There are thousands of plants that are perfect to grow in terrariums. Among these, succulents are perhaps the most popular plant to grow indoors for a good reason. They’re easy to grow and propagate, making them ideal choices for your terrarium.
Best Succulents for a Terrarium
Terrariums have long been associated with cacti and succulents, whether it’s open terrariums or closed terrariums because their hardy nature makes them perfect as terrarium plants.
After understanding the distinct qualities of succulents and how they benefit from being inside a terrarium, it’s easy to choose the best succulents to be included in your creation. There are thousands of species that make perfect choices and some great options include:
A jade plant features both thick leaves and sturdy branches, which makes them ideal for terrariums. They tend to be low-growing succulent, but they produce stunning results. Jade plants need a lot of light in order to thrive. Though they don’t need full sun, make sure it gets about 4 hours of sunlight per day.
They’re also incredibly easy to propagate, with new shoots growing out of old stems. They are perfect for creating dense, lush plants in your miniature garden terrarium.
Zebra plants are more on the delicate side. They feature thin, wiry stems that can break easily if not handled with care. They make amazing hanging open terrariums because their form fits perfectly into an environment suspended in mid, warm air.
They spread quickly, so it’s easy to fill a new space with them. They’re best used as a filler plant since their delicate appearance makes them perfect for creating contrast in your terrarium succulent garden. They do well in indirect light or partial shade.
A panda plant features thick leaves covered with tiny hairs, giving them their namesake black and white look. Like the zebra plant, they are on the delicate side. However, their thin stems do allow them to be used in a variety of terrarium styles whether an open terrarium or a closed terrarium. They also propagate easily, which makes it easy to populate your space with more Panda plants.
Hens and Chicks
Hens and chicks come in a variety of colors. They also exist in varieties that feature varying degrees of cold and heat resistance, making them growing succulents perfect inside or outside your home.
These succulents are known to be slow growers, so they work well as fillers. Their unique appearance makes them ideal for terrariums or anywhere decorative plants are needed.
Snake plants are one of the more popular succulents. They feature long, green leaves with white spots on them that resemble snakeskin. Because these plants can grow in virtually any environment, they make great additions to terrariums. They also propagate quickly, which helps keep your space full of life.
The snake plant can grow in low light and in bright conditions. That being said, keep it out of direct sunlight.
A starfish plant is one of the more unique succulents. They feature long, dark green leaves with deep green tips and star-shaped flowers. Their unique look and ability to survive in high humidity make them great additions to terrariums. They propagate easily, which makes it easy to fill your new space with these distinctive plants.
The Christmas cactus is easy to care for and features a stunning array of colors. Their propensity to flower also makes them ideal for terrariums, as you’ll be able to enjoy their vibrant appearance even more since they’re enclosed in a small space.
They’re slow growers, which means you won’t have to keep transplanting your succulent as it gets bigger. They also propagate easily, which means you can make your terrarium even more attractive by filling it with these additional plants.
Plush plants are one of the more unique succulents due to their round shape and drip-like leaves. They’re slow growers, which makes them perfect for terrarium use. Their round form also makes them ideal for creating contrast with other plants with a more upright appearance. They are also easy to propagate, which means additional plants will be easy to come by.
Baby Jade Plant
Baby jade plants are miniature versions of full-grown jade plants. It is called a baby plant due to its small size, and it makes great additions to terrariums for creating contrast or filling in gaps. They grow slowly but propagate easily making them perfect for use inside your terrarium.
A nerve plant is known for its unique leaf shape. The leaves typically look like they’re folded over on themselves, which gives it the “nerves” as part of its name. They also feature small white spots that look like windows or holes on the leaves, adding more to their distinctive appearance. They work well as fillers and they can also be propagated easily, which means more nerve plants to fill your terrarium with.
Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera plants are known for it’s healing properties, but they’re also beautiful succulents that work well in terrariums. Because of their long stem and vibrant green color, aloe vera are perfect for creating contrast in a terrarium. They’re also one of the more easy-to-grow succulents, which means you won’t have to worry about transplanting them when they get bigger or struggle with growing conditions for these plants.
Agave plants are a good choice for terrarium gardeners who want to create a desert environment. They feature a spiky, hardy appearance and can survive in hot climates. They require more frequent watering than most other types of succulents – but their unique appearance makes them stand out from other succulent plants.
The air plant is one of the most distinctive succulents and one of the best plants for an open terrarium. They typically look like some sort of moss, with their small green appearance and thin leaves. These plants can survive in excess humidity, making terrariums perfect for them.
Since they don’t have a root system, they work well as hanging plants or filler. Propagating these unique plants is easy, which means you can quickly fill your terrarium with even more of them.
Paddle plants are known as Kalanchoe tomentosa, have a unique growth pattern. They develop thick green leaves (paddles) that grow outwards over time. That makes them great fillers because of the contrast they’ll provide with a more upright plant or other succulents in your terrarium.
They’re easy to propagate, which means you can create even more of these paddle plants to fill your terrarium with.
Carnivorous plants may seem like an odd addition to a terrarium, but they’re quite popular. They can strive in a close terrarium environment, and their unique colors can brighten up a space. Carnivorous plants are hardy and easy to take care of, so you don’t need to worry about meeting specific conditions for these plants. With Carnivorous plant’s bright red color, they work as good contrast for other succulents in your terrarium as well.
Harvest Plant (Kangaroo Paw)
Harvest Plant is also known as sedum morganianum or kangaroo paw. It’s easy to grow and propagate, which means you can fill your terrarium with these plants. The leaves on sedum morganianum are round and green, making them perfect for contrasting with other succulents. Because of their unique shape, they work well as fillers for terrariums.
Pincushion or cushion cactus are small, round, or cylindrical succulents. They work well as a filler for terrariums because of their full appearance and interesting shape. They grow slowly, so you’ll have to transplant them infrequently. Plus, they propagate easily, so you’ll have plenty of cushion cacti to fill your display with.
Medicine Plant is a very descriptive name for this succulent. The leaves of this plant have been used to treat many different skin conditions, but it also makes a beautiful addition to terrariums with its long, green stems and interesting leaf shape. They work well either in the foreground or background of your terrarium, so you’ll be able to create many different looks with this plant.
Whale’s Tongue Agave
Whale’s Tongue Agave is one of the unique plants for terrariums. It has long, narrow leaves that look like tongues. They grow slowly, so they require infrequent transplanting. But they also propagate easily, so you’ll be able to fill your container with many of these plants quickly.
Burro’s tail is a unique succulent with long, thin leaves that hang like tendrils in your terrarium. The name of this plant describes it well because the leaves and stem look like they’re in the shape of a donkey’s tail. It grows slowly, so you’ll have to transplant it infrequently. Plus, Burro’s Tail propagates easily, so you’ll have a lot of them to fill your container with.
Torch Plant is a succulent that works well in terrariums because of its long, narrow stem and vibrant green color. They grow slowly, so you’ll have to transplant them infrequently. Plus, they propagate easily, so you’ll have plenty of them to fill your display with.
Tiger Jaws is an unusual succulent that makes a great addition as an open succulent terrarium because of its interesting shape. It has star-shaped leaves that look like teeth, so it’s named for this reason.
They grow slowly, so you’ll have to transplant them infrequently. Plus, they propagate easily, so you’ll have a lot of these unique plants to fill your display with.
Moses-in-the-Cradle is a unique succulent that’s perfect for filling open spaces in terrariums. It has long, thin leaves that look like they’re outstretched, which looks great next to other small succulents.
Because of their slow growth rates, you’ll have to transplant these plants infrequently. But Moses-in-the-Cradle is also easy to propagate, so you’ll be able to fill your container with many of these plants.
Ponytail Palm is among the most popular succulents for terrariums because of its unique shape. It’s known for looking like a clump of grass, which makes it perfect for any succulent container.
Plus, Ponytail Palms are slow-growing, so you’ll have to transplant them occasionally. But they also grow well in a range of lighting conditions, making this plant a great candidate for any terrarium.
Ball Cactus is a great choice for open terrariums because it has a unique shape. The ball-shaped plant is covered with long, needle-like leaves that add a lot of texture and interest to your container. These plants grow slowly and require infrequent transplanting. Plus, Ball Cactus propagates well, so you’ll have plenty of these unusual succulents for your terrarium.
These are the most popular succulents for terrariums. There are many more interesting options to choose from, including more slow-growing plants that work well in cactus containers. And whatever succulent you choose, you’ll be able to create a unique indoor oasis of your own!
Characteristics of a Terrarium Succulent
Succulent terrariums are aesthetically pleasing, as well as simple to maintain. It’s no wonder these plants have become so popular for this type of planting. They have some distinct characteristics that set them apart from other kinds of plants. These qualities make them perfect choices for a terrarium.
Succulent Terrariums Are Aesthetically Pleasing
Both the shape and color of succulents make them pleasant and a beautiful plant to look at. Shapes vary from round, chubby fleshy leaves to tall stems with small rosettes. Even the colors are pretty, featuring pastels like white, purple, green, and pink flowers.
Depending on the species, whether big or small succulent, you’ll see both solid colors as well as beautiful varieties to add decorative elements to your home.
Succulent plants have hard and thick leaves with an almost rubbery texture. Their unique appearance lends itself well to artistic terrariums that include wire or driftwood accents. Not only do these plants look great when planted by themselves, but they also grow well alongside other species.
Succulents are easy to find in garden centers, so it’s fairly simple to experiment with these varieties of plants.
Easy to Care For
Since succulent plants are naturally hardy plants, they don’t need much care once planted in an open or closed terrarium. They can grow well without much attention, and they typically don’t require frequent watering, so they’re also the perfect choice for the forgetful gardener. This makes succulents a great choice for beginners or those with little time to commit to gardening.
Grow Well in Small Spaces
Aside from being aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain, a succulent plant also grows well in small spaces. They’re also among the most popular terrariums plants: they take up little space yet still look beautiful. If you’re short on time or want a high-impact garden that takes up very little room, succulents are a great choice.
Easy to Propagate
Succulents are easy to propagate. That means they can be grown from a single leaf. Not only is this a fun and rewarding process, but it also ensures that you’ll always have a new succulent plant when it outgrows its pot.
Grow Well with other Plant Species
Succulents are also easy to grow side by side with different types of plants. They’re low-maintenance but still prefer bright, indirect light and moist soil. So, if you’re planting multiple species of plants in a terrarium, succulents should always be your first choice.
So Many Succulent Species to Choose From
This is another reason why succulents are among the most popular plants for a terrarium. There’s a wide variety of species that will work better depending on the type of terrarium you choose, whether it be a closed terrarium or an open terrarium.
Some succulent plant has leaves that hang downward on trailing stems, looking almost like an umbrella opening which produces dazzling yellow flowers. Others have stems with small rosettes at their sides that grow closely together in a cluster.
There are also succulent varieties with thick, spiky leaves or tiny, delicate stem rosettes. Some even resemble cactus plants. Although some species require different care depending on their type, most succulents enjoy the same conditions and can be planted as terrarium plants.
Can Store Water
Succulents are known for storing water in their leaves. When you’re creating a succulent terrarium, this can be another benefit since the conditions inside the enclosed glass container mimic desert-like conditions. This means that succulents can store water rather than retaining it as other plants do.
So, if you want your terrarium design to resemble an African desert or other dry environments, then succulents are perfect.
Look Great with Moss
Succulents with their unique appearance look great when planted with moss. This is another reason why they work so well in a terrarium. The plants’ wide leaves and thick stems contrast nicely with the soft, delicate moss around them.
And since succulents don’t require frequent watering, there’s no danger of over-saturating the soil and causing root rot or mold growth on your plants.
Can be Used as a Topiary
Another reason succulents make great terrarium plants is that they can be used as a topiary. This simply means that their leaves or stems are shaped into a certain pattern, such as a ball. These topiaries add a unique touch to any terrarium design and can be positioned in different locations for visual effect.
Makes Great Additions to Any Home or Office
They’re easy to maintain and can grow well in humid conditions and in a variety of environments. Succulent terrariums are beautiful, low-maintenance options for small spaces like home offices or dorm rooms.
With so many good reasons to have a succulent as a new plant in your indoor garden, you may find that succulents quickly become one of your favorite plants.
With these unique qualities in mind, succulents are the best choice for a terrarium. They won’t require extensive care or maintenance and will add a natural element to any space they’re placed in.
Their unique physical appearance makes them stand out from other plants, while their ability to store water allows them to survive in indirect sunlight and humid environments so they’re the ideal species for creating naturally beautiful terrarium plants.