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Plants Suitable for Growing in Terrariums and Dish Gardens

Terrarium and Dish Garden Plants for Low Light Conditions

Plant A photograph is available Growing Tips
Club Moss
Lycopodium clavatum
Club Moss Best grown in a terrarium environment, this creeping moss needs cooler temperatures, low to moderate light, good air circulation and moist, rich soil.
Can be propagated by cuttings. Hardy in zones 6-9
Heart Leaf Philodendron
Philodendron scandens
Heart Leaf Philodendron Climbing or hanging plant with dark green, 2-3" heart shaped leaves. Tolerates low light and low humidity well. Prefers to be kept slightly rootbound in rich, moist soil. Provide a bark type support for climbing. Hardy in zones 11-12
Rattlesnake Orchid
Goodyera pubescens
Rattlesnake Orchid This native woodland orchid requires shade, cool temperatures and moist, slightly acidic soil. Feed with compost tea in the spring and again in mid summer.
Propagate by division in the spring. Hardy in zones 6-9
Snake Plant
Sansevieria trifasciata
Snake Plant A 3"-3' tall sub-succulent that should always be watered sparingly but regularly, will survive in almost any light from sun to shade. Prefers to be kept somewhat rootbound in poor soil. Hardy in zones 10-12

Terrarium and Dish Garden Plants for Moderate Light Conditions

Aluminum Plant
Pilea cadierei
The Foliage of an Aluminum Plant, Pilea cadierei Aluminum Plants are fast growing, easy to care for plants that branch freely and grow 12"-18" tall. These plants have 3", deep green, lance shaped leaves arranged in pairs along their upright, succulent stems. The fleshy leaves are accented with bold bands of metallic silver. See Web Page
Arrowhead Vine
Syngonium podophyllum
The Foliage of a Golden Arrowhead Vine, Syngonium podophyllum Syngoniums are fast growing vines that grow to about 3 ft. Easy to grow plant for bright indirect light or light shade. Allow rich, well draining soil to dry before watering. Pinch tips to induce bushiness. Green, copper, and variegated varieties are available. See Web Page
Artillery Plant
Pilea microphylla
Artillery Plant The Artillery Plant forms an umbrella like canopy of tiny, bright green leaves on fleshy, 6"-12" stems. The name Artillery Plant comes from the way that its seed pods forcibly eject their pollen or seeds when the frond is touched. An excellent plant for terrarium environments. See Web Page
Asparagus Fern
Protasparagus setaceus
The delicate, lacy foliage of an Asparagus Fern The Asparagus Fern is a very popular plant for florists who commonly use the lacy, horizontal fronds in flower arrangements. These decorative vines will grow up to 10 feet with support, or they can be kept to a more compact size by regularly removing the tips from new growth. See Web Page
Baby Tears
Soleirolia soleirolii
A Baby Tears Plant, Soleirolia soleirolii Excellent, moss-like ground cover plant for dish gardens and open terrariums. Needs moderate light. Soil should be kept constantly moist but water on the tiny foliage should be avoided. Can be propagated by division. May become a nuisance but is easily controllable.
Begonia Rex
Begonia rex-cultorum
Begonia Rex Known for the beautiful painted patterns on the foliage. Needs moderate to bright, indirect light, higher humidity, and peaty soil. Soil should be kept moist, but water on foliage should be avoided. Hardy in zones 10-12
Bird's Nest Fern
Asplenium nidus
Bird's Nest Fern A tropical, epiphytic fern that, in nature colonizes in trees or on rock faces. Requires warmth, high humidity, moderate light and rich, well draining soil. Light green fronds slowly grow to 1-3 feet. Hardy in zones 11-12
Emerald Ripple Peperomia
Peperomia caperata
Emerald Ripple Peperomia Mounding 12" plant with deeply corrugated, 1½" heart shaped leaves. Needs moderate light. Allow soil to dry thoroughly before watering. Do not over water! Seldom needs repotting. Feed occasionally with a good house plant fertilizer
Strawberry Begonia
Saxifraga stolonifera
Saxifraga stolonifera This 'Mother of Thousands' spreads by strawberry-like, easily rooted runners. Needs moderate light, cooler temperatures and moist, rich soil. Feed monthly in summer with house plant fertilizer. Nice hanging plant. Hardy in zones 5-10
Gaultheria procumbens
Wintergreen This aromatic, six inch tall woodland mini-shrub is a source of wintergreen oil used in liniments. Needs moderate light, cool temperatures and rich, moist soil. has white flowers in the summer, bright red berries in winter. Hardy in zones 4-9

Terrarium and Dish Garden Plants for Bright Light Conditions

African Violet
Saintpaulia ionantha
A Blue Flowering African Violet in Bloom, Saintpaulia ionantha African Violets were first collected from eastern Africa and Tasmania in the late nineteenth century. Their attractive, velvety foliage, compact growing habit and wide variety of long blooming flower colors have made the African Violet the most popular flowering house plant in the world. See Web Page
Bloodleaf Iresine
Iresine herbstii
Bloodleaf Irsine Small, branching plant with blood red foliage, grows to 24". Needs rich, loamy, well draining soil, and bright light with some sun. Keep soil evenly moist. Pinch tips to induce bushiness. Propagate by softwood cuttings in the spring. Hardy in zones 10-12
Button Fern
Pellaea rotundifolia
Button Fern This low growing, spreading fern from Australia prefers bright indirect light, protection from drafts and evenly moist soil. Fills in any space quickly.
Susceptible to attacks from scale insects. Hardy in zones 9-11
Dragon Tree
Dracaena marginata
Dragon Tree Tree-like plant that is tolerant of lower light but appreciates bright, indirect light. Allow to dry slightly between waterings. Sensitive to fluoride, so allow water to set for 24 hours before watering. Propagate by air layering or cuttings.
Earth star
Cryptanthus bromelioides
Earth Star Rosette forming, epiphytic Bromeliad from Brazil will grow to 12". Needs bright light but no direct sun and high humidity. Should be planted in a potting mix containing sphagnum moss or peat. Susceptible to mealy bugs and scale insects.
False Aralia
Dizygotheca elegantissima
False Aralia Will grow to five feet tall. Keep compact by pruning. Prefers bright indirect light, barely moist, acidic soil. Prefers night temperatures of 70°, daytime temperatures of 75°-85°. Grow from seeds that need light for germination.
Flame Violet
Episcia dianthiflora
Flame Violet Trailing, 6" relative of the African Violet from South America. Requires constant warmth and humidity, bright indirect light and should be planted in a porous, peaty potting mix. Keep soil moist at all times. Hardy in zones 10-12
Friendship Plant
Pilea involucrata
A Friendship Plant Growing in a Greenhouse, Pilea involucrata Friendship Plants are native to Central and South America, where they are known as Panamiga plants.They are creeping plants that form dense, 8"-12" tall mounds of deeply textured, oval, 2½" leaves. The foliage color varies, but the most common variety has dark, reddish brown leaves gilded with silver or copper. See Web Page
Golden Pothos
Epipremnum aureum
Epipremnum aureum Golden Pothos are one most popular of all house plants. They are attractive, durable and easy to grow vines that have smooth, leathery, heart shaped leaves with distinctive marbling alternating along rope-like green stems. Pothos vines are among the top ten air purifying plants for indoor use.
Hedera helix
English Ivy Ivy grows best with four or more hours a day of direct sunlight but will grow fairly well in bright indirect light. Keep soil evenly moist. Pinch tips to induce bushiness
Feed monthly with half strength, balanced fertilizer.
Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum raddianum
A Colony of Maidenhair Ferns, Adiantum raddianum Prefers bright indirect light, rich well draining soil and high humidity. Keep the soil evenly moist, but decrease watering slightly in the winter. Grows best when night temperatures are cooler (55°) Hardy in zones 10-12
Miniature Peperomia
Pilea depressa
A Miniature Peperomia, Pilea depressa Miniature Peperomias are low growing, creeping plants with pairs of tiny, opposing round leaves on rigid stems that readily root at each node that contacts the soil. This Pilea prefers lower humidity and drier soil. A nice, but fairly plain plant for hanging baskets or to cover the soil in large planters. See Web Page
Moon Valley
Pilea 'Moon Valley'
A Moon Valley Pilea, Pilea involucrata 'Moon Valley' Moon Valley is cool little plant that grows to about 12" tall. Their greatest feature is their saw toothed edged, chartreuse leaves with deep texturing like the craters and valleys on the moon. (sometimes you have to use your imagination..) Excellent for terrariums or dish gardens. See Web Page
Moses in a Cradle
Rhoeo discolor
Moses in a Cradle 12" rosette forming plant with bi-colored olive green above, purple below leaves. Needs bright indirect light and moist, rich, peaty soil. Avoid sudden temperature changes or drafts. Propagate by softwood cuttings.
Nerve Plant
Fittonia verchaffeltii
Nerve Plant Seedlings, Fittonia verchaffeltii Brightly colored pink or white veins paint a net over the oval leaves of this spreading 6-8" tall plant. Needs bright indirect light and moist, rich soil.
Propagate by softwood cuttings kept @ 75°. Hardy in zones 11-12
Parlor Palm
Chamaedorea elegans
Parlor Palm Slow growing but may become too tall for dish gardens (12-30"). Should be grown in a warm (75°-85°) area with bright indirect light with high humidity (or misting). Keep soil evenly moist. Feed in spring and summer only. Hardy in zones 11-12
Pin Cushion Plant
Nertera granadensis
Pincushion Plant The Pin Cushion Plant should be kept in a sunny location with a room temperature of 65-70 degrees. When active growth slows during the winter, watering should be cut back. Produces lots of tiny orange berries just in time for halloween!
Pink Polka Dot
Hypoestes phyllostachya
Pink Polka Dots The Polka Dot plant grows best in a humid environment, needs bright light but not full sun. Use water that has been allowed to set for 24 hours to keep the soil slightly moist. Pinch back for bushiness. Hardy in zones 10-12
Prayer Plant
Maranta leucoreura
Prayer Plant Need very high humidity, medium or bright filtered light and well drained soil, slightly peaty soil. Keep the soil evenly moist except when dormant. Feed with balanced "acid fertilizer" every 2 weeks when actively growing.
Purple Passion Plant
Gynura aurantiaca
Purple Passion plant Passion Plants need bright light but must be protected full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist. Feed every 2-3 weeks with half-strength house plant food when growing. Add peat moss to the potting mix. Propagation is by softwood cuttings
Rosary Vine
Ceropegia woodii
Rosary Vine The slender flowers resemble a small pink vase. Needs bright light (morning sun is ok), summer temperatures around 70°-75°, but keep cooler in winter. Do not over water Feed monthly with half strength house plant food when growing.
Oxalis oregona
Shamrocks Shamrocks are bulbs that grow best when they receive cool fresh air, moist soil and receive bright light but not direct sun. Needs a yearly period of dormancy. To propagate Shamrocks, just repot and separate the bulbs before replanting
Spider Plant
Chlorophytum comosum
Spider Plant Need bright natural light or artificial grow lights, evenly moist soil, and prefer cooler temperatures. Decrease their light hours to simulate the shorter days of fall to produce 'babies'. Feed every 3 months with house plant fertilizer
Swedish Ivy
Plectranthus australis
A Pink Flowering Swedish Ivy Plant in Bloom, Plectranthus australis Swedish Ivy is a fast growing, spreading, evergreen perennial plant from South Africa that is closely related to the Coleus. They have slightly rounded, waxy, glossy green, 1½"-2" leaves with scalloped edges, and produce 3"-8" racemes of pink, lilac or white flowers. See Web Page
Tahitian Bridal Veil
Gibasis geniculata
Tahitian Bridal Veil Creeping or hanging plant, native to Jamaica (not Tahiti). Prefers bright indirect light, high humidity and moderately rich, well draining soil. Allow the soil to dry moderately before watering. Hardy in zones 11-12
Watermelon Peperomia
Peperomia argyreia
Watermelon Peperomia Mound growing plant to 12". Needs bright light but must be protected full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist in warm weather but allow to dry before watering in winter. Feed monthly in spring and summer with half-strength house plant food.
Zebra Plant
Aphelandra squarrosa
Zebra Plants in Bloom, Aphelandra squarrosa Zebra Plants are extremely showy evergreen plants with pairs of shiny, 6"-9", lance shaped green leaves, boldly variegated with cream, white or silvery striped veins. Under ideal conditions, they can be persuaded to bloom. Only hardy in zones 11-12. See Web Page

Carnivorous Plants for Terrariums and Dish Gardens

Pinguicula vulgaris
Butterwort Should be grown in a mixture of sphagnum moss, peat moss and perlite, need several hours of sun each day. Butterworts require a varying amounts of moisture, but always less when dormant. Not suitable for sealed terarriums
Cobra Lily
Darlingtonia californica
Cobra Lily Cobra Lilies like bright light but not direct sunlight. They should be grown in live sphagnum moss, but can be grown in a mix of peat moss and perlite. Keep potting mix constantly wet. Can withstand temperatures from 32°-100°.
Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea
Pitcher Plant The coloring of the plant will be much more intense if it receives some full sun each day, but will grow in partial shade. Should be grown in a mixture of live Sphagnum moss, medium orchid bark and charcoal. Kept very wet during the growing season.
Drosera capensis
Sundew Grow in very bright light but not direct sun. keep constantly moist. Pot in mix of peat and sphagnum moss with perlite added. Water with distilled or rain water. Keep very warm in Summer (75°-100°) and 45° in the winter when dormant.
Venus Fly Trap
Dionaea muscipula
Venus Fly Trap Should be grown in warm, humid environment with very bright light but not direct sun. keep constantly moist. Pot in mixture of 70% peat or sphagnum moss and 30% perlite or pumice. Water with distilled or rain water.

Plants for a Desert Terrariums and Dish Gardens

Elephant Bush
Portulacaria afra
Elephant Bush Prefers bright light but will endure in moderate light. Pot in a 50/50 mix of coarse sand and potting mix. Allow soil to dry before watering, except in fall and winter only water once every 2-3 months. Propagate by softwood cuttings
Haworthia attenuata
Haworthia Grow in moderate light. Pot in a 50/50 mix of coarse sand and potting mix. Allow soil to approach dryness before watering. Feed in spring and again in the fall with half strength house plant fertilizer. Propagate by offsets.
Hen and Chicks
Echeveria elegans
Hens and Chicks Plant in rich, sandy soil and give at least 4 hours of direct sun every day. Prefers warm days(70-75°) and cooler nights (50-60°) Allow soil to dry before watering. Propagate by removing offsets and rooting them, or by seed.
Hens and Chicks
Echeveria imbricata
Hens and Chicks Forms six inch, ground hugging rosettes. Plant in rich, sandy soil and give plenty of bright light every day. Prefers warm days(70-75°) and cooler nights (50-60°) Allow soil to dry before watering. Propagation is by offsets
Sempervivum tectorum
Houseleek Should be grown in bright sunlight, in light, well draining soil. Water liberally, then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Propagation is by softwood cuttings in the spring or summer. Hardy in zones 10-12
Jade Plant
Crassula argentea
Jade Plant in bloom Jade plants should be grown in bright sunlight with low humidity. Plant in rich, sandy soil. Water liberally, then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Feed every two weeks when growing but none while dormant
Panda Plant
Kalanchoe tomentosa
Panda Plant Panda plants prefer average to warm temperatures, bright light and well draining soil. Allow soil to dry before watering. Avoid getting water on the foliage. Feed monthly when growing actively. Propagation is by softwood cuttings
Plush Plant
Echeveria pulvinata
Plush Plant Plant in rich, sandy soil and give plenty of bright light every day. Prefers warm days(70-75°) and cooler nights (50-60°) Allow soil to dry before watering. Avoid getting water on the foliage. Propagation is by softwood cuttings.
Tri-Colored Sedum
Sedum spurium tricolor
Tri-Colored Sedum Forms 4-6" rosettes. Should be grown in bright sunlight, in rich, sandy soil. Water liberally, then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Propagation is by offsets. Hardy in zones 4-10

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