You Can Keep A Monstera In a Terrarium (But Make Sure You Have A Plan B)

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You can keep Monstera in a terrarium. They actually do very well in terrariums, but they do have a tendency to get a bit…big.

For this reason I can’t really recommend keeping a Monstera deliciosa in a terrarium – the conditions would be great but it would get super cramped very quickly, which would likely lead to rot.

If you’re new to Monstera, read this guide first.

However, if you have a medium/large terrarium, then it can be a great way to grow Monstera adansonii, or even smaller Monstera like Siltepecana or Dubia.

That being said, the small silvery leaves we usually see on these plants are immature – the mature leaves are big and fenestrated and more ‘monstera-y’ than the juveniles are.

A terrarium can be a great place to grow bushy plants with short internodal spaces, but it’s unlikely to allow the plant to develop mature leaves.

Unless you got a very tall, thin terrarium, of course.

So, why do Monstera do so well in terrarium?

Humidity is high

One of the main reasons I set up my terrarium was to provide a high-humidity environment for the plants that needed it without needing a humidifier.

High humidity not only benefits the health of the plant but also allows it to develop ‘extras’ like furry aerial roots that can grip wood/moss and support the plant, and even inflorescences.

Don’t underestimate the impact of providing your plant with its ideal humidity – it can really spur on the growth.

Terrariums stay warm

This is another important consideration for those of us with cold winters (and high energy bills). Whilst you may need to provide additional heating for the terrarium, it’s still cheaper than trying to heat a whole room. Also, the consistent temperatures can ensure that plants grow year-round and don’t go through a period of dormancy in winter.

In the wild, Monstera don’t have a period of dormancy, so keeping them growing year-round is perfectly healthy for them.

Terrariums provide a consistent environment

It’s not just temperature consistency that terrariums can provide. They also tend to stay pretty evenly humid (we use a fogger in ours because it’s quite big, but usually they maintain humidity well without additional equipment) which plants like Calathea need to grow well.

Since the humidity stays high in terrariums, the soil stays evenly moist. It never gets wet, but it never dries out completely – it stays at about a three on the moisture metre so plants never get over and underwatered.

We also have lights on our terrarium so we can have it in a dark corner. It doesn’t matter if the sun isn’t shining (which in North Yorkshire is, er, never) because the lights come on on a timer for a few hours (I think ten) each day. The plants need never know it’s winter!

This is what I love about terrariums – the conditions stay consistent and they’re low maintenance!

Monstera are easy to cut back

Monstera adansonii are quite fast growing when they’re grown in terrariums, and when they get too big you can cut them back to the size you want.

I have a Calathea Velvet touch that regularly outgrows the terrariuum and has to be cut back to the soil, and it’s a shame that we can’t really do anything with the growth (since Calathea are propagated by division).

terrarium with calathea and pothos

With Monstera, you can chop and prop – chop the plant back until it’s the size you want and then propagate the bits you removed. You could give these plants away as gifts, pot them up to make yourself another plant, or even sell them somewhere like Marketplace.

Monstera adansonii are one of those plants that ALWAYS seems to be in fashion.

You can control the light in terrariums

Being able to control the light in your home is one of the things that can really elevate your house plant-keeping game. Sunlight is all well and good, but it’s not exactly predictable (obvs it depends where you live, but I’m drawing on personal experience here). Being able to extend daylight hours as long as you want, and even dim the brightness can really help your plants thrive.

This can be particularly helpful if you’re growing variegated plants, because they need the right amount of light:

  • They have less chlorophyll and therefore can’t photosynthesise as efficiently as their green counterparts
  • But they burn easily.

Nothing’s ever easy is it?

Many terrarium lights have a variety of colour settings that can really help your plants to pop – this can be a really nice way to showcase a special plant, such as a variegated Monstera adansonii, and make your terrarium into a really nice piece of home decor.

Terrariums keep pests contained

This can be a downside because the conditions can help pests to grow in number quickly BUT it does mean that you can treat with something like predatory mites and not have to worry that your house is crawling with bugs.

Using predators to contain houseplant pests is very effective but can be pricy, so keeping all of the bugs contained ensures that the predators don’t fly away and start working on the aphids in next door’s garden.

Final thoughts

I would love to one day have a terrarium that’s big enough to house a full-size Monstera deliciosa. How cool would that look in the corner of my living room?

Would it grow enormous so I’d have to keep increasing the size of the terrarium until eventually, I live in my own glass house?

Yes, absolutely, but i see no downsides to this.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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