I love terrariums. One of the joys of keeping frogs and day geckos, is the fact that I can create a little jungle in a cube. However, sometimes I find it a struggle to get plants to grow in my terrariums. Over the years, I have been experimenting with different plants and lights.
I only like to use live plants in my dart frogs and day geckos enclosures as well as in my fish aquariums. Unfortunately, I can't use live plants with the turtle, because he eats them all! Working with live plants adds another aspect to dart frog and gecko keeping. In fact, I find that learning about plants and plant up keep is almost more work than taking care of the frogs and geckos themselves! But it is worth it, as I think that it creates a beautiful addition to any room and very peaceful and relaxing to watch.
I find it a struggle to keep plants growing and thriving because I need to find the correct balance of humidity, light, and temperature. With each tank being a different size, in a slightly different location, and with different lighting, I have to experiment and find the right plants. Some plants that do well in some tanks, don’t do well in others.
Why do I prefer live plants over fake plants?
Watch this video to find out! Also, see how I prep and plant some new plants into my tanks.
I typically will try out any plant that is labeled "tropical". Plants that I have found good success with in all or most of my terrariums. The "easier" plants.
- Oak Leaf Fig Tree
- Fine Baby Tears
Things to Consider When selecting plants:
- Space. How much do you have? How big will the plant grow? What will be the leaf size of the plant?
- Light level (usually varies in different areas of the tank)
- Humidity (should be able to tolerate high humidity)
- Root growth (deep soil, air, runners, pups, spores)
- Location of plant in tank : Background, Foreground,
How to prepare plants from garden stores to make them suitable for terrariums:
- clean off fertilizer
- clean off pests
To do this, un-pot the plant, remove soil and rinse the plant off. Using make up pads and rubbing alcohol often works well. Rub each and every leaf with the pad!
Removing as much soil as you can, may destroy the roots. Because of this, you may plant the plant in another location in your home, that is not in contact with animals that you are keeping. A spare terrarium only for plants? a mini green house? Then take clippings off of these plants once they are growing and established. This way, you will always have fresh clipping and growing plants to put into your terrariums with frogs, geckos, lizards, whatever you may have. You will always know that your plants are safe for your critters. This works if you are patient and have the space in your home.
Do you have any tips on plant growing or specific types of plants that you have had success with? Let me know in the comments below!