Terrariums are one of our favorite things. They’re like little worlds that you can style and curate to your green thumb’s content. A terrarium is a labor of love, and nothing feels worse than to have it fail after all the work and love you put into planning, planting, decorating, and admiring it.
We already know that those of us without great sunlight in our homes may have terrarium plants that die (in addition to overwatering, of course). Don’t give up just yet! You can find many low light tolerant plants out there–even succulents!In terrariums, they work wonders.
Top 10 Low-Light Terrarium Plant Selection
It’s sometimes called mistletoe cactus. We love this epiphytic jungle cacti because of its unique green branches. The plants come in a wide variety of colors, which make them well suited to low-moderate lighting.
Tillandsia (aka Air Plants)
This plant requires no soil, which is why we love it! You can also use them to spice up your space in a fun and exotic way. It is important to place them in a place that receives enough sunlight because these guys love the sun! Plants should not be placed more than 3 feet from a light source (making them great for window sills). It is recommended that you soak your tillandsias every 2-3 weeks for at least two hours. During hotter, drier months, you will need to water or mist your plants more frequently.After soaking your air plant for a couple of hours, it needs to be allowed to dry.Your Air Plants can live and reproduce for many years if you give them proper care and a friendly environment.
Haworthia genus plants are extremely hardy and work well in terrariums, planters, and just about anything that requires low light. Some are striped with white, others are emerald-colored, but all are beautiful. In almost every low light terrarium we make, we use a haworthia!
Gasteria, a relative of aloe and haworthia, are less geometric than some other succulents, but they are easy to care for and produce many baby plants.
In a tropical terrarium, philodendron (especially darker-leafed, non-variegated varieties) thrive as a “beginner” houseplant. Because of their vining habit, they do particularly well in hanging vessels.
Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Brasil’
‘Brasil’ gives a colorful twist to a plant that has long been a favorite houseplant. The plants tolerate all types of neglect, including low light, poor soil, and inconsistent watering. You can give this to someone who would like to enjoy the natural beauty of plants without having to worry about maintenance.
Do you want variegation? Philipodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’ (and the more common golden pothos) are perfect for you. Plants like this make great low light terrarium plants since they are nearly indestructible.
Fittonia ‘Nerve plant’
Fittonia makes a great low-light terrarium plant because it is sensitive to drying out. Our favorite aspect of the plant is the starkly patterned leaves, which add color and contrast to any room – just don’t forget to keep the plant moist.
Sansevieria ‘Snake plant’ (compact varieties)
In a low light terrarium, sansevieria, in particular small, compact species, needs little care and straddles the line between succulents and tropical plants. Definitely a good choice for someone who needs terrarium plants with low light, but does not want to be bothered with doing regular watering.
With their shallow roots, cryptanthus can be planted just about anywhere, sometimes called the ‘Earth star’. On the same plant, they can often be found in deep pink, red, and green colors! Terrariums with low light can benefit from this beautiful accent.
Hemionitus Arifolia / Heart Fern
While many people swear that ferns are the best plants for low light terrariums, we have found that the Heart Fern does the best. The bright green terrarium plant makes a great low light choice due to its exquisite shape and slow growth rate.