11 Best Orchids to Add to Your Terrarium

  • By: SFUAA
  • Date: May 23, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Orchids are surprisingly low-maintenance plants and will remain in bloom for several weeks at a time. With close to 200,000 natural and hybrid varieties to choose from, there’s a unique orchid just waiting to be added to your terrarium. 

Some orchid varieties are epiphytic, meaning they grow in air and do not need to be planted in soil. Their roots attach to trees or rocks, where they capture moisture and nutrients. Other orchid terrestrials, growing in loamy soil that is filled with decomposing organic material. Most varieties require little water, plenty of bright light, and regular feedings.


Christmas Orchid | Photo 182358762 © | Dreamstime.com

These miniature orchids are epiphytes and mostly grow on moss-covered tree trunks in shaded areas of their native Madagascar homeland. They are also found growing in the wild in African rainforests. 

To grow these orchids successfully, give them a lot of humidity and moiusture, and keep them in a warm location to mimic their natural environment.

Angraecum Bancoense

This orchid grows well in a terrarium that contains standard bark mix and is placed in a shaded location.

The plant is very tiny and forms a small tuft of flattened and pendent stems. Tiny white blooms occur throughout the year but are most prolific from June to September and from February to April.

Angraecum Cucullatum

This is a miniature sized, warm growing epiphytic orchid with thick stems and tiny white blooms. It flowers in late spring and early summer.

Angraecum cucullatum grows best in a terrarium when mounted on tree-fern slabs. Mounted plants need high humidity may need several waterings a day. If keeping a mounted plant moist enough, plant the orchid in a shallow pot with a fast-draining medium that is well aerated, and allows the medium to dry fairly rapidly after watering.

Create the ideal growing medium with fir bark or shredded tree-fern fiber and chopped sphagnum moss to keep the medium open and retain some moisture. Include a little charcoal in the growing medium mix to prevent souring in the pot.

Angraecum Ochraceum

This Madagascar native is a miniature sized, cool growing epiphyte with an erect stem that has several, narrow leaves. Angraecum Ochraceum produces pale greenish-yellow blooms in the late winter and early spring.

This orchid is slow growing and grows best in a location where the plant will receive bright, indirect light. The plant needs high humidity and frequent misting with rainwater.

Masdevallia Orchids

Masdevallia Orchid | Photo 53829566 © Whiskybottle | Dreamstime.com

Masdevallia Orchids are somewhat demanding plants that need bright light and a lot of humidity (80-100%). If you’re looking for an orchid species for a sealed terrarium, this makes them a great choice.

Masdevallia orchids are also called Kite Orchids because their flowers are said to look like Kites. 

These orchids dry out quickly, so they’ll need to be kept moist. Plant these orchids in coco coir so that they won’t dry out. Avoid rough substrates that may damage their roots.

Masdevallia Corazonica

This is a miniature, epiphytic orchid which is native to the cloud forests of Ecuador. This tiny Masdevallia species loves moisture, and needs conditions that can be easily replicated in a terrarium.

Masdevallia corazonica is a cool growing orchid species, this plant favors growing in a constantly humid environment, and in a soft, filtered, diffused, indirect lighted environment.

Masdevallia Decumana

Another miniature orchid plant that grows and thrives on the trees and is ideal for life inside an open terrarium. Masdevallia Decumana is an epiphyte and it needs to be grown in a very humid environment so it can be kept warm and damp at all times. This orchid likes shade and good air circulation that an open terrarium can provide.  

Place a chopped mixture of tree fern, fir bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss inside the terrarium so that is kept moist. This orchid produces large dark purple-red spotted flowers.

Masdevallia Nidifica

This lovely terrarium orchid can be epiphytic or lithophytic. Masdevallia Nidifica enjoys shade, cool temperatures, high humidity, and moisture.

This tiny orchid will only reach a mature size of 3-inches and will develop a nest in the center.

Masdevallia Nidifica blooms in the winter and summer from a solitary flowered, arcuate. The 2-inch blooms have purple tinged petals or will be cream color with red stripes and have long, wispy sepaline tails.

Repot or divide these orchids every two years in the spring or fall.

Masdevallia Tentaculata

This small orchid is known for its strikingly soft, large yellow blooms is a native of Ecuador. 

The blooms appear in spring and summer and are high above the plant’s leaves so the flowers are very well displayed. 

Masdevallia Tenetaculata thrives in a terrarium that is kept cool and moist. The plant prefers to grow under filtered, indirect light and needs frequent misting and constant low temperatures. They can also be grown in small pots or mounted on tree fern. These orchids prefer a continuously damp medium, so create a growing medium that will both drain well and retain moisture. A coarse mixture of pine bark, polystyrene, and perlite works well when planting a Masdevallia Tenetaculata in a pot to place inside a terrarium.

Platystele Orchids 

These are great to use in terrariums as foliage plants but their blooms are insignificant. The tiny blooms of Platystele orchids are typically about half an inch wide, however, what these orchids lack in bloom size, they make up for in plant volume.

Platystele orchids are creeping miniatures with 1-inch leaves sprouting everywhere from a multi- branching rhizome. The orchid has short blooming spikes that have repeating bloom cycles. The small blooms are orange and greenish-yellow.

These orchids thrive in cool to warm temperatures, with around 80F (26C) being their ideal temperature.

Schoenorchis Fragrans

This mini orchid produces tiny pink fragrant blooms in winter and summer. Mount this plant on a small piece of tree fern inside your terrarium.

Native to Thailand, Schoenorchis Fragrans, is a tough plant that thrives in warm temperatures and bright light. The plant likes a moist environment and should be watered 3-4 times a week, but the roots should be allowed to dry out between watering.

Previous Post

11 Great Spiky Houseplants for YOU to Grow

Next Post

Are Hoya Plants Poisonous? (& Allergy Info)