Artillery Plants for Terrariums

Gray Artillery Plant is sort of a terrible name for a plant, but it’s also known as Silver Sprinkles, so it’s a tough call to decide which is more ridiculous. The poor plant is already in a weird situation thanks to its name, which is frequently found online as ‘Pilea glauca’ or ‘Pilea glaucophylla’ – two species which unfortunately don’t actually exist. Other plant taxonomy sleuths much smarter and more dedicated than I have discovered that it is probably ‘Pilea libanensis’, which is native to Cuba. Fortunately, none of this impacts its availability or its suitability as a terrarium plant.

It’s a great little groundcover plant, which makes it an important part of the garden designer’s toolkit as a textural option. It produces a mat of tiny rounded leaves with a beautiful grayish green sheen, which then eventually sprout beautiful tiny white blossoms. The stems are a bright red, which make it much more appealing than the tiny leaves might first indicate. It’s rare to find a flowering plant that is small enough to thrive in a terrarium-sized environment, but the Gray Artillery Plant fills the bill.

It does best in shade or indirect light, as you would expect from a good terrarium plant, and it tolerates a moist soil although it prefers a well-drained substrate. A good soil and peat moss blend would work, as would a peat moss and vermiculite base.