The 7 Best Terrarium Plants For Low Light

Choosing the best terrarium plants for low light will ensure that your jarred garden stays healthy wherever you place it.

Getting a terrarium going can be a fun activity to do as a family, for home decor, or as a gift. You can add one or many plants to your glass jar garden or turn it into a mini-forest. Terrariums are a little complicated to set up but relatively easy to maintain. If you choose the right plants, it’ll practically take care of itself!

In this article, I share a few reasons to create a terrarium, list 7 of the best terrarium plants that thrive in low light conditions and give tips to keep your terrarium healthy. 

Reasons To Add Plants To A Terrarium

To Decorate It

Adding some plants to your terrarium can make it look classy or fun – whichever vibe you’re going for! 

A touch of green can also bring the room your terrarium is standing in together, so it’s not just about decorating the inside.

For Protection

Putting your plants in a terrarium is a great way to protect them. Inside, they’re protected from diseases, dust, and insects that can’t penetrate through glass.

Reasons To Add Plants To A Terrarium

It’s Self-sustaining

If you’ve wanted to add greenery to your house without the hassle of watering plants or pruning them, a terrarium is perfect! 

Terrariums keep plants moisturized and healthy without much effort from you.

Great As Gifts

Terrariums make the perfect housewarming gift! You could always add the receiver’s favorite plant for a personal touch.

The little flower houses are great stand-alone gifts, but you could also add them to a gift box or basket. 

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The 7 Best Terrarium Plants For Low Light

#1 Arrowhead 

The Arrowhead plant is a vine that will thrive in your terrarium. You’ll need to trim them regularly because they may love their new home just a little too much. 

#2 Earth Stars

These plants will add a shade of red to your terrarium. They are meant to receive little to no sunlight because their natural habitat is the deepest ends of the rainforest. 

#3 Nerve Plant

Nerve plants have dark green leaves with pink or white veins. They thrive in indirect lighting or grow lights. Direct sunlight can burn them. 

best terrarium plants for low light - Nerve Plant

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#4 Creeping Fig

This vine has the cutest leaves shaped like little hearts. They will grow well in a low-light environment. You should only choose this plant if you want it to cover a big part of your terrarium. 

#5 Lightning Jewel Orchid

True to its name, this beautiful orchid’s leaves have veins that look like tiny lightning bolts. They stay small, so you won’t have to give them too many snips. 

#6 Ripple Peperomia

You’ve probably never heard of or seen one of these. They’re hidden deep in the rainforest. 

There are over 1000 species of this rippled plant to choose from, and they do well in terrariums!

#7 Baby Tears

Shaped like baby tears, this plant forms a dense carpet of green. They can survive on just a few minutes of sunlight each day. 

Tips On Adding Plants To Your Terrarium

Right Amount Of Light

Too much light can cause your plants to die from heat exhaustion. Too little light isn’t good for your plants either. Without any light, they can’t photosynthesize.

Ensure your terrarium is exposed to the correct amount of light to keep all your plants healthy. Remember that low-light plants can’t live with no light at all. 

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Trim Your Plants

The occasional trim keeps most plants healthy. It helps new leaves grow and eliminates any chance of dead leaves bringing your plant down. 

Overgrown plants aren’t pretty, and they’ll make your terrarium look neglected. Trim the leaves of plants that need it to give all everything growing in your terrarium an equal amount of stage-time. They all want to be seen! 

Remove Dead Plants

Brown, wilted leaves will bring down the entire look of your terrarium. Nobody wants a dead plant as a decoration!

Remove the dead plants and cut off the dead stems to give your plants a second chance at life. 

Don’t Overwater

Plants suited for terrariums typically don’t need much water. They prefer a moist environment, but be careful to not overwater them. A misting spray every now and then is more than enough. 

Don’t Add Succulents

Succulents aren’t cut out to survive the terrarium life. There isn’t enough air circulation to keep them alive. 

You should only add plants that don’t need air and leave the succulents for another garden.

Activated Charcoal 

Add a layer of activated charcoal to your terrarium. This helps clean the soil from all bacteria and toxins that could kill your plants. It aerates the soil and prevents mold from growing in the bottom of your terrarium. 

To Sum It Up

Terrariums can be aesthetically pleasing. You can add single plants to it or landscape a scene from nature. These grow pods offer you the freedom to get creative!

Terrariums are a popular choice for people who prefer low-maintenance houseplants. If you choose the right plants, nutrients, and growing environment, your terrarium will sustain itself. 

I hope this article was helpful. If you choose one or more of the plants listed above, share your experience growing it in the comments. You can also pop any more questions you have about terrariums there!


Do succulents do well in a terrarium?


Generally, succulents need sufficient airflow to stay healthy. A terrarium doesn't provide this.

Can Aloe Vera grow in a terrarium?


Aloe Veras is one of the succulents that can do well in a terrarium without a lid.

Can I put a Spider plant in a terrarium?

Spider plants aren't recommended for terrariums. You can still grow them inside as a houseplant.

Can you put a cactus in a terrarium?

Like succulents, cacti don't do good in enclosed spaces. You can only add them to a terrarium without a lid or one that provides sufficient airflow.