Alocasia ‘Ninja’ plants thrive in a very humid environment making these plants ideally suited to growing inside a terrarium, vivarium, or bottle garden. However, terrariums and bottle gardens are not universally the same, different enclosures will provide contrasting growing conditions. When choosing a terrarium and deciding on a location to cultivate Alocasia ‘Ninja’, remember that these plants won’t be happy in a shaded environment – Alocasia ‘Ninja’ require bright but indirect light to be able to thrive.
Juniper is also known by its botanical name, Juniperus communis. Juniperus communis is an evergreen conifer with spiky needles. Plants are very hardy and they flourish in exposed and sheltered locations. These plants need a bright and sunny position; Juniperus communis is happy growing in almost any moist but well-drained soil, including stony ground and chalk. When choosing where to plant Juniperus communis, avoid shaded areas and soils that are prone to water-logging.
The Silver Birch (Betula pendula) is one of our most recognisable UK native trees with its glorious silvery-white bark and dainty green leaves. We’re not the only ones to have an affinity with Betula pendula, this stunning tree is a native plant of many countries in Europe and Northern Asia. Betula pendula is a deciduous tree, its leaves turn from green to a buttery yellow before falling in autumn.
Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ is the white flowered form of Rosa rugosa.
I adore roses. I grow Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ in my own garden. My garden is very small, which limits the number of plants I can grow; accordingly, every plant in my garden really does have to earn their place and is constantly under review! I’ve included Rosa rugosa ‘Alba in my personal little oasis because this is a tough and resilient, naturally healthy rose that produces gorgeous flowers with pollen that’s accessible to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other insects.
Phalaenopsis japonica is small sized orchid species that produces very attractive, lemon scented inflorescences, during spring and summertime. The greenish-white flowers are handsomely decorated with pink markings that cover the flower’s lip and these compliment the somewhat variable maroon markings that highlight the blooms’ sepals and petals.
This orchid species’ specific epithet (the second part of the orchid species’ name) – japonica means that this orchid species is from Japan.
Aspidistra elatior is a herbaceous perennial from China, Japan, and Taiwan. This species produces large lance shaped leaves in a dark bottle green colour with a lovely glossy finish. If you fancy something a bit different, look out for variegated, spotted, or striped leaf forms, which are sometimes available from specialist houseplant nurseries and online auction sites.
Plants bloom each year in the wild; occasionally, indoor plants will also flower, but this doesn’t happen very often.
Arctium lappa can be found growing wild across Europe, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, as well as other locations around the world. In the UK, Arctium lappa is more commonly known as Greater Burdock, but I’m sure that this plant has a range of common names, as it’s a native plant of so many countries.
This is an edible and medicinal plant that is grown or foraged for food and medicine.
Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ is a distinctive form of Buddleja; its long panicles of indigo coloured flowers are deeper in colour than almost all other Buddlejas. That’s not the only quality that this plant boasts, Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ produces very large flowers; plants enjoy a long flowering season and have a naturally upright form. The richly coloured blooms are large in size and nicely scented, too.
I love Blechnum spicant, it’s such a handsome, charming little fern, with its narrow, dark green coloured pinnate fronds. Depending on this fern’s particular stage of growth, Blechnum spicant may form low growing rosettes with the sterile fronds leaning out horizontally, or if the fertile fronds are more predominantly growing, plants will appear as more upright and erect in their habit.
If you love butterflies, bees, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects, then you’ll love growing Buddleja davidii, as this shrub is a magnet to these wonderful creatures! If you’ve not grown Buddleja before, this vigorous shrub is perhaps easier to care for and taller growing than you might expect. This said, you can prune your plant to keep it in shape and restrict its size a little, and if you’d prefer to grow a smaller, more compact variety, there are many new compact Buddleja varieties that have been released over the past five years or so.
Polypodium formosanum is a fern that originates from the island of Kyushu, in Japan; this same fern species can also be found growing in Taiwan, in China. Polypodium formosanum’s common name is the Grub Fern, the Green Caterpillar Fern, or Blue Feet – after this fern’s striking rhizomatous growth – the protruding, glaucous blue-green coloured extending growth this fern produces.
If you want to grow more of these ferns, you can divide Polypodium formosanum to propagate it, or alternatively, you could raise more plants by sowing the spores.
Ficus pumila is an evergreen climber, which is commonly known as the creeping fig. Ficus pumila is a vigorous and robust, self-clinging climber, which can seemingly attach itself to even the smoothest of glass terrariums or vivariums with ease. Ficus pumila forms a tall vine, which is covered in rather pretty heart-shaped leaves.
Ficus pumila can reach about 3m (10ft) in height – making this plant too unwieldy and unmanageable for most terrariums, although this climber can be pruned to maintain a shorter height.
Raspberries (also known by their botanical name, Rubus idaeus) are easy-to-grow, shrubby plants that produce delicious tasting berries in varying shades of red, pink, purple, a dark inky shade of purple that almost looks black, yellow, orange, peach, and very occasionally, white. The raspberries pictured in the photograph (taken at my allotment) that accompanies this plant page are still developing, they have yet to colour or ripen.
Neofinetia falcata is a miniature to small sized, epiphytic orchid species, which originates from China, Japan, and Korea. During the springtime, Neofinetia falcata produces beautiful, white flowers, which release their delicious fragrance during the evening. This is a very attractive orchid species, the plants look absolutely magnificent, even when they’re not in bloom, Neofinetia falcata plants have a wonderful form and grace, this orchid will enhance any planting scheme.
Ilex crenata (Fastigiata Group) ‘Fastigiata’ is a slow growing Japanese holly, with a naturally upright, columnar habit, that grows to 3 – 5 meters (10 – 16ft) tall.
Ilex crenata (Fastigiata Group) ‘Fastigiata’ is an evergreen holly, that features small, dark green, glossy leaves and produces tiny black berries.
Ilex crenata (Fastigiata Group) ‘Fastigiata’ can be used as an alternative to Box, as it has a similar growth habit with tiny leaves that gives a similar look to Buxus.
Ilex crenata is a holly, but it’s so different to the more widely known holly tree which has much larger leaves, like other hollies, Ilex crenata is a slow growing evergreen shrub. Ilex crenata has tiny leaves, the shrub creates a naturally dense form, which is suited to dwarf hedging – this plant’s common name is the Box leaf holly, as Ilex crenata is one of many plants that can be used as a replacement for box hedging.
Drosera rotundifolia is a small, low growing, perennial carnivorous plant that forms a rosette shape as it grows. Drosera rotundifolia is also known by its common name of round leaved sundew, this plant naturally grows in acidic peaty, boggy, marshy soils, across heathlands, lowlands, moors, and other areas, where you’ll find Drosera rotundifolia growing in acidic soil. Drosera rotundifolia flowers from mid to late summer.
Polystichum tsussimense is a pretty little fern. If you have a steamy, frequently used bathroom with room for a new plant, Polystichum tsussimense will grow happily here. Although, for best results I’ve found Polystichum tsussimense is more successfully grown as a bottle garden, terrarium, or vivarium plant. This is an incredibly versatile fern – you don’t have to grow it indoors – Polystichum tsussimense also flourishes outside in the garden.
Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ (PBR) is a very versatile and attractive fern, which produces delightfully ruffled, fresh-green coloured fronds. This is a great choice of fern to grow as a house plant or to plant inside a terrarium, vivarium, or bottle garden. Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ is sometimes known by its common name of the Japanese Asplenium Fern.
When the new fronds of Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ grow up from the centre of the fern for the first time, they display quite a straight form, but as they begin to age, the fronds develop the wavy character and habit that this fern is known for and admired.