It took me forever to find the most suitable miniature fairy garden plants, so I decided to make life easier for you and make a good list of my favorites, so you can choose which ones you would like to buy.
There is actually a lot to say about all of them and depending on the climate or if you want to hibernate them for the winter and so on, I will try to describe a lot of them, so I think this is going to be a long read. This list is not all of them, I am sure that you guys have others that you like or have seen elsewhere!
Some Insights First On Miniature Fairy Garden Plants.
Do you want to create a fairy garden like the one I talked about in this article, then 1 of the first things you obviously need, is mini-plants.
First, you need to decide if you are going to put them in a container, like a wooden barrel/large plant pot/wheelbarrow, etc, or in the full ground. Maybe you only want to keep them indoors?
I will try to explain as much as possible which ones are suitable for inside or outside and the best way to treat them. ( watering, in the sun or (half)shade, are they winter-hard, etc).
Some plants can successfully be left in their plastic pots and planted right into the container or garden, doing this restricts the growth of the miniature tree or miniature plant. During the growing period, the trees and plants will retain their size much better than when they would have been planted directly into the soil. Just make sure to water them enough.
This method works very well for plants like sedum, or topiaries, but not for ground cover plants that spread all over the place.
Do you want to make a fairy garden inside the house? Then make sure to cover the container with plastic first to prevent water from leaking into it.
Miniature fairy garden plants, a little walkthrough on how to plant them.
Make a selection from plants that require approximately equal care in terms of watering and soil type.
Choose different accessories that make your fairy garden unique.
Step by step.
– First of all, fill your container with potting soil and compost.
– Most important: give your plants a spot. Plant the tallest plants in the back (keep in mind to choose plants that don’t grow too big). Look at examples of miniature gardens to get some inspiration, or use your imagination.
– Plant ground covers; these will give your garden a natural look later on. Leave some space between the plants to create pathways and to give other accessories some room.
– Rose arches, benches, fairy houses, animals, etc, they are the eye-catchers of your fairy garden and of course the fairies themselves!
– Fill the spaces between the accessories and the plants with moss or gravel or even colored stones are very pretty. If necessary, finish the paths with a fence to make them even more beautiful.
-Finally, place all the accessories that give your fairy garden its unique look. It is advised though, to put delicate accessories inside to protect them from harsh winters.
Now we move on with the actual plants:
A. Indoors Miniature Fairy Garden Plants.
1. Chamaedorea Elegans aka Mexican Mountain Palm.
The Mexican dwarf palm is ideal for those with limited space, as it remains modest in size (yay that’s what we need!). But it unmistakably has the looks of a palm. In addition to dwarf palm, it is also known as mountain palm.
Pick a light spot, but not in the full sun. If it is exposed too much to the sun, the leaves will turn yellow. But if it is too dark its growth will stop, so place it near a window, but not in direct sunlight. Or in a north-facing window.
Room temperature is fine for this plant, but in the winter the temperature can be a little lower, to around 15 degrees.
This plant can’t live in dry ground, but try to avoid that the roots are covered in water. So little amounts should be fine. Once every 4 days in summer and once every 10 days in winter.
2. Haworthiopsis Attenuata aka Zebra Haworthia.
With a minimal time of caring about this plant, you will enjoy the looks of it.
It has the look of the Aloe Vera plant and that’s because it is related to it.
Although its appearance suggests otherwise, the Haworthia likes to have a very bright spot in the sun, but not necessarily the whole day in the full sun. With too much bright sun, it can turn red or even burn! It likes to have room temperature, but it can support some cooler temperatures in winter. In that case, it will also bloom faster. (so pretty when it does that !)
The soil of this plant must always be completely dry before you give it water. In winter this will mean that you have to water it once a month, in the summer about twice a month. When watering it, make sure that no water gets into its core, because then it can start to stain. During the spring and summer, you could give it some special plant food.
Most succulents have a chance of doing way better inside than outside. (I’ve had some dying on me when I left them outside, being stubborn is not always the way to go 🙂 )
These 2 have a chance of surviving outside in harsh winters, but you would need to cover them up :
- Sedum :
Lots and lots of variety are in this plant, I love these!
Early in the summer, you already have a beautiful plant with green flowers that gradually changes in color from pink to dark brown-pink as the summer progresses and they have a beautiful winter silhouette.
The leaves are gray-green to purple and remain on the plant for a large part of the winter, before falling off at the end of winter and immediately producing new sprouts.
They prefer dry, nutrient-poor soil and a sunny spot, although they also do well in damp and shady places. Split them up every 3 to 4 years. This is an ideal plant for coastal arias.
In hot summers, they need water twice a week. They certainly don’t like to much water, because then they die.
- Sempervivum :
Sempervivums are originally from the high mountains. These plants have fleshy rosettes that can handle extreme places such as wall joints, rock crevices, or wall caps because they are able to store water in the leaves.
There are numerous varieties and types. They bloom red, pink, or white in June and July. The flowers are gathered in groups on thick shafts, which are covered with shingles and only appear on older rosettes.
Sempervivum Tectorum, the most common one, forms large, flat rosettes and pink-red flowers. The leaves have different colors, for example, dark green for “Cupreum” and purple-gray for “Atropurpureum”.
Sempervivum Arachnoideum is aka Spider Web because the rosettes are covered with white spider webs. These disappear when the location is too dark. The flowers of the Spider Web Sempervivum are pink or red.
The varieties have many shapes and different colors.
These plants with their variously shaped and colored rosettes always offer an interesting sight. Over time, they form dense carpets, so you need to probably trim them in your fairy garden. This way you can create complete ‘landscapes’ on a small surface.
Full sun. The plants like sunny, warm, and even dry places. The soil may be sandy and contain gravel or grit, but the sempervivums also need some hummus. They don’t tolerate too much water.
The best time to buy these is early spring or early fall, you can find numerous varieties in specialized stores. Sempervivum doesn’t get easily diseased, but too much water around the roots is a disaster, the roots will rot, turn yellow and die.
All of this probably means that you better plant these for inside fairy gardens, unless you live in a dry area. If you would like to keep them outside for winter, you would have to cover them up at the least and who knows they might survive!
I just looove all the different colors and shapes of these miniature fairy garden plants, they are one of my favorites!
B.Outdoors Winter-hard Miniature Fairy Garden Plants.
1. Erodium Reichardii aka Erodium Chamaedroides.
Erodiums have a lot of varieties, I am going to talk about just a few of my favorites.
This small pelargonium is very similar to the geranium species but remains much smaller. It has a saucer-shaped white flower with pink veins. The evergreen foliage is small and serrated. This low-growing ground cover can be used well in borders or flower boxes. He likes a drier location, especially in winter.
This ground cover plant has very low growth and a very long, striking, and abundant white bloom. The petals have pink veins. It has a small serrated green leaf that is also present during the winter. If the plant is not sheltered, it is recommended that you cover this plant during the winter.
It prefers to stand on dry, calcareous, and rocky soil. That is why it is well suited for rock gardens (and fairy gardens of course). You can also plant it on well-drained soil, this is certainly important in winter.
2. Erodium x variabile ‘flore pleno’
The flower color is pink and the blooming time is from June to September. The leaves are green and about 5 cm high. The adult height of this perennial is about 10 cm. Tolerates temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius and remains green all winter.
The recommended planting distance is 20 cm. (25 pcs per m2.) This plant is originally from the mountains and is therefore very suitable for the rock garden as a ‘gap filler’.
It requires a sunny spot and moderately nutrient-rich, stony soil. This plant prefers a slightly moist place. You can plant her well in small groups or as a loner. It needs protection in winter.
3.Erodium Variabile ‘Bishop Form’.
Erodium x Variabile ‘bishop’s form’ is a compact and low-growing perennial plant. The plant has small, gray-green, almost heart-shaped leaves and deep pink, reddish-veined geranium-like flowers during the summer months.
Erodium Variabile ‘Bishop’s Form’ likes a sheltered place in full sun and a calcareous, well-drained soil. The plant is pretty winter-hardy, tolerates drought, disease, and vermin free, sea wind tolerant, and therefore also suitable as a coastal plant. Very suitable for fairy gardens.
B- CHAMAECYPARIS AKA CYPRESS.
This classification has a HUGE variety of plants. Whatever variety you choose, make sure to either buy the miniature version or the dwarf version. We aren’t interested in the larger ones. And keep them trimmed, because they still might grow larger than you would expect. I will just name a few of my favorites.
1. Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana aka blue Californian Cypres
The leaves are blue-gray. The adult height of this conifer is approx. 30 cm. Tolerates temperatures down to -25 degrees Celsius (77F) and stays green all winter.
It can be used without specific requirements for its location. This one is a plant giving a nice accent to your mini garden because of its beautiful shape, inflorescence, or leaf color.
This plant wants nutrient-rich, moist soil. As for the acidity, it is quite tolerant (pH = 5.5 – 8). It requires a place in the sun or light shade. This plant combines well with plants for an ‘open space’.
2 Chamaecyparis Obtuse aka Japanese Cyprus.
A slow-growing dwarf conifer that is used in pots, rock gardens, and open ground.
Grows as high as 1m after 10 years, so that is really slow and kept small easily for our miniature garden.
The dark green foliage has a serpentine, irregular shape. It is evergreen, winter-hardy and it is also resistant to a sea breeze.
Requires a humus-rich normal garden soil, well-drained and neutral to slightly acidic.
Boxwood is a genus of plants from the boxwood family. The plants can easily be pruned and either kept very low or grow up high and pruned in a special shape. So it is very easy to keep it small for our miniature garden. This plant I think we all know, right?
This also means that you must beware of the boxwood moth, which is more and more common. As I don’t like to spray with insecticides in my garden, this is not my first choice at all, but you might like it.
– Other Plants That I Like For Our Outside Miniature Garden Are :
– Mentha Requienii aka Corsican mint
A low-growing ground cover plant of 2 cm high with very small green leaves.
When the leaves are crushed, a fresh peppermint scent is released.
Ideal plant to grow between the joints or in a container.
Hardy to -10 ° C. Sun or half-shadow.
– Ophiopogon Planiscapus ‘niger’ aka Snake Beard
Ophiopogon Planiscapus “Niger”, a black snake beard, is a very attractive ground cover perennial with a sod-forming habit. The evergreen leaves are very narrow, curved, grassy, and violet-black colored.
This “black” snake beard blooms in July and August with bell-shaped, light lilac flowers in upright clusters. Ophiopogon Planiscapus “Niger” likes a place in the full sun but also does well in partial shade or even shade.
The soil should preferably be moist and the acidity of the soil between 5.5 and 7.5. The plant is rather a drought-tolerant and winter-hardy one but can use extra winter protection in hard winters. With some protection against direct sea wind and salt pollination, Ophiogon can also be used as a coastal plant.
– Last but not least: Japanese Maple
In our miniature fairy garden, there are some wonderful things that you could do with these plants. But I do think you would need to be an expert in these to keep them small and beautiful. I haven’t researched these, but if you are interested in them, I am sure you can create some pretty good-looking miniature gardens with them. How about a Japanese themed-garden? Let me know if you have created one!
I am saying this again: this is only a small collection of a LOT of plants that you can trim to keep them small or they are small by nature, so don’t ‘kill’ me if you think this list is not complete 😉 But you need to start somewhere, no?
If you would like to know more about the botanical side of these plants, I would advise you to take a look at this website: Plantguide, to be sure if the one you want to buy, is suitable for your weather conditions, etc. Also, you can determine if it’s suitable for your hardiness zone.
Do you have any questions about this topic off miniature fairy garden plants? Let me know in the comments! Or join me on my newest Facebook group!