Best Plants for Vivariums: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Plants

Plants for vivariums

Creating terrariums or vivariums is a wonderful way to bring the beauty of the tropical outdoors into your home. These miniature ecosystems not only provide a stunning display of vibrant greenery, but they also offer a unique opportunity to observe and care for a variety of fascinating plant species.

Some popular choices for vivarium plants include ferns, mosses, bromeliads, and orchids. These plants are not only visually appealing, but they also thrive in high humidity environments and have adapted to growing in shaded areas, making them perfect for vivariums. Remember to research the specific care requirements of each plant to ensure it thrives in your vivarium and remains healthy.

What is a Vivarium?

A vivarium is a specially designed enclosure that is used to recreate and maintain the natural habitat of plants and animals. It is often used to house exotic and tropical plants, as well as small reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Vivariums are typically made of glass and have a controlled environment that includes temperature, humidity, and lighting. They are popular among plant enthusiasts and hobbyists who enjoy creating miniature ecosystems and observing the growth and behavior of plants and animals.

Vivariums are similar to terrariums, but they differ in that they focus more on the needs of plants rather than animals. While terrariums are typically designed to simulate a specific environment for animals, vivariums are primarily created for plants. They provide the ideal conditions for plants to thrive, including the right amount of moisture, humidity, and light.

One of the main purposes of a vivarium is to create a suitable environment for plants that may not be able to survive in a normal household. Many exotic and tropical plants require high humidity levels, specific light conditions, and a moist environment. A vivarium allows these plants to flourish by providing all the necessary elements in a controlled setting.

In addition to recreating the natural habitat of plants, vivariums also provide a visually appealing display of greenery and foliage. The lush and vibrant plants that thrive in vivariums can create a stunning and calming atmosphere in any room. They can also help improve air quality by removing toxins and releasing oxygen.

Overall, vivariums are a great way to bring nature indoors and create a mini ecosystem in your home. They offer a unique and fascinating way to appreciate and learn about plants, while also providing an aesthetically pleasing display of greenery.

Why Choose Plants for Vivariums?

Plants bring a sense of greenery and vitality to any space, and vivariums are no exception. Adding foliage to your vivarium not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also creates a natural and balanced environment for the inhabitants. Whether you have a tropical or desert vivarium, incorporating plants can help mimic the natural habitat and provide a more enriched living space for your plants and animals.

Plants in vivariums serve several important purposes. First, they add visual interest and create a lush and vibrant atmosphere. The green leaves and varied textures of plants can transform a simple enclosure into a thriving miniature ecosystem. The vibrant colors and intricate shapes of tropical plants, in particular, can be a focal point and create a stunning display.

Lastly, plants contribute to the overall health and well-being of the vivarium’s inhabitants. They help absorb excess nutrients and toxins, improving the air quality and maintaining a cleaner environment. Many plant species also provide natural hiding spots and climbing surfaces for reptiles, amphibians, and other small creatures.

Factors to Consider

When choosing plants for vivariums, there are several important factors to consider. These factors will help you choose the best plants that will thrive in your vivarium and create a beautiful and natural environment for your pets or display. The following are some of the key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Exotic Plants: Vivariums are designed to replicate natural habitats, so it’s essential to choose plants that are exotic and commonly found in tropical regions. These plants will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your vivarium but also provide a more natural and suitable environment for your pets.
  2. Size and Type of Vivarium: The size and type of your vivarium will also impact the plants you choose. Consider the available space, lighting, temperature, and other factors specific to your vivarium. Some plants may require more vertical space, while others may prefer low-light conditions.

By considering these factors, you can select the most suitable plants for your vivarium, ensuring they can thrive and contribute to the overall health and beauty of the habitat.

Lighting: An Essential Factor for Choosing Plants for Vivariums

Proper lighting will not only support plant growth, but it can also enhance the overall aesthetics of your vivarium. The right balance of light and shadow will create a visually pleasing environment, highlighting the unique foliage and textures of your plants.

So, when selecting plants for your vivarium, don’t forget to carefully consider the lighting requirements. Whether you’re creating a tropical oasis or a desert landscape, providing the right amount and type of light will be key to the success of your vivarium and the health of your plants

The Importance of Temperature and Humidity in Vivariums

A high level of humidity in the vivarium can also help to regulate the temperature. The moisture in the air helps to cool down the vivarium, preventing it from becoming too hot and creating an ideal environment for the plants.

Overall, maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels in a vivarium is crucial for the health and well-being of the plants. By creating a humid and warm environment, you can ensure that your plants will thrive and provide a lush and beautiful foliage in your vivarium.

Tropical Plants for Vivariums: Adding Lush Greenery to Your Enclosure

Another important factor to consider is lighting. Tropical plants require bright, indirect light to grow and thrive. Choose a vivarium with appropriate lighting fixtures, or consider adding supplemental lighting such as fluorescent or LED grow lights. It’s also important to ensure that the lighting is on a timer to provide the plants with a consistent day/night cycle.

Orchids are another popular choice for tropical vivariums. With their delicate flowers and intricate foliage, orchids can add a touch of elegance to your enclosure. They require specific care, such as a well-draining potting mix and regular misting, but the reward is well worth the effort.

Ferns are also excellent choices for tropical vivariums. These ancient plants thrive in high humidity environments and can add a lush, tropical feel to your enclosure. Pothos, another popular option, is a hardy vine that can quickly cover the background of your vivarium, providing a lush green backdrop for your other plants.

Popular Plant Species for Vivariums

Orchids are another popular choice for vivariums. Known for their delicate beauty and intricate blooms, orchids can bring an air of elegance to your vivarium. With their ability to thrive in high humidity and warm temperatures, these plants are a perfect fit for creating a tropical paradise.

Ferns are also a great choice for vivariums. With their lush green foliage and ability to tolerate low light conditions, ferns can add a touch of natural beauty to any vivarium. These plants also thrive in high humidity, making them an ideal choice for creating a moist and inviting environment.

Pothos is another popular plant species for vivariums. Known for its trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves, pothos can create a cascading effect in your vivarium, adding depth and visual interest. This plant is also incredibly resilient and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it a great choice for beginners.

With the right selection of plants, you can create a beautiful and thriving vivarium that mimics a natural habitat. The combination of exotic plants, humidity, and greenery can transform your vivarium into a lush paradise that is not only visually stunning but also provides a perfect habitat for any inhabitants.

Bromeliads: The Perfect Greenery for Vivariums

Bromeliads are a popular plant choice for vivariums, thanks to their unique and vibrant appearance. These tropical plants add a touch of beauty and intrigue to any vivarium, making them a favorite among terrarium enthusiasts.

Why Choose Bromeliads for Vivariums?

Why Choose Bromeliads for Vivariums?

One of the main reasons to choose bromeliads for your vivarium is their ability to thrive in high humidity environments. These plants are adapted to the moist conditions found in tropical regions, making them perfect for vivariums that require a high level of humidity.

Additionally, bromeliads have stunning foliage that adds a pop of color and texture to your vivarium. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing you to create a visually pleasing and diverse vivarium ecosystem.

Caring for Bromeliads in Vivariums

Caring for bromeliads in vivariums is relatively easy. Here are some tips to ensure their health and vitality:

  1. Provide proper lighting: Bromeliads prefer bright, indirect light. Placing them near a window or using artificial lighting can help provide the necessary light for their growth.
  2. Maintain humidity: Keep the humidity levels in your vivarium high, ideally between 60%-80%. This can be achieved by misting the plants with water or using a humidifier.
  3. Monitor moisture levels: Bromeliads prefer slightly damp soil, so make sure to water them regularly. However, be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.
  4. Provide good air circulation: Adequate air circulation is essential for bromeliads. Use a fan or ensure proper ventilation in your vivarium to prevent stagnant air.
  5. Fertilize sparingly: Bromeliads are not heavy feeders. Use a diluted, balanced fertilizer once every few months to provide them with the necessary nutrients.

By following these care tips, your bromeliads will thrive and add beauty to your vivarium for years to come.

Orchids: The Perfect Tropical Plants for Vivariums

Orchids are highly sought after plants for vivariums due to their stunning beauty and adaptability to different environments. These exotic flowers add a touch of elegance and vibrant colors to any vivarium, creating a visually stunning and lush atmosphere.

Moisture: Orchids thrive in humid environments, making them a perfect choice for vivariums. The high humidity levels in a vivarium mimic the natural conditions these plants require to grow and bloom. The ample moisture in the air helps maintain the health and vitality of the orchids.

Tropical Greenery: Orchids are tropical plants, and their presence in a vivarium enhances the overall tropical ambiance of the enclosure. The combination of orchids with other tropical plants creates a lush and vibrant oasis, providing a visually pleasing display of greenery and foliage.

Temperature and Humidity:

Orchids thrive in tropical temperatures and high humidity levels. A temperature range of 65-75°F (18-24°C) during the day and a slightly lower range at night is ideal for most orchid species. The humidity level should be around 50-70%, providing the necessary moisture for the plants without causing excessive dampness.

Proper Lighting: Orchids require bright, indirect light to thrive. Placing them near a window with filtered sunlight or using artificial lighting with the right spectrum is essential for their growth and blooming. The specific lighting requirements may vary depending on the orchid species, so it is essential to research the lighting needs of the specific orchid being incorporated into the vivarium.

Care and Maintenance: Orchids need proper care to thrive in a vivarium. This includes regular watering to maintain the required moisture levels, fertilization with a balanced orchid fertilizer, and proper air circulation within the enclosure. Pruning and removing dead leaves or flowers is also important to maintain the overall health and appearance of the orchids.

Overall, orchids are an excellent choice for vivariums due to their tropical nature, vibrant colors, and adaptability to humid environments. Incorporating orchids into a vivarium adds a touch of elegance and beauty, creating a visually stunning and vibrant display of greenery and foliage.

Ferns: A Perfect Foliage Choice for Tropical Vivariums

Benefits of Ferns in Vivariums

  • High Humidity Requirements: Ferns thrive in high humidity environments, making them an ideal choice for tropical vivariums. The moisture in the air helps to keep the ferns healthy and vibrant, creating a lush greenery that enhances the overall aesthetic of the vivarium.
  • Natural Beauty: The delicate, feathery fronds of ferns create an enchanting visual display in any vivarium. Their unique leaf shapes and textures add depth and variety to the overall greenery, making the vivarium a captivating and visually appealing habitat.

Types of Ferns for Vivariums

There are several fern species that are well-suited for vivariums. Here are a few popular choices:

  • Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp.): Known for its delicate, lacy fronds, the Maidenhair Fern adds an elegant touch to any vivarium. It prefers moist soil and indirect light, making it an ideal choice for tropical vivariums.
  • Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium spp.): With its unique rosette-shaped fronds, the Bird’s Nest Fern is a striking choice for vivariums. It is adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, making it suitable for various types of vivarium setups.
  • Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum): This fern species is known for its stunning silver and purple foliage, adding a splash of color to the vivarium. It prefers slightly acidic soil and moderate lighting, making it an excellent choice for vivariums with diverse plant species.

With their unique beauty and ability to thrive in humid environments, ferns are a perfect choice for adding greenery and foliage to your tropical vivarium. Whether you choose a Maidenhair Fern, Bird’s Nest Fern, or Japanese Painted Fern, these plants will create a lush and vibrant atmosphere for your vivarium inhabitants.

Pothos: A Versatile Plant for Vivariums

Benefits of Pothos in Vivariums

Additionally, Pothos is a fast-growing plant, allowing it to quickly fill in empty spaces and provide lush green coverage. It also has aerial roots that can attach to various surfaces, making it versatile in terms of placement and arrangement within the vivarium.

Care and Maintenance

Taking care of Pothos in a vivarium is relatively easy. It requires moderate to bright indirect light and thrives in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 29°C).

In terms of watering, Pothos prefers slightly moist soil and should be allowed to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. Regular misting or the use of a humidity tray can help maintain the required humidity levels.

Pruning the plant is also necessary to prevent it from becoming too large and overcrowding the vivarium. Trimming back the vines will promote bushier growth while maintaining the overall aesthetic appeal.

Decorating with Pothos

 Decorating with Pothos

Pothos looks great when placed in hanging baskets, cascading down from above, or when allowed to climb up the sides of the vivarium. Its versatility allows for creative arrangements, and it can be combined with other plant species to create a diverse and visually appealing habitat.

When choosing Pothos for your vivarium, consider the mature size of the plant, as some varieties can grow quite large. Trim and shape the plant as needed to fit the dimensions of your vivarium.

Overall, Pothos is an excellent choice for vivariums due to its adaptability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance requirements. Whether it’s a tropical vivarium or a terrarium, incorporating Pothos will add a touch of greenery and beauty to any enclosed plant habitat.

Plants for Specific Vivariums

Tropical Vivariums

Orchids are another popular choice for tropical vivariums. These delicate and elegant plants thrive in high humidity and bright, indirect light. Orchids come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them a versatile option for adding visual appeal to your vivarium.

Ferns are a staple in tropical environments and make a great addition to any vivarium. They love high humidity and indirect light, making them a perfect fit for a tropical setup. Ferns can add a lush and natural look to your vivarium, creating a beautiful green backdrop for other plant species.

Desert Vivariums

Desert vivariums mimic the dry and arid conditions found in desert environments. These setups require plants that are adapted to survive in low humidity and intense sunlight. While the plant options are more limited compared to tropical vivariums, there are still plenty of choices that can thrive in desert conditions.


Paludariums are a unique type of vivarium that combines both aquatic and terrestrial environments. These setups often have a water feature, such as a pond or waterfall, along with a land area for plants to grow. Due to the water element, paludariums require plants that can tolerate high humidity and occasional submersion.

Lucky bamboo is a popular plant choice for paludariums. Despite its name, lucky bamboo is not actually a bamboo but a type of Dracaena plant. It can tolerate humid conditions and can be partially submerged in water without issues. Lucky bamboo adds a vertical element to your paludarium, creating visual interest and providing a hiding place for small animals.

Plant Placement and Arrangement

Additionally, consider mixing different types of plants to create a more natural and diverse look. Combining various leaf shapes, sizes, and colors can make your vivarium visually appealing and mimic the complexity of a real ecosystem.

Tropical Vivariums: Creating a Humid and Moist Environment for Exotic Plants

Tropical vivariums are popular choices for plant enthusiasts looking to create a lush and vibrant environment for their plants. These vivariums are specifically designed to mimic the humid and moist conditions found in tropical rainforests, making them perfect for housing a wide variety of exotic plants.

What Makes Tropical Vivariums Ideal for Exotic Plants?

Tropical vivariums offer the perfect balance of humidity, moisture, and temperature that many exotic plants thrive in. The high humidity levels recreate the tropical rainforest environment, providing the necessary moisture for the plants’ foliage to flourish.

These vivariums are typically enclosed glass containers with a tight-fitting lid to trap in the humidity. This controlled environment allows for the creation of a miniature rainforest, making it a paradise for tropical plants.

Choosing the Right Plants for a Tropical Vivarium

  1. Bromeliads: These unique plants have a rosette shape and collect water in their central cups. They thrive in high humidity and add a touch of exotic beauty to any vivarium.
  2. Orchids: Known for their stunning flowers, orchids are a favorite among plant enthusiasts. They require high humidity and indirect light, making them a perfect choice for tropical vivariums.
  3. Ferns: Ferns are excellent choices for creating a lush and tropical look in your vivarium. They thrive in high humidity and their delicate fronds add a touch of elegance to any setup.

Creating the Ideal Environment

The temperature should be kept within a range that is suitable for your chosen plant species. Most tropical plants thrive in temperatures between 70-80°F (21-27°C).

Humidity is perhaps the most critical factor for the success of a tropical vivarium. Aim for humidity levels between 70-90% to ensure your plants have enough moisture to thrive. Regular misting or using a humidifier can help maintain the desired humidity levels.

Caring for Plants in a Tropical Vivarium

Regular care and maintenance are essential for keeping your plants healthy in a tropical vivarium. Monitor the humidity levels and adjust as needed, making sure not to let it drop too low as it can negatively affect your plants.

Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests or diseases, and promptly take action if needed. Prune and trim your plants as necessary to maintain their desired shape and prevent overcrowding.

Water your plants as needed, being careful not to overwater or allow water to collect in the bottom of the vivarium. Proper drainage is important to prevent root rot and other moisture-related issues.

With proper care and attention to their unique needs, plants in tropical vivariums can thrive and create a stunning display of lush foliage and vibrant colors.

Tropical Vivariums: Creating the perfect environment for exotic plants

Tropical vivariums are a popular choice for plant enthusiasts looking to create a lush and vibrant display of greenery in their homes. These vivariums provide a controlled environment that mimics the tropical conditions that many plants thrive in. With the right combination of moisture, humidity, and temperature, you can create an ideal habitat for a wide variety of tropical plants.

Creating the perfect environment

Temperature is another crucial factor in tropical vivariums. Most tropical plants prefer temperatures between 70°F and 85°F (21°C and 29°C). A temperature controller or heater can help regulate the ambient temperature, ensuring optimal conditions for your plants.

Choosing the right plants

When selecting plants for your tropical vivarium, consider those that are well-suited to the higher humidity levels and warmth. Some popular choices include ferns, bromeliads, orchids, and pothos. These plants not only thrive in tropical conditions but also add a touch of beauty with their lush foliage and vibrant colors.

Ferns are excellent choices for adding a cascading effect to your vivarium, while bromeliads can create a striking focal point with their unique shapes and colorful blooms. Orchids, with their delicate flowers, add an elegant touch, and pothos provide trailing vines that create a sense of depth and volume.

Maintaining your tropical vivarium

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your tropical vivarium thriving. Be sure to monitor the moisture levels, humidity, and temperature regularly. Water the plants as needed, taking care not to oversaturate the soil. Regularly trim and prune your plants to keep them healthy and prevent overcrowding.

Tropical Vivariums: Creating a Lush and Exotic Environment

Tropical vivariums are a popular choice for plant enthusiasts who want to create a lush and vibrant environment in their homes. These vivariums are designed to mimic the natural habitat of tropical regions, providing the perfect conditions for a wide variety of foliage plants.

Choosing the Right Plants

There are numerous plant species that are well-suited for tropical vivariums. Here are some popular choices:

  1. Bromeliads: These unique and colorful plants are a favorite in tropical vivariums. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and their vibrant foliage adds a pop of color to the space.
  2. Orchids: Known for their exquisite flowers, orchids are perfect for adding elegance to a tropical vivarium. They require specific care but can thrive in the humid environment.
  3. Ferns: Ferns are well-known for their lush and feathery foliage, making them an ideal choice for a tropical vivarium. They thrive in the high humidity and provide a natural and enchanting backdrop.
  4. Pothos: Pothos is a versatile plant that can adapt to a variety of conditions, including tropical vivariums. It has long trailing vines that add beautiful greenery and can climb on branches or walls.

Maintaining the Ideal Environment

Creating a tropical vivarium is not just about selecting the right plants; it also involves ensuring the proper care and maintenance of the environment. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Moisture: Tropical vivariums require high levels of moisture to replicate the humid conditions found in tropical regions. Regular misting or the use of a humidifier can help maintain the desired humidity levels.
  • Lighting: Most tropical plants thrive in bright but indirect light. Providing adequate lighting is essential for the plants’ growth and overall health.
  • Temperature: Tropical vivariums should be kept at a consistent temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C) to ensure the well-being of the plants.
  • Air Circulation: Proper air circulation is vital in preventing the growth of molds or fungi. Using fans or opening the vivarium’s door periodically can help maintain good air circulation.

By considering these factors and carefully selecting the right plants, you can create a stunning tropical vivarium that brings a touch of the exotic into your home. These vibrant and lush environments not only provide a visually pleasing display but also offer a peaceful and refreshing escape.

Tropical Plants for Vivariums: Creating a Lush Greenery

One of the main advantages of using tropical plants in your vivarium is their ability to thrive in high moisture environments. These plants have adapted to the humid conditions of tropical rainforests, and they can handle the increased levels of moisture found in vivariums. This makes them an excellent choice for creating a visually striking and healthy environment for your pets.

When selecting tropical plants for your vivarium, consider the specific needs of your reptiles or amphibians. Some species require more humidity, while others prefer drier conditions. Research the requirements of your pets and choose plants that will best meet their needs.

When arranging the plants in your vivarium, consider their growth habits and sizes. Place taller plants at the back of the vivarium to create depth and interest, while shorter plants can be placed in the foreground. You can also use vines or epiphytic plants to create vertical interest and provide climbing opportunities for your pets.

Remember to regularly monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your vivarium to ensure that they remain within the optimal range for your chosen tropical plants. Using a hygrometer and a thermometer will help you maintain the ideal conditions.

By carefully selecting and arranging tropical plants in your vivarium, you can create a stunning and visually appealing green oasis for your reptiles or amphibians. These plants will not only provide a natural and beautiful habitat, but also contribute to the overall health and well-being of your pets.

Caring for Plants in Vivariums

In addition to lighting, temperature, and humidity, proper moisture levels are crucial for the health of plants in vivariums. Many plants in vivariums thrive in moist environments and benefit from regular misting or a water-filled tray below the plants to create a humid microclimate.

Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the health and longevity of the plants in vivariums. This includes monitoring for pests, trimming and pruning as needed, and providing any necessary nutrients or fertilizers. It is also important to regularly clean the vivarium to prevent the buildup of algae or other unwanted growth.

Caring for plants in vivariums requires careful attention to detail and a commitment to providing the ideal environment for their growth. With the right lighting, temperature, humidity, and maintenance, your plants can thrive and create a lush and exotic oasis in your home.