Bonsai In Terrarium – All You Need To Know

If you are a beginner in indoor gardening, you should have some knowledge about Bonsai trees.

Bonsai is usually a general term used to refer to trees that can be planted and shaped into an individual’s desired looks. They are never specific in shape and size and bring a natural look into the house. The earthy and natural aesthetics always add more beauty to your house.

So, how are these terrarium bonsai tree related to the terrarium? What’s a terrarium? This article will deeply explain all the ins and outs, touching on bonsai trees and terrarium and how they are related.

You only need to dedicate some of your time and attention, and you will be fully informed to grow your own Bonsai tree in no time.

What Is A Terrarium?

Terrariums are containers made of glass and are designed in a manner that plants can grow in them. Someone may also define a terrarium as a curved shape glass with a lid.

These sealable containers function as a miniature garden for plants that may not adapt well indoors. Terrarium containers are also used as decorative items in some homes.

Can You Grow A Bonsai Tree In A Terrarium?

The nature of the transparent glass may convince you to grow a bonsai in it, right? You will base your argument that the glass is clear. That gives visitors an easy time to notice and have a look at your bonsai with less effort.

Your argument is correct. The only question is, will the bonsai trees grow in a terrarium?

The answer is positive; yes, they can grow in a terrarium. But, unfortunately, not all kinds of bonsai can do that.

Some bonsai trees will find the environment created by the terrarium to be harsh to grow in, and even if it starts to grow, it won’t be long before the tree dies. Sadly, the bonsai will never adapt to such environments. Several features will determine if the bonsai can grow in a terrarium or not.

Some of the features that determine the fate of a bonsai growing in a terrarium are size, moisture level tolerance, and perhaps humidity tolerance.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Growing Bonsai In A Terrarium?

Growing Bonsai trees in a terrarium also have benefits such as:

  • You will not have to water your bonsai trees continually.
  • You can opt to use artificial lights such as Quantum or Board lights.
  • They act as a miniature garden if there is no space.
  • You stand a chance to grow plants that are difficult to plant in dry air by creating high humidity levels.

Best Containers To Be Used As A Terrarium

It is not a must for the container to be glass. Here are some alternatives that will work for you:

  • Coffee pots
  • Fish tanks with light bulbs
  • Goldfish bowls

All You Should Have To Make A Good Terrarium

For you to build a suitable terrarium to grow a Bonsai tree or any other plant, you will need the following items:

  • A container of either glass or plastic.
  • Soil
  • Dwarf bonsai trees. Those that won’t overgrow the container.
  • A spoon for filling the terrarium with soil.
  • Long tweezers for placing materials into the terrarium.

How To Care For Your Bonsai And Terrariums

Indoor gardening, especially terrariums, does not require much care and attention. You only need to perform some basics to keep your bonsai healthy.

  • Don’t let your bonsai overgrow. Keep trimming it.
  • Keep an eye on pests that may attack your open terrarium.
  • Allow for fresh air to circulate in a closed terrarium. Always open the lid.
  • Remove yellow leaves from your bonsai in a terrarium. This may signify disease or pests.
  • Supply the bonsai with adequate nutrients and regularly water it.

What To Do When Pests Attack Your Bonsai In A Terrarium

Your bonsai tree in a terrarium is susceptible to pest invasion. Various types of pests and gnats require different removal methods.  If you notice pests, you need to buy insecticidal soap and apply it to the infected plant. To keep away gnats, you may buy pebbles or rocks and stop over-watering your bonsai.

You may also use parasitic wasps or stick traps. 

At some point, all these tips may fail. The only solution left is to get rid of the infected bonsai to stop the spread of the pests to other plants you have or around the house.

This should not worry you because bonsai trees for terrariums are always affordable, so you can always buy a new one. Take your time to examine bonsai trees before buying. This will save your time and keep you away from problems.

Best Bonsai Species For Terrariums

Bonsai trees can indeed be planted either in open or closed terrariums. Open terrariums have few restrictions on what kind of bonsai trees may grow in them. The only condition is whether the bonsai tree fits on the terrarium. This is because an open terrarium resembles a common plant pot.

It may be nearly impossible to plant some bonsai trees in terrariums. You should research and carefully pick a type of Bonsai tree that will grow in a terrarium of your choice.

This will help you understand its humidity rate and airflow mechanisms. This will be applicable if you prefer a closed terrarium. However, you should know that several bonsai trees need humidity. The reason behind this is that they lose their ability to control the moisture around them.

The best bonsai trees for terrariums should be able to control humidity and moisture. You can easily know this if the plant originates from a tropical environment.

Best bonsai species for terrariums are:

  • Mosses
  • Water Jasmine
  • Bald Cypress
  • Brazilian Rain Tree
  • Bougainvillea
  • Fukien Tea
  • Ferns
  • Peperomia
  • Succulents
  • Dwarf palms
  • Ficus


Mosses like moisture and will be ideal for a closed terrarium. They also prefer moderate sunlight. They will do well since they can survive in any growing medium, such as soil, rocks, concrete, and even stone.

These plants absorb water and nutrients through their skin.  This mechanism is similar to that of a sponge. They will also lose water in the same way. This is the best plant for indoor gardening if you don’t need any problems.

Succulents And Cacti Groups

These plants always survive in the desert or semi-arid regions. These plants will still need sunlight because they conserve water for a long time. They will save you from constant watering.

They are also ideal for beginners as they don’t require much effort to grow well. And since the stems and branches of succulents are pretty flexible, you can carefully try and grow them into different shapes and styles.

These plants will be the best choice for open terrariums. You will only need to position them near a window.

Aquatic Plants

These are plants that are always submerged in water. This makes them a perfect option for a closed terrarium. Light intensity varies for each species. Some will need direct light, while others prefer less sunlight.

Herbaceous Plants

Herbaceous plants possess soft bodies and are green plants. Some of these small plants are always used for terrariums.

Several species can be used in either open or closed terrariums. Some of them include:

  • Peperomia
  • Fittonia
  • Ferns
  • Ficus
  • Bromeliads
  • Carnivorous plants

You should also know that these plants will do much better if not exposed to direct sunlight. You can put them near a window or on a balcony table.

How Will The Size Of A Bonsai Tree Determine Its Growth In A Terrarium?

Are you mind-boggling how a bonsai tree’s size may undermine its growth in a terrarium? Here is the point, bonsai are of different sizes. A terrarium is just a miniature garden. So, for instance, if you buy a tall bonsai tree, it will not fit in the terrarium.

Short or small bonsai trees will perfectly fit the terrarium, while big or tall bonsai trees will not. If you are thinking about a terrarium, think of small bonsai trees too.

How Moisture And Humidity Will Determine Bonsai Growing In A Terrarium?

You may be confused about how moisture and humidity will determine the life of a bonsai tree growing in a terrarium. Relax and watch the mystery get solved.

Do you know that there are two types of terrariums? If not, get to know that terrariums are in two forms: open and closed.

Let’s begin with open terrariums. Open terrariums are known for their friendliness to dry plants. The main reason behind this is that dry plants prefer airflow. They hate high moisture levels, which is always the case in closed terrariums.

Well, succulents and cacti groups are the best fit for open terrariums. This is because open terrariums let the air circulate, making the moisture evaporate quickly. The best alternative for an open terrarium is a normal plant pot. Unlike open terrariums, closed terrariums are the best match for plants that prefer high humidity.

Closed terrariums achieve this because they allow low air circulation. Plants that originate from rainforest climates are ideal for this environment. Plants such as moss and ferns are the best fit for closed terrariums.

A closed terrarium is a container that is made of glass and has a lid that traps water from underneath. This increases the humidity. Closed terrariums are very easy to maintain because they will not need constant watering.


Bonsai trees can grow in a terrarium. You only need to check whether it prefers an open or closed terrarium. You should also go for small plants that always fit in the terrarium. There is a need to research on preferences of plants based on humidity and moisture. This will help you make the right decision on whether the plant prefers an open or closed terrarium instead of wasting your time and resources.


  • Lydia Beaumont

    Lydia Beaumont is a go-to expert in interior design, known for her knack for stylish table settings, blending houseplants seamlessly with home decor, and designing inviting outdoor spaces. She has a real talent for making spaces look stunning while keeping them comfortable and livable. Lydia's creative touch brings a fresh and vibrant feel to any room or garden she works on.

    View all posts

Prayer Plant 101: Varieties, Care, & Why They “Pray”

Have you ever been captivated by a houseplant with stunning foliage and unique leaf movements? That's the magic of the prayer plant, a tropical...

The Complete House Plant Care Guide: Tips for Thriving Indoor Gardens

Don't overlook the importance of indoor plants when considering how to enhance your home or workplace. With a proper houseplant care plan, the perfect...

How To Grow Hardy Geraniums And To Revive Them In Spring

Have your hardy geraniums disappeared after a long winter? If so, be assured that, given proper care, these resilient geraniums can miraculously reemerge in...

7 Differences Between Geranium (Hardy Geranium, Cranesbill) and Pelargonium (Tender Geranium)

Are you a gardening enthusiast who's ever been confused by the terms "geranium" and "pelargonium"? Well, you're not alone! Here at Gardeners’ Yards, I have...

Read More

Related Articles