We love terrariums. They’re like little universes that you can curate and style to your green thumb’s content. After all the work and love that goes into planning, planting, decorating, and admiring a terrarium, nothing feels worse than to have one fail on you.
As those of us who just don’t get great sun in their homes might already know, lack of light is the primary reason that your terrarium plants might croak (next to overwatering, of course). But don’t give up just yet! There are plenty of low light tolerant plants out there–even succulents!–that work wonders in terrariums.
Our Top Ten Low Light Terrarium Plants
Succulents and Cacti:
1 – Rhipsalis species
Sometimes called “mistletoe cactus,” we love this genus of epiphytic jungle cacti for it’s bright green branches unique structure. Plus there are hundreds of varieties, all of which are well suited for low-medium light.
2 – Hatiora salicornioides “Drunkard’s bones”
Think of Drunkard’s bones as Rhipsalis’ woodier cousin. More upright growing, we love this plant because in addition to being easy to care for, it creates an uncannily underwater vibe in a terrarium.
3 – Haworthia species
Our ultimate go-to succulent for low light terrariums, planters and just about everything else, members of the haworthia genus are sometimes striped with white, sometimes jewel-like, and always beautiful and just as hardy. We use a haworthia in just about every low light terrarium we make!
4 – Gasteria species
A haworthia and aloe relative, gasteria are smoother and less geometric than some other succulents, but easy to care for and producing lots of baby offshoot plants.
Tropicals:5 – Philodendron species
The quintessential “beginner” houseplant, philodendron (especially darker-leafed, non-variegated varieties) thrive in a tropical terrarium. Given their vining habit, they fare particularly well in hanging vessels.
6 – Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’
Want variegation? Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’ (and more common golden pothos) have you covered. This plant is nearly indestructible and makes a great low light terrarium plant.
7 – Fittonia ‘Nerve plant’
Because it’s highly sensitive to drying out, fittonia makes a perfect low light terrarium plant. We love it because it’s starkly patterned leaves provide color and contrast – it makes a great accent plant – just don’t forget to keep it wet.
8 – Sansevieria ‘Snake plant’ (compact varieties)
The ultimate low-maintenance plant, straddling the line between succulent and tropical, sansevieria, especially smaller, more compact species, thrive in a low light terrarium with little care. This plant is a perfect choice for someone who needs low light terrarium plants but doesn’t want to have to remember to water very often!
9 – Cryptanthus
Sometimes called ‘Earth stars,’ we love cryptanthus because, with their shallow roots, they fit just about anywhere. Plus, they often have deep pink, red and green colors, all on the same plant! A beautiful accent for your low light terrarium.
10 – Hemionitus arifolia / Heart Fern
Though many people swear by ferns as the best low light terrarium plants, we’ve found that the Heart Fern fares the best of them all. Beautifully shaped and slow growing, this bright green beauty makes a fabulous choice for a low light terrarium.
What are your favorite low light terrarium plants? Join the conversation on facebook!