This terrarium scene is planted with Actiniopteris australis, Fittonia, Peperomia dahlstedii, an unspecified mini fern, and Ficus punctata, quercifolia, and columbia. It depicts a T-rex in the jungle
Actiniopteris australis is a miniature fern that requires warm temperatures and high humidity making it a perfect terrarium plant. It grows no larger than 4-6 inches and stays compact. The older leaves sometimes die off and are replaced by vibrant young green shoots, this is completely normal and the colony of springtails in the terrarium will take care of any dead leaves.
Peperomia dahlstedii is native to Central and Southern America and grows in a trailing habit. It is often sold as a houseplant where its oval-shaped leaves grow along thick stems that drape over the container edges. Like most peperomia’s, it takes to cuttings easily and detests sitting in water so care must be taken when watering the terrarium.
Fittonia albivenis is a tropical plant native to the tropical rainforests of South America, mainly Peru. Also known as the ‘nerve plant’, it has a distinctive vascular system with veins coming in a range of colors from white to pink and red. Tribes in the Amazon use it to cure headaches and toothache and it is believed to have been used as a hallucinogen during sacred ceremonies*. Like most tropical plants, it thrives in a humid environment but it is important to open the lid from time to time to allow air to circulate. While Fittonia enjoys humid conditions, it absolutely detests sitting in water so it is best to plant it in a loose soil mix. All terrariums should have a drainage layer at the bottom to allow excess water to seep from the soil above it.
Ficus pumila var. columbia is a smaller leaved version of Ficus pumila. It has a creeping habit and will form a dense mat along the terrarium floor if given enough light. It will also grow vertically if its roots can grip onto a surface. I’ve not been able to find much information on this cultivar. Like all Ficus, it exudes a milky latex when cut which can irritate the skin and eyes so care must be taken when using these plants. Always wash hands after handling and do not touch your eyes
Ficus quercifolia is a smaller leaved, slower-growing cultivar of Ficus pumila. Its name is derived from the Latin word, Quercus, which means ‘oak’. I’ve not been able to find much information on this cultivar. Like all Ficus, it exudes a milky latex when cut which can irritate the skin and eyes so care must be taken when using these plants. Always wash hands after handling and do not touch your eyes
Ficus punctata is a rare, tropical liana (a long-stemmed, woody vine that is rooted in the ground and uses trees to reach the canopy where it will receive better light) rarely available in the UK. It is found in Myanmar, Southeast Asia, and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Like all Ficus, it exudes a milky latex when cut which can irritate the skin and eyes so care must be taken when using these plants. Always wash hands after handling and do not touch your eyes
To keep this terrarium healthy, place in a bright spot and ensure the soil stays damp but not wet. The substrate should feel like a sponge rung of all the water; as if you were about to wipe a surface down. Always use a spray bottle on the mist setting when watering and if unsure, less is always preferable to more. Plants in a terrarium can recover from underwatering far easier than overwatering. If in doubt please contact me or bring the terrarium to my workshop.