10 Houseplants that are suitable for a terrarium or a bottle garden
Houseplants suitable for a terrarium are moisture-loving houseplants. A terrarium or bottle garden is always more humid than the surrounding room atmosphere. It is a suitable environment to grow the delicate moisture-loving houseplants. A terrarium is one of the ways to display houseplants. A terrarium is a glass or transparent container inside which houseplants are grown. The top is naturally restricted or covered with a transparent material. The terrarium completely or almost completely surrounds the houseplants and as a result keeps off the plant-killing draughts. The air within a terrarium is always moister than the room atmosphere. This makes it suitable for growing the delicate houseplants which may require high humidity and protection from draughts.
Some containers that are suitable for a terrarium include a fish tank, a large bottle or even a large mixing bowl. The only requirement is to have transparent sides and a restricted opening or an opening that can be covered with a transparent material.
How to select houseplants for a terrarium.
While selecting houseplants for a terrarium, select a variety of plants that vary in height, growth habits and texture in order to have an interesting landscape. Select houseplants that have close or similar light requirements.
Avoid flowering houseplants as flowering plants have different light requirements through out the year, it will be difficult to remove dead flowers, most flowers require good air circulation in order to prevent powdery mildew and fungal infections.
How to prepare houseplants for a terrarium.
Prepare the plants by pinching off the growing tips and prune tall and spreading types to minimize their size. Remove dead and yellow foliage. Check the plants for pest and disease infestation; do not use any infested plant as using them will introduce these infestations in the terrarium environment and it will be difficult to control.
How to care for a terrarium.
Watering: Ensure the soil is moist at all times; water sparingly. In most cases if the terrarium is well covered, watering will not be necessary as there is minimal evaporation and the plants form their own ecosystem inside the terrarium. If there is condensation on the inside of the glass soon after planting, open the terrarium to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
Light: Place the terrarium in a bright spot but away from direct sunshine to avoid cooking the houseplants. Plants in a terrarium can also thrive under artificial light.
Houseplants that are ideal for a terrarium.
- Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)
- Nerve Plant (Fittonia spp)
- Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
- Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
- Creeping Moss(Selaginella spp)
- Brown Spiderwort (Siderasis fuscata)
- Prayer Plants (Maranta leuconeura)
- Calatheas (Calathea spp)
- Radiator Plant (Pepperomia spp)
- Polynesian Ivy Vine (Pellionia repens)
Creeping fig prefers warm, moist conditions like is found in a terrarium or in a bottle garden. It is a low-growing small-leaved houseplant and will fit perfectly in a small space like in a terrarium. Creeping Fig grows vigorously, is easy to grow and does well under low light conditions.
Nerve plant is a popular houseplant that is highly adaptable to low light conditions. Due to its high humidity requirement, it is suitable for a bottle garden or a terrarium. The attractive feature of Nerve Plant is the easily recognizable network of white, pink or red veins.
Though Parlour Palm will adapt to a wide range of growing conditions, it does thrive in high humidity conditions. These coupled with its small compact growth make it an ideal houseplant for a terrarium or bottle garden. Parlour Palm is easy to grow and is an excellent ascent plant for a terrarium.
Polka Dot also called Freckle Face is a low-growing beautifully colored plant with a high requirement for humid conditions which make it an ideal houseplant for a terrarium or bottle garden. The Polka Dot Plant is grown for the spotted leaves which add a splash of color in a houseplant collection.
Creeping Moss is an excellent choice for a terrarium. The tiny leaves will shrivel in ordinary room conditions. The moist terrarium conditions are similar to the conditions in its natural habitat. Several varieties of Creeping Moss are available where some are trailing and others bear upright stems.
Brown Spiderwort is a low-growing houseplants whose leaves form a rosette. It is a moisture-loving houseplant ideal for a terrarium. The bronze colored foliage of Brown Spiderwort will add a contrast to the greenery in a terrarium.
Prayer Plants are humidity-loving houseplants ideal for a terrarium or bottle garden where moisture levels are high. Prayer Plants are low-growing houseplants which bear spectacularly patterned leaves and are excellent for addition of color in a terrarium or bottle garden.
Calatheas are moisture-loving houseplants which are greatly affected by the air humidity levels. They require to be kept in a warm and moist environment as found in a terrarium or bottle garden. These plants are grown for their ornately patterned leaves. Calatheas foliage is a sight to behold and are a spectacular display in a terrarium.
Radiator Plants are low-growing, small, moisture-loving houseplants ideal for a terrarium or bottle garden. Peperomias beautifully colored and patterned foliage is an excellent display for a terrarium.
Pellionia is a moisture-loving low-growing vine which bears beautifully shaped and colored leaves. Each leaf has a pale central band and the outer margin may be olive or bronzy green. Polynesian Ivy Vine is an excellent choice for a terrarium as it also provides a spectacular display.