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The Best Plants For Open Terrarium | Expert Recommendations

This article showcases our top picks for the Best Plants For Open Terrarium. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Devil’s Ivy Golden Pothos

This product was recommended by Elle Meager from Outdoor Happens

Plants for an open terrarium need to be low-maintenance and capable of dealing with various conditions. Golden Pothos ticks all the boxes. Not only does it look lush with its variegated foliage, but it can also help to purify the air inside your home. It is one of the easiest plants to carefor. It grows well in low-light conditions, and it handles both dry and wet conditions. So, if you didn’t quite get the watering schedule right, Golden Pothos will handle it like a champ!

Jade Plant

This product was recommended by Anthony Selva from Plantials

The Jade plant is an easy-to-grow houseplant with woody stems and oval leaves making them look like miniature trees in a small container. They are mostly grown as indoor plants in pots. However, because of their properties like low maintenance, high lifespan, bright indirect light, and low humidity requirements, they are well suited for terrariums. Also, these plants require more frequent watering compared to other succulents, hence an open terrarium is an ideal place.

Java Fern

This product was recommended by Veronica Thompson from Everyday Power

This plant is a popular addition to open terrariums because it is low-maintenance and relatively cheap. They are also well-loved because of their slow growth, which means less maintenance and more breathing room for other plants in the room. They can tolerate almost any light condition and can survive a wide range of water pH. Hence, it is truly a good plant to have.

Tillandsia Terrarium Air Plants

This product was recommended by Laurice Constantine from Casadar

Air plants do not require soil to grow. For survival, they attach themselves to a host and absorb water and nutrients through their leaves. They not only look nice in a terrarium, but they also help to purify the air.


This product was recommended by Laurice Constantine from Casadar

They are plants with fleshy, thick foliage. If you frequently forget to water your plants, these are the plants for you; they can thrive in limited water. Many succulents remain small, allowing them to live in a terrarium for years without being transplanted.

Euphorbia Geroldii Gerold’s Spurge

This product was recommended by Abigail Richards from Tech President

Gerold’s Spurge is one of the few plants that still can grow beautifully even if planted in full sun, shaded, or a rockery environment. They are originally found in Madagascar but have been bred to grow in tropical and other countries because of their beautiful flowers. They produce small, pink-clumping flowers, adding color to a rockery. With that, they are good plants to grow in this kind of area.


This product was recommended by Sharon Sanders from Philadelphia Weekly

These plants are quite popular among people who have aquariums mainly because they are low-maintenance and very sturdy. They can thrive even with low light and changing water pH. WIth a variety of leaf colors and shapes, they are also used to beautify aquariums. Hence, they are really good plants to place in aquariums with your goldfishes.

Tillandsia Caput-Medusae Air Plants

This product was recommended by Stephanie Wilson from Policy Solver

One of the easiest plants to care for is Tillandsia Caput-Medusae, also known as the octopus plant or medusa’s head. An arid climate is ideal for it. As a Tillandsia, this air plant exhibits all of its characteristics. Beginners can easily grow it, and it has trichomes that aid in nutritional absorption. This plant does well in an open terrarium with rocks.

Assorted Cactus

This product was recommended by Michelle Henry from Outdoor Dog Fun

Cacti look amazing in terrariums, but they need to be dry. These plants won’t survive in closed terrariums with high humidity and bad airflow. With cactus terrariums, make sure to have a medium to large opening in the container. Only choose small cacti, because many of them get very large when fully mature.

Burro’s Tail

This product was recommended by Marty Ford from BulletpRoof Roof Systems Ltd

Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum) is a beautiful plant that originates from Mexico. It’s perfect for growing in open terrariums because it doesn’t require much water or care. The plant gets its name from its long, cascading tails that resemble a donkey’s tail. The leaves are fleshy and have a deep green color. They’re also covered in tiny, white hairs.

Dwarf Sansevieria

This product was recommended by Michelle Henry from Outdoor Dog Fun

This is a much smaller cousin to the popular snake plant, and it’s very easy to care for. This terrarium plant won’t get much higher than six inches, and it offers variegated, straplike foliage that contrasts nicely with more squat, blockier succulent plants. It will do well under a range of indirect but bright light, but it’ll lose striping in dim lighting. You want to water it sparingly and it’s very slow-growing.


This product was recommended by Elena Dyulgerova from VegeVega

Agave is a varied succulent that adds both texture and volume to your terrarium. This terrarium plant is usually hardy, and slow-growing, and it adores the sun. Even though a lot of agaves are landscaping plants, you can find pretty mini varieties that can live for years happily in an open terrarium before they outgrow them. The Victoriae reginae is a prized dwarf agave terrarium plant.


This product was recommended by Eric Rodriguez from Innerbody Research

No matter if you choose to put it by itself in a minimalist container or arrange it with like-succulents in a bigger vessel, aloe is a hardy terrarium plant. It offers very long leaves with jagged edges in a pretty green-gray coloring, and it gives you a very unique cactus-like appearance. Direct sunlight can easily burn or scorch the tender leaves on this terrarium plant, so the setup should be in a space where it gets a lot of indirect light. You should plant it in fast-draining succulent or cacti soil, and remember the rule of drenches between droughts watering. So, you’ll water it infrequently but thoroughly.

Parodia Ball Cactus

This product was recommended by Adam Enfroy from Adam Enfroy

The Parodia genus has several squat, easy-to-grow, small cacti that work well as a terrarium plant in an open setup. The spines on these plants are showy and unusual. They usually don’t do well with intense sunlight, and they usually want more shade than other succulents. Parodia leninghausiii and Parodia haselbergii are two good varieties to consider.

Button Ferns

This product was recommended by Sam Wood from GoodGlow

Not only is the button fern a great small pot plant, but it’s a wonderful terrarium plant. They’re highly tolerant to drought, and they have an evergreen nature with leathery, round foliage. They like to be in subdued lighting conditions during the summer months and indirect but bright light during the winter.

Croton Plants

This product was recommended by Sam Wood from GoodGlow

Croton plants can help you create amazing terrarium designs. However, these plants get quite tall so you will need to prune them. Make sure to plant them in open terrariums. Wardian case terrariums will suit this plant.

Tillandsia Xerographica Air Plants

This product was recommended by Samantha Taylor from Air Plant Central

The Tillandsia Xerographica, also known simply as Xeros, is an air plant perfect for open terrariums. These plants are known for their ability to thrive in dry conditions, making them ideal for environments that may not be hospitable to other plants. Xeros also have a unique and beautiful appearance, with long, slender leaves that curl and twist.

Echeveria Succulents

This product was recommended by Luke Lee from PalaLeather

If your open terrarium is in dire need of a little green, the echeveria plant is the perfect option. This succulent has beautiful, fleshy leaves that come in a variety of colors and shapes. While it doesn’t require much maintenance, the echeveria does need some sunlight to thrive. So, if your terrarium is in a shaded spot, consider placing the plant near the opening where it can get some light.

Hypoestes Polka Dot Plant

This product was recommended by Jen Stark from Happy DIY Home

The Hypoestes polka dot plant is a beautiful option for those looking to add some color to their open terrariums. This lovely little plant features small, round leaves that are covered in a colorful array of dots. The Hypoestes polka dot plant is a great choice for terrariums because it is very easy to care for and does not require a lot of maintenance. If you are looking for a plant that will add some pizzazz to your terrarium, the Hypoestes polka dot plant is definitely worth considering!


This product was recommended by Sydney Brisco from Just A Homeowner

The pothos plant is also a great option for an open terrarium. Since they are easy to care for, the pothos plant doesn’t need a lot of attention and will thrive in an open terrarium. A variegated version, like this, will add a beautiful contrast to your terrarium as well.

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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