Discover the Best Vivarium Plants for Your Indoor Jungle!

Step into the lush and vibrant world of vivariums, where the art of cultivation meets the beauty of biodiversity. Among the key elements that breathe life into these miniature ecosystems are vivarium plants—nature’s palette that transforms enclosures into thriving biomes.

Whether you’re cultivating a tropical rainforest oasis, a desert mirage, or a woodland haven, the selection and care of vivarium plants play a pivotal role in creating a harmonious and sustainable habitat for your reptilian or amphibian companions.

In this exploration of vivarium plants, we delve into the verdant realms where foliage meets fascination, unveiling the secrets to cultivating and maintaining a verdant sanctuary that mirrors the wonders of the natural world.

Join us on this journey into the heart of vivariums, where every leaf tells a tale of biodiversity, and every plant contributes to the flourishing balance of a living, breathing microcosm.

Benefits of using vivarium plants

Benefits of using vivarium plants

Natural habitat replication

When it comes to creating a vivarium, replicating the natural habitat of the inhabitants is crucial. Vivarium plants play a vital role in achieving this goal. By incorporating live plants into your vivarium, you can recreate the lush greenery and natural environment that your reptiles, amphibians, or insects would encounter in the wild. This not only provides a visually appealing setting but also helps to create a more natural and stress-free environment for your pets.

Improved air quality

One of the significant benefits of using vivarium plants is the improvement in air quality. Plants are known for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. By having live plants in your vivarium, you can ensure a constant supply of fresh oxygen for your pets. This is especially important in enclosed environments where air circulation may be limited. The presence of vivarium plants can help to filter out harmful toxins and pollutants, creating a healthier and more breathable atmosphere for your pets.

Enhanced aesthetics

In addition to the functional benefits, vivarium plants also enhance the overall aesthetics of your enclosure. The vibrant colors, varied textures, and lush foliage of vivarium plants can transform a plain enclosure into a visually stunning and captivating display. Whether you prefer a tropical rainforest theme or a desert oasis, there are vivarium plants available to suit every style and preference. The addition of live plants not only creates a more visually appealing environment but also provides a more natural and enriching habitat for your pets.

Choosing the right vivarium plants

Choosing the right vivarium plants

Consider the size of your vivarium

When selecting vivarium plants, it is essential to consider the size of your enclosure. Different plants have varying growth habits and space requirements. Some plants may thrive in smaller enclosures, while others may require more room to spread their roots and foliage. It is crucial to choose plants that are proportionate to the size of your vivarium to ensure they have enough space to grow and flourish.

Research the plant’s care requirements

Each vivarium plant has specific care requirements, including lighting, humidity, temperature, and watering needs. Before adding any plants to your vivarium, it is essential to research and understand these requirements. Some plants may require high humidity levels, while others may prefer drier conditions. By understanding the care needs of each plant, you can create an environment that promotes their growth and ensures their long-term health.

Avoid toxic plants

While vivarium plants offer numerous benefits, it is crucial to be aware that not all plants are safe for your pets. Some plants may be toxic or harmful if ingested by reptiles, amphibians, or insects. Before adding any plants to your vivarium, thoroughly research their toxicity levels and ensure they are safe for your pets. It is always better to err on the side of caution and choose non-toxic plants to avoid any potential harm to your pets.

Popular vivarium plants

Popular vivarium plants


Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular choice for vivariums due to its hardiness and versatility. It can thrive in a wide range of lighting conditions, making it suitable for both low-light and high-light vivariums. Pothos has trailing vines with heart-shaped leaves, adding a touch of elegance to any enclosure. It is also known for its air-purifying properties, making it an excellent choice for improving air quality in your vivarium.

Spider plant

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are another popular choice for vivariums. They are known for their long, arching leaves with white stripes, creating a visually striking display. Spider plants are relatively easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions. They also help to improve air quality by removing toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene from the environment.


Philodendrons are a diverse group of plants that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They are known for their large, glossy leaves and are often used to create a tropical ambiance in vivariums. Philodendrons thrive in high humidity environments and require bright, indirect light. They are relatively low-maintenance plants, making them suitable for beginners and experienced vivarium enthusiasts alike.


Bromeliads are a family of tropical plants that are well-suited for vivariums. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes, adding a vibrant and exotic touch to any enclosure. Bromeliads are epiphytic plants, meaning they can grow on other surfaces such as rocks or branches. They require high humidity levels and bright, indirect light. Bromeliads also have the added benefit of producing colorful flowers, further enhancing the visual appeal of your vivarium.


Ferns are a classic choice for vivariums due to their lush foliage and ability to thrive in humid environments. There are numerous fern varieties available, each with its unique leaf shapes and textures. Ferns prefer low to medium light conditions and require consistent moisture to thrive. They are excellent for creating a dense and verdant backdrop in your vivarium.

Caring for vivarium plants

Caring for vivarium plants

Provide adequate lighting

Proper lighting is essential for the health and growth of vivarium plants. Most vivarium plants require bright, indirect light to thrive. However, it is crucial to research the specific lighting needs of each plant, as some may have different requirements. Consider using full-spectrum LED lights or fluorescent lights to provide the necessary light intensity and spectrum for your plants.

Maintain proper humidity levels

Humidity is another critical factor in caring for vivarium plants. Most vivarium plants thrive in high humidity environments, which can be achieved by misting the enclosure regularly or using a humidifier. It is important to monitor humidity levels and adjust them accordingly to ensure the plants’ health and prevent issues such as leaf drying or wilting.

Watering and fertilizing

Proper watering is crucial for the health of vivarium plants. It is important to water the plants thoroughly but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Additionally, fertilizing the plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can provide essential nutrients for their growth. Follow the recommended dosage and frequency specified for each plant to avoid overfertilization.

Common issues with vivarium plants

Common issues with vivarium plants

Yellowing leaves

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of various issues, including overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or improper lighting. It is important to assess the specific conditions of your vivarium and adjust accordingly. Ensure that you are providing the correct amount of water, light, and nutrients for your plants’ needs.

Root rot

Root rot can occur when the roots of vivarium plants are constantly exposed to excess moisture. This can lead to the decay of the roots and ultimately the death of the plant. To prevent root rot, ensure proper drainage in your vivarium and avoid overwatering. Use a well-draining substrate and monitor the moisture levels regularly.

Pest infestations

Pests such as aphids, mites, or fungus gnats can occasionally infest vivarium plants. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests, such as visible insects, webbing, or damage to the leaves. If an infestation is detected, take immediate action to control and eliminate the pests. This may involve using natural pest control methods or, in severe cases, removing and replacing affected plants.



Incorporating vivarium plants into your enclosure offers numerous benefits, including natural habitat replication, improved air quality, and enhanced aesthetics. When choosing vivarium plants, consider the size of your enclosure, research the plant’s care requirements, and avoid toxic plants.

Popular vivarium plants include pothos, spider plants, philodendrons, bromeliads, and ferns. Proper care involves providing adequate lighting, maintaining proper humidity levels, and watering and fertilizing appropriately.

Be aware of common issues such as yellowing leaves, root rot, and pest infestations, and take necessary measures to address them. By following these guidelines, you can create a thriving and visually appealing vivarium for your pets.


  • What is a vivarium for plants?

    A vivarium, often called a terrarium, is a bio-active, closed-container for plants and sometimes animals. In its essence, it is a mini eco-system captured inside a glass box. It can be a humid jungle, an arid desert, or an otherworldly fairy garden.

  • What live plants can go in a vivarium?


    Low moisture. Gasteria. Haworthia. Snake plant.
    Moderate moisture. Green ivy. Dracaena. Peperomia. Rex begonia. Blue star fern. Fiddle leaf fig. Ficus Audrey. Monstera. Homalomena. Schefflera. Tillandsia. …
    High moisture. Neanthe Bella Palm. Black jewel orchid. Begonia “Iron Cross” Pillow moss. Sheet moss. Boston fern.

  • What is the difference between a terrarium and a vivarium?

    Today, terrariums are used mostly by hobbyists who plant commercially propagated materials. Terrariums can be used as a naturalistic environment for keeping small reptiles and amphibians, much like an aquarium is used for keeping fish. This type of modified terrarium is called a “vivarium.”

  • How do I make my plants safe for vivarium?

    To process sensitive flora, we suggest a thorough rinse, a gentle scrub, and allowing the plant to soak for 1-10 hours in purified water. Doing so won’t carry all of the benefits of the more aggressive treatment but should still greatly minimize the risks of contaminating a vivarium with unwanted microfauna.

Originally posted 2023-10-12 15:07:39.

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