Can A Terrarium Be Sealed? (Yes, Here’s Why…!)

As more and more people become interested in owning a terrarium, one might wonder –

“Can a terrarium be sealed?”

Yes, terrariums can be sealed but only under certain circumstances. To have a sealed terrarium, you will need plants that can live in a sealed environment.

Terrariums are perfect for people who live in small spaces or those who like gardening. They are beautiful, space-saving, and very low maintenance. They will be a great addition to your home or office. Specifically, terrariums are small enclosures for certain plants.

You can think of them as a mini greenhouse. They are most commonly made of transparent glass or plastic.

Do Sealed Terrariums Exist?

Yes, sealed terrariums exist, and they have a removable lid. There are also open terrariums, which do not have a lid. Sealed terrariums are like sealed gardens.

The water released by soil and plants recycles in the enclosed space.

Thus, the condensed water trickles down to the soil. They are mostly self-nourishing and require little care.

Why Sealed Terrariums?

Before you decide on building a terrarium, you need to determine if you want a sealed or unsealed terrarium. Your choice will have implications later. It will impact the longevity and aesthetics of your enclosure. 

The difference is between requiring maintenance and no maintenance at all. This is the case because sealed terrariums require little care and are mostly self-caring.

They create their own water cycle. But you will have to consider the plants that you put in them as not every plant grows in a sealed terrarium.

What Makes a Sealed Terrarium?

A sealed terrarium doesn’t exchange material with the outside world. It can exchange energy in the form of light and heat. Hence, nothing goes in or out, save for air. But it is not that black and white. 

Since terrariums are made in different types of containers, there is a varying degree of sealed-ness.

The terrarium with the best seal is the one in a jar with a lid that screws close.

The terrariums made in large fish tanks are very hard to seal completely. You can seal them if you put enough effort into them, but some containers are easier to seal than others.

You may need to open a sealed terrarium for watering, maintenance, or for some other reason. But once you open the lid, it will not be truly self-sustaining.

Types of Plants That You Can Use in Sealed Terrariums

Foliage plants and plants that grow slowly work best in terrariums. You should avoid fast-growing plants.

The following plants work best in terrariums:

  • Ferns like maidenhair, bird’s nest, and button ferns, etc.
  • Air plants like tillandsia
  • Peperomia
  • Mosses
  • Creeping fig, etc.

Sealed Terrariums

These are the advantages and disadvantages of a seal terrarium.


  • They are low maintenance because they are mostly self-nourishing.
  • They help grow plants that will be difficult to grow otherwise.
  • They create and confine space for your mini garden.
  • You can use lighting very efficiently.
  • They look wonderful and light up your living space.


  • They are difficult to set up. They require proper planning; otherwise, they will collapse, and the system will fail.
  • They tend to become ugly with time.

How To Care for Sealed Terrariums?

Being self-sustaining doesn’t mean that you leave them totally on their own.

Once in a while, they do need some care. Here are some tips and advice below to help you maintain a proper and better sealed terrarium.

  • If you have grown ferns, then they may require trimming as they grow.
  • If the leaves of your plants turn yellow or brown, that is a sign of disease; you should remove them.
  • You should open the lid once in a while to let fresh air in.

Below – you can find frequently asked questions about the terrarium!

Can a plant survive in a sealed jar?

Depending what plant you add, certain plants can survive in a sealed jar. Plant create their oxygen and having the water cycle occurring in a jar can let the plant reuse them.

How long can a sealed terrarium last?

A sealed terrarium also known as a closed terrarium’s age can be depending on how much maintenance the owner puts in. There is a closed terrarium that’s been alive for at least 53 years according to

From VivariumTips,


You can seal your terrarium, but it may require some work on your behalf. Once you properly set it up, it doesn’t require much maintenance. Terrariums are perfect for decorating small living spaces and offices. They may be self-sustaining, but they do require some care once in a while.

Check out this video of a sealed terrarium you might like!

For terrarium-related articles, you might also enjoy reading:

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