terrarium Plants
Some of the most popular plants for closed terrariums include tropical plants, moss, miniature ferns, orchids, and vines. Each of these plants is unique and requires different levels of care. With the right setup and maintenance, you will be able to enjoy your closed terrarium plants for years to come.
Tropical Plants For Closed Terrariums
When choosing tropical plants for closed terrariums, you should look for plants with low to moderate light requirements and those that are tolerant to dry air.
It is important to ensure that the plants you select have slow growth rates to avoid overcrowding the environment and check for any potential pests or diseases that may be present.
It is beneficial to research the specific requirements of each species beforehand to ensure success in creating a flourishing closed terrarium.
Miniature Ferns For Closed Terrariums
When picking miniature ferns for closed terrariums, it is important to select varieties that can tolerate humidity and low light.
While some standard varieties are too large for closed terrariums, there are smaller varieties that thrive in these conditions, making them an excellent choice.
Additionally, many ferns are also suitable, as they are able to tolerate low light and high humidity conditions. The best type of fern for your closed terrarium should be selected based on its size, light requirements, and humidity preference.
Orchids For Closed Terrariums
Closed terrariums can be an effective and stylish way to display different types of orchids. The best types of orchids to use are miniature orchids that can tolerate warmer temperatures.
These types of orchids prefer well-draining soil, low humidity, and indirect sunlight. With the proper terrarium setup and regular maintenance, these orchids can thrive and reward you with beautiful blooms.
Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.)
Moth Orchids, also known as Phalaenopsis spp., are a great choice for a closed terrarium plant. They are epiphytic, meaning they don‘t require soil as a growing substrate.
These plants prefer high humidity which makes them ideal for closed terrariums. Moth Orchids usually have several long stems with shiny green leaves and fragrant blooms of various shapes, sizes, and colors.
In addition, they can survive for long periods of time with minimal care, making them a low–maintenance choice for any terrarium. Overall, Moth Orchids will add beautiful and fragrant decoration to any closed terrarium.
Dendrobium Orchids (Dendrobium spp.)
Dendrobium Orchids are beloved for their stunning beauty and vibrant bloom of delicate petals. These plants feature thick, leathery foliage and slender, dense spikes with stiff leaves radiating out from the center.
These evergreen or semi–evergreen plants can grow from 12 to 36 inches tall, depending on the variety. The blooms range widely in color, from white to purple to yellow, and last up to one month.
With minimal care and attention, dendrobium orchids can be a great choice of plant for closed terrariums. Closed terrariums often have a higher moisture level and less air circulation than other types of terrariums, making dendrobium orchids well-suited to this environment.
In combination with the naturally humid air enclosure for an ideal environment for the plants. This combined with their low light needs plus the low maintenance requirements, make this hardy species an ideal choice for creating a genuinely captivating terrarium.
Laelia Orchids (Laelia spp.)
Laelia Orchids are an excellent choice for a closed terrarium plant due to the tropical conditions they thrive in. The orchids feature long stems filled with small star–shaped flowers and can come in shades of deep red, purple, blue, or white with contrasting colored lips.
These orchids prefer bright, indirect sunlight and temperatures between 16–24 degrees Celsius, making a closed terrarium the ideal environment. Since Laelia Orchids stay on the shorter side, they are perfect for closed terrariums and make an elegant addition to the environment.
Masdevallia Orchids (Masdevallia spp.)
Masdevallia Orchids are small and colorful flowering plants native to tropical and subtropical regions of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
They are an excellent choice for closed terrariums as they thrive in places where humidity is high, and need very little light. These plants feature small, flattened leaves and strikingly bright flowers, usually in shades of purple, red, pink, yellow, and white.
Their flowers can come in a variety of shapes and are known for their unique cupped–shaped blooms, making them a beautiful and interesting choice for terrariums.
In addition to their bright flowers and attractive foliage, they require very little maintenance and can greatly improve indoor air quality.
Tolumnia Orchids (Tolumnia spp.)
Tolumnia Orchids are a perfect choice of plant for closed terrariums. These plants are small and their trailing tendrils can easily fill and drape across any terrarium space.
They feature small round flowers which come in shades of yellow, white, brown, and pink, making them an attractive addition to any terrarium. Tolumnia Orchids are evergreen, growing throughout the year, and bloom multiple times with greater sunlight exposure.
They like warm and humid conditions, making them an ideal choice for enclosed terrariums. Additionally, Tolumnia Orchids require minimal attention and maintenance, so they‘re great for busy owners.
Platystele Orchids (Platystele spp.)
Platystele Orchids are a spectacular species of orchid that can make a great addition to any closed terrarium. Native to the humid forests of Central and South America, Platystele Orchids bear a distinctive star–shaped appearance with long, thin petals and delicate, spiked leaves.
The small size and low light requirements of Platystele Orchids make them a perfect choice for closed terrariums, as they will thrive in warm, humid environments with minimal addition of supplemental light.
Plus, their dramatic bloom and subtle scent add a wonderfully exotic touch to any terrarium display.
Dancing Lady Orchid (Oncidium spp.)
The Dancing Lady Orchid is a beautiful epiphytic orchid with an upright growth habit and distinctive colorful flowers that look like ballerinas dancing.
It can thrive in a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, making it an ideal choice for a closed terrarium.
Its long, root–like pseudobulbs are adapted for growing in a warm and humid environment and its foliage is generally sturdy with upright leaves that add to the overall look of the terrarium.
This orchid can make a very colorful and unique addition to a closed terrarium. Its bright colors will catch the eye and its ease of care will ensure that it survives and thrives in its new terrarium home.
Lepanthes Orchid (Lepanthes spp.)
Lepanthes orchid is a tropical plant species geared towards a closed atmosphere of a terrarium. The plant produces many branches and stems featuring several tiny blooms as a stunning visual display.
Lepanthes orchid is great for closed terrariums because of its petite size and its ability to thrive in sheltered, humid conditions. The unique blossoms survive in both low light and dark conditions, making them perfect for terrariums without natural light.
It‘s a semi–epiphytic species that is also popular for soil cultivation. The ideal condition for this plant is a mix of high levels of indirect sunlight, substrate, and steady temperatures between 68–85°F.
Lepanthes Orchid has distinct evergreen foliage, along with its flower shapes ranging from small cup–like shapes to large and delicate petals in an array of colors such as lavender, pink, and yellow. It‘s an attractive terrarium species with delicate beauty.
Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula spp.)
The Monkey Face Orchid is a species of orchid originating from Central and South America. It is a climber and grows upward with beautiful broad green leaves and sprays of sweetly–scented flowers.
The flowers of Dracula spp. resemble Monkey faces and come in shades of pale pink, pink, and yellow. It is a great choice of plant for closed terrariums since it is able to thrive in hot and humid environments.
It is also tolerant of little direct sunlight and can happily grow in direct sunlight in a well–drained terrarium. As it is evergreen it will add vibrant color to your terrarium all year round, making it a great centerpiece.
With minimal care, this plant can grow with ease even in a sealed terrarium and is an eye–catching addition to any home or greenhouse.
Cattleya Orchids (Cattleya spp.)
Cattleya Orchids are a fantastic choice as a closed terrarium plant. These orchids are known for their large and showy flowers, often in shades of white, pink, or purple.
The orchid genus includes over 180 different species, ranging in size, color, and shape of their petals. The leaves of the Cattleya Orchid are generally dark green and can be grown indoors in a closed terrarium.
Closed terrariums provide a warm and humid environment, making them the perfect habitat for a Cattleya Orchid.
As an added bonus, the attractive and eye–catching flowers provided by these plants can really play up the look of the terrarium.
Vines For Closed Terrariums
Vining plants are a great option for closed terrariums because they can add color and texture to any enclosed space. Not only that, but they can also help keep temperatures stable and circulate fresh air.
Some of the best types of vining plants to use in a closed terrarium include Philodendrons, Pothos, and English Ivy. These are hardy, easy-to-care-for plants that require limited light and will create stunning greenery in any terrarium.
Moss For Closed Terrariums
Using the best types of moss in a closed terrarium helps to create a lush and vibrant miniature garden.
These mosses can help reduce the humidity levels within the terrarium and absorb excess water, which can aid in maintaining a healthy and productive environment for plants and animals.
The right mosses will help to bring balance to the terrarium as well as provide a home for microorganisms that can help break down waste and provide nutrition for plants and animals.
Additionally, the right mosses can help to add a natural aesthetic, making the terrarium even more beautiful.
Setting Up Your Closed Terrarium
- Choose the right terrarium container: Select a container that is the right size and shape for your plants, as well as one that has a lid to keep humidity in.
- Choose the right terrarium soil: Use soil specifically designed for terrariums or make your own using equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
- Pick the perfect plants: Choose plants that will work well in a closed terrarium, such as the tropical plants, moss, miniature ferns, orchids, and vines we covered earlier.
- Add a drainage layer: Put a layer of gravel or stones at the bottom of the container for drainage.
- Place your plants: Place the plants in the terrarium and arrange them so that they look pleasing.
- Add water: Carefully water your terrarium plants, making sure not to over-water them.
- Seal the terrarium: Place the lid on the terrarium to maintain the humidity.
- Place in the right spot: Place the terrarium in an area that gets indirect light, such as a windowsill. If you have a proper lighting setup, place it anywhere within a room that doesn’t receive direct sunlight.
Caring For Closed Terrarium Plants
Caring for a closed terrarium is relatively easy and low maintenance. Ensure the terrarium is in the right environment with the correct intensity of light, water, and temperature.
Use the guide above to choose the right soil and terrarium container for the plants, and pick the perfect plants for the environment. With proper care, closed terrarium plants can thrive for years.
Light is an essential element for a closed terrarium. Without proper terrarium lighting, your terrarium plants will not be able to photosynthesize and eventually die. Depending on the type of plants you have in your terrarium, you will need to provide the right amount of light for them to thrive.
For most terrariums, indirect sunlight from a nearby window is usually enough. If your terrarium isn’t located near a window, you may need to supplement it with a grow light of some sort. Make sure to get a light with the correct intensity and color spectrum for your plants, as different types of plants need different amounts of light.
You should also adjust the light depending on the season, as plants will need more light during the winter months. Finally, you should provide some dark periods for your plants to rest.
Most plants should be exposed to 12-14 hours of light each day, with the remaining 10-12 hours in the dark. This will help them to naturally adjust to their environment and thrive in your terrarium.
Watering a closed terrarium is a delicate balance. Too much water and the plants can become waterlogged, while too little water and the plants can become dried out. It is important to keep the soil damp but not soaked.
Generally, a closed terrarium should only need to be watered every two to three months. When watering, use a spray bottle to lightly mist the soil and plants until the soil is evenly damp. Be sure not to water the leaves or the glass walls, as this can encourage the growth of mold and bacteria.
Depending on the type of plants in the terrarium, you may need to adjust the frequency of watering. Plants with thicker leaves, such as orchids, may need to be watered more often. If you are ever unsure, it is best to tread on the side of caution and wait a few days before watering.
Temperature is an important factor to consider when setting up and caring for a closed terrarium. Ideally, a closed terrarium should be kept in a temperature range of 18-24°C (65-75°F). This range should provide the optimum environment for the plants to thrive.
If the temperature is too low, the plants may become dormant and growth may be stunted. Similarly, too high temperatures can cause the plants to wilt and die. The temperature of the terrarium can also affect the amount of moisture inside the enclosure.
Warm air is able to hold more moisture than cold air, so higher temperatures will result in increased humidity inside the terrarium. This is important to note because many plants that are suited to closed terrariums prefer high-humidity environments.
Finally, the temperature of a closed terrarium should stay relatively consistent. Big variations in temperature can cause the plants to become stressed, so it’s important to ensure that the terrarium is not placed in direct sunlight or near any heating sources.
Closed terrarium plants are an excellent way to bring a touch of nature into your home. They are easy to maintain and require just a few simple steps to ensure proper care. With the right conditions, these plants can thrive and bring a beautiful, natural element to your space.
Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant to keep in your home or office, or a unique addition to your decor, closed terrarium plants are a perfect choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several types of plants that can live in a closed terrarium including air plants, mosses, orchids, ferns, vines, and tropical plants.
The lifespan of a closed terrarium depends on the plants and other materials used to set up the terrarium, as well as the amount of care given. Generally, a closed terrarium can last from months to several years.
Yes, closed terrariums can get moldy due to the increased humidity and lack of air circulation. To avoid this, terrariums should be opened regularly to allow air to circulate and excess moisture to evaporate.
The frequency of misting a closed terrarium will depend on what type of plants are in the terrarium and the environment in which it is kept. Generally, it is recommended to mist the terrarium once or twice a week, making sure all plants have been adequately watered.
1. Not cleaning soil and gravel before adding it to the terrarium.
2. Not providing enough ventilation.
3. Not ensuring the layers of the terrarium are properly proportioned.
4. Using soil that drains too quickly or too slowly.
5. Not allowing for proper drainage in the terrarium.
6. Overcrowding plants and not leaving adequate space between them.
7. Not using enough soil for the plants.
8. Not using the proper type of light for the plants.
9. Not using the right type of plants for the terrarium’s environment.
10. Not providing enough water to the terrarium.
No, activated charcoal is not necessary for a closed terrarium. It can be used to improve air quality and odor, but a healthy terrarium should be able to maintain an adequate balance without it.
To create a terrarium, select a container that is the right size and shape for your plants, with a lid to keep humidity in. Use soil specifically designed for terrariums or make your own with equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. Choose plants that will work well in a closed terrarium, such as tropical plants, moss, miniature ferns, orchids, and vines. Put a layer of gravel or stones at the bottom of the container for drainage, then carefully place the plants in and arrange them. Water your terrarium plants, making sure not to over–water them. Place the lid on the terrarium, then place it in an area that gets indirect light, such as a windowsill.
Closed terrariums need indirect light, as direct sunlight can cause the plants to overheat. Place them in a spot that gets bright, natural light, but not direct sun. An east– or west–facing window would be ideal.
A good closed terrarium plant should be able to withstand higher humidity and temperature levels, have little to no need for regular pruning and tolerate a few days of lower light or shade. Popular types of plants used in closed terrariums include vines, miniature ferns, tropical plants, and orchids.