How to Grow English Ivy in a Terrarium

English ivy is one of the most popular plants to include in a terrarium. Not only is it easy to care for, but it also adds a touch of elegance to any space. In this blog post, we’ll explore the steps you need to take to grow English ivy in a terrarium successfully. So, if you want to add some greenery to your life, keep reading!

How to Grow English Ivy in a Terrarium
English Ivy in a Terrarium

Types of English Ivy Ideal for Terrariums

When selecting English Ivy varieties for your terrarium, choosing those well-suited to the confined space and controlled conditions of a terrarium environment is essential. Here are some English Ivy varieties that are ideal for terrariums:

  1. Hedera helix ‘Needlepoint’: This variety of English Ivy has small, delicate leaves with pointed lobes. Its compact growth habit makes it a perfect choice for terrariums with limited space.
  2. Hedera helix ‘Goldchild’: ‘Goldchild’ is a variegated English Ivy with bright green leaves edged in golden-yellow. Its vibrant foliage adds color to the terrarium, creating an eye-catching display.
  3. Hedera helix ‘Glacier’: ‘Glacier’ features dark green leaves marbled with silver-gray or creamy-white markings. It’s a visually striking variety that can bring an elegant touch to your terrarium.
  4. Hedera helix ‘Eva’: ‘Eva’ is a compact English Ivy variety with small, deep green leaves. It has a trailing growth habit, which makes it suitable for cascading over the edges of the terrarium.
  5. Hedera helix ‘Raven’: ‘Raven’ is a unique English Ivy variety with dark, almost black foliage. Its rich color creates a striking contrast when planted alongside other green plants in a terrarium.
  6. Hedera helix ‘Duckfoot’: ‘Duckfoot’ is characterized by its distinctive, three-lobed leaves resembling a duck’s foot. Its small leaf size and compact growth habit make it an excellent choice for terrariums.

Step-by-Step Guide to Growing English Ivy in a Terrarium

1. Choosing the Right Terrarium

The first step in growing English Ivy in a terrarium is choosing the correct container. A glass or plastic container with a lid can work well. The size should be enough to accommodate the growth of the plant.

2. Preparing the Terrarium

Selecting and Preparing the Soil

English Ivy prefers well-draining soil. A mix of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and potting soil works well. Before placing the soil in the terrarium, ensure it’s moist but not soggy.

Arranging the Terrarium

Add a layer of pebbles at the bottom of the terrarium for drainage, then add the soil. You can also add a layer of activated charcoal to help filter the air and prevent mold growth.

3. Planting the English Ivy

Next, make small holes in the soil and gently place your English Ivy cuttings. Ensure the cuttings are well-spaced to prevent overcrowding as they grow.

4. Caring for Your English Ivy Terrarium


English Ivy prefers a humid environment but doesn’t like to sit in water. Water lightly to keep the soil moist, but avoid overwatering. A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil feels dry.


While English Ivy can tolerate low light, it thrives best in bright, indirect light. Place your terrarium near a north or east-facing window for optimal growth.


Prune your English Ivy regularly to maintain a neat appearance and encourage bushier growth. Trim the vines back to the desired length using a sharp pair of scissors.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite your best efforts, you might need help growing English Ivy in a terrarium. Common problems include yellowing leaves due to overwatering, brown leaves from low humidity, and stunted growth due to lack of light. Adjusting your care routine can resolve these issues.

What Other Plants Can Be in a Terrarium with English Ivy?

You can create a lush and diverse miniature ecosystem when creating a terrarium with English Ivy. Here are some other plants that can thrive alongside English Ivy in a terrarium:

  1. Moss: Adding different varieties of moss, such as sheet moss or cushion moss, can create a beautiful ground cover in your terrarium. Mosses thrive in the moist and humid environment that terrariums provide.
  2. Ferns: Ferns are excellent companions for English Ivy in a terrarium due to their similar care requirements. Maidenhair ferns, button ferns, or bird’s nest ferns are popular choices. Their delicate and feathery foliage adds a touch of elegance to the terrarium.
  3. Fittonia: Also known as nerve plants, Fittonia features striking leaves with intricate patterns of veins. Their compact size makes them ideal for terrariums, and come in various colors like green, pink, or white.
  4. Pilea: Pilea, commonly known as the friendship or Chinese money plant, has attractive round leaves that bring a unique texture to the terrarium. They prefer indirect light and thrive in the humid environment of a terrarium.
  5. Peperomia: Peperomia plants have thick, fleshy leaves in different shapes, sizes, and patterns. They are low-maintenance and do well in the high humidity of a terrarium.
  6. Baby’s Tears: Soleirolia soleirolii, or baby’s tears, is a delicate trailing plant with tiny, round leaves that resemble droplets. It forms a dense carpet of foliage, creating a lush and verdant atmosphere in the terrarium.
  7. African Violet: If you’re looking for a splash of color, African violets are an excellent choice. Their vibrant flowers and compact size make them an attractive addition to a terrarium.
  8. Miniature Orchids: Certain species of miniature orchids can thrive in the controlled environment of a terrarium. These delicate and exotic flowers can add a touch of elegance and intrigue to your terrarium display.

Remember to consider each plant’s growth habits, light requirements, and moisture preferences when selecting companions for your English Ivy. Ensure they have similar care needs to maintain a thriving terrarium ecosystem.


  1. How often should I water my English Ivy terrarium? Water your terrarium when the top inch of soil feels dry. It’s better to under-water than to over-water.
  2. Can English Ivy grow in low light? English Ivy can tolerate low light but grows best in bright, indirect light.
  3. Why are the leaves on my English Ivy turning yellow? Yellowing leaves are often a sign of overwatering. Ensure the soil is well-draining and avoid watering too frequently.
  4. Can I grow other plants with English Ivy in my terrarium? You can grow different plants with similar care requirements in your terrarium. Some good companions for English Ivy include ferns and mosses.
  5. How big can English Ivy grow in a terrarium? While English Ivy can grow up to 100 feet outdoors, its growth will be limited by the size of your terrarium when grown indoors. Regular pruning can help manage its size.


Growing English Ivy in a terrarium can be a rewarding experience. Not only does it provide you with a unique decorative piece, but it also allows you to engage in a relaxing and therapeutic hobby. With the proper care, your English Ivy terrarium can thrive and bring a touch of nature into your home.