Peperomias are a large group of plants, with over 1500 known species. Mostly from Central and South America, many Peperomias are ideally suited for use in naturalistic tropical vivaria. Most Peperomias actually grow as epiphytes in cloud forests, but tolerate being planted terrestrially quite well when used in a naturalistic vivarium. As a general rule, Peperomias do not appreciate a soaked or saturated substrate.
Pilea are a large group (over 600 species) of mostly tropical and subtropical plants that occur in warm and wet regions the world over. Pilea are known for their colorful foliage, that often has eye catching patterns and interesting texture. Pilea require high humidity in order to thrive, making them ideal plants for a tropical vivarium.
Shortcut to the Vivarium Plants :
Vines are a great addition to a terrarium. Vines rapidly cover backgrounds and provide hiding places for frogs. Frogs are more visible when they have a hiding place close by, so vines will help you see your frogs more! Vines also tend to grow quickly, helping to uptake excess nutrients in the tropical vivarium.No vivarium is complete without a couple vines ..
Vines will quickly cover the background and hardscape in a naturalistic vivarium.
At Josh’s Frogs, the Tropicals live terrarium plant category simply is a catch-all for those tropical plants that do wonderfully in a vivarium that do not easily fit into the other categories. Tropicals includes many great plants for use in a naturalistic vivarium, including Sygonium, Spathiphyllum, and Athurium. These plants are known for their large, broad leaves which make excellent calling and egg laying sites for dart frogs.
Dart Frogs love large, broad leaves like those on this Spathiphyllum.
Ferns and Mosses :
Ferns and mosses are both considered bryophtes, or non-vascular plants. These primitive plants may not be as evolved as many other tropical plants offered by Josh’s Frogs, but they’re just as appropriate for use in the home vivarium. Ferns and mosses will quickly spread in a tropical vivarium, and really add to the jungle vibe. Green foliage and interesting growth habits make ferns and mosses a group unto themselves when it comes to selecting live tropical vivarium plants for a naturalistic vivarium.
Bromeliads are one of the most unique groups of tropical plants regularly used in naturalistic vivaria. Best known for their ability to hold water (and thus function as rearing sites for poison dart frog tadpoles), most bromeliads are epiphytes, which means they naturally grow without soil. Bromeliads often grow on trees in the wild, and are best mounted on wood or the background in a naturalistic vivarium.
Cryptanthus are also bromelaids, but tend to do better when planted terrestrially in the vivarium. Also known as earth stars, Cryptanthus are available in a variety of cultivars, which display different colors, patterns, and growth habits.
- Orchids :
Grown primarily for their flowers, orchids make a colorful addition to any naturalistic vivarium. Largely epiphytes in nature, most orchids are best mounted on wood or the background of a tropical vivarium. Orchids will not tolerate standing water on their leaves, and greatly benefit from regular air circulation in the vivarium. Make sure to utilize a well-draining substrate when planting orchids.
Orchids are great for adding a splash of color to the vivarium.
A wide variety of vivarium-suitable live plants are available at Josh’s Frogs. We take pride in providing only chemical, pesticide, and insecticide free plants for sale which are safe for use with animals. Every plant is different, and Josh’s Frogs provides more specific care needs for every live terrarium plant on it’s product page.
BACKGROUND PLANTS IN THE VIVARIUM
As the name implies, tall background plants will grow taller than many other live plants in a vivarium. As such, these tall background plants should be planted further back in the vivarium, so that they do not shade out lower growing foreground plants, and do not press up against the front glass, giving the vivarium an over planted, crowded look. Many tall background plants serve important functions in the vivarium.
How to Build Terrariums & Vivariums : Picking the Right Plants for a Terrarium
Tall background plants are best planted in the back 1/3rd of a naturalistic vivarium.
Many tall background plants have broad leaves, which make excellent egg laying and calling sites for poison dart frogs. The foliage also serves as visual barriers, allowing more animals to coexist in the same vivarium without constantly running into each other and causing stress. The higher foliage from tall background plants also will shade some areas of the tank – many poison dart frogs will prefer these shaded spots. Please keep in mind that tall is relative, and many of the live vivarium plants Josh’s Frogs has labeled as tall background plants are suitable background plants for the average vivarium, and may be planted differently in larger vivaria.
Tall background plants create additional usable space for a vivarium’s animal inhabitants. Here, a Dendrobates tinctorius ‘Matecho’ lays eggs.
Planting a tall background plant in a naturalistic vivarium is very simple. To do so, just follow the steps below:
-Using your hand, scoop out a bit of substrate where you wish to plant your tall background plant in the vivarium.
-Wash the tall background plant, removing all soil and substrate the plant may have been shipped in.
-Gently place the tall background plant in the depression, and cover the roots with substrate.
-Water heavily initially, to help the plant to acclimate.
Vining Plants :
Vining plants are another category of live terrarium plants that Josh’s Frogs considers background plants. Although they may start out growing low to the ground, most vines will quickly scale the background and/or hardscape of a naturalistic vivarium, and help to fill in a vivarium, giving it a finished “planted” look. As such, most vines should be planted in the rear 1/3rd of a naturalistic vivarium, where they will quickly grow up towards the light source.
Vining plants will grow up the background and hardscape of a vivarium, giving it a ‘finished’ look.
All of the vining plants sold by Josh’s Frogs will come established with roots, and can be planted using the method described above for tall background plants. Occasionally, vining plants are purchased as unrooted cuttings. To plant a cutting, simply place it on a damp surface in the vivarium, such as a layer of sphagnum. Provide light and keep it moist, and the vining plant cutting will root into the substrate and begin to grow.
Background plants have a special place in the naturalistic vivarium. Background plants are vital to the overall look and health of a vivarium, and serve many important purposes that contribute greatly to the successful upkeep of a vivarium and it’s inhabitants. Josh’s Frogs carries a wide variety of chemical free live terrarium plants that are perfectly suited for use in a naturalistic vivarium.
TERRARIUM PLANT UNBOXING!!
FOREGROUND PLANTS IN THE VIVARIUM :
As the name implies, foreground plants will grow will grow with a short or matting habit, staying lower than many other live plants in a vivarium. As such, these foreground plants should be planted in the middle 1/3rd or so in the vivarium, so that they do not get shaded out by taller growing background plants, and do not press up against the front glass, giving the vivarium an over planted, crowded look. Foreground plants tend to be primarily for looks – they pull the background plants together with the more sparsely planted foreground and leaf litter.
Foreground plants are best planted in the middle 1/3rd of a naturalistic vivarium.
Most foreground plants will grow with a low, matting habit. Some foreground plants, such as the larger Cryptanthus, get taller, but have fairly sparse foliage that does not block the view of the background. Please keep in mind that size is relative, and many of the live vivarium plants Josh’s Frogs has labeled as foreground plants are suitable foreground plants for the average vivarium, and may be planted differently in larger vivaria.
A wide variety of Cryptanthus are available in the hobby.
Planting a foreground plant in a naturalistic vivarium is very simple, and best done after the background plants have been planted. To do so, just follow the steps below:
Wash the foreground plant, removing all soil and substrate the plant may have been shipped in.
Using your hand, scoop out a bit of substrate where you wish to plant your foreground plant in the vivarium.
Gently place the foreground plant in the depression, and cover the roots with substrate.
Water heavily initially, to help the plant to acclimate.
Foreground plants have a special place in the naturalistic vivarium. Foreground plants are vital to the overall look and health of a vivarium, and serves to connect the different areas of a naturalistic vivarium together, resulting in a finished, lush tropical look. Josh’s Frogs carries a wide variety of chemical free live terrarium plants that are perfectly suited for use in a naturalistic vivarium.