How to Create a Miniature Garden – Full Guide

Introduction: Hello gardeners we are back with a great information of How to Create a Miniature Garden. A miniature garden is literally a living garden in miniature and the focus is on growing the garden on a small scale. Miniature and dwarf plants and shrubs are paired with small-leafed perennials and groundcovers that make up the understory of the garden bed.

A step by step guide to how to create a miniature garden

You can create miniature gardens in large plant containers and these miniature gardens can have all the features that belong to a normal garden such as trees, shrubs, and flowers. You can create a miniature garden using several plants that have been created to be dwarfs genetically, or young plants. Also, you can use regular plants with growth that has been slowed.

Use small trees to add height to a miniature garden to mimic an outdoor garden. Use the shorter plants as bedding plants to make a lush understory by mixing up the textures of the plants. All the plants in your container must have the same light and water needs for the best success.

Miniature houseplants are plants that stay small and grown in small containers or terrariums. Growing small houseplants such as succulents, cacti, herbs, and miniature roses are easy, saves space, and provide a decorative touch to the home.

Miniature trees for small containers

These varieties of miniature plants are suitable for use in smaller containers. Whether you are making an alpine trough, succulent hypertufa planter, bonsai garden, fairy garden or miniature garden, you will require small, rather slow-growing trees and plants. Even miniatures need pruning or an occasional trim to maintain the petite size or to encourage rebloom.

Find a suitable container or pot for a miniature garden. You can house a mini garden in a variety of containers, from a glass bowl to a plastic pot to a terracotta planter’s pot. You should look for a selected container that has drain holes at the bottom so the water drains through the soil when you water your mini garden.

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Miniature Garden in Containers.
Miniature Garden in Containers.

To make this miniature garden you’ll need;

  • A concrete pot – it should have a drainage system for excess water,
  • Soil mix and sand,
  • Plants – suitable for mini garden,

For decoration purpose;

  • Small tree branches, sticks,
  • Glue (hot glue, white glue, wood glue),
  • Scissor, utility knife,
  • Crafting Paper,
  • Thick paper,
  • Paint and brush,
  • Concrete mix,

Selecting a pot for the miniature garden

Selecting a pot for the miniature garden is very important. Make sure that the container, pot or vessel has enough space at the bottom for holding soil, has a drainage system for excess water,

Another important thing, the pot must have a large open surface as we are going to add a number of mini garden features.

Mini gardens can be started in all kinds of small containers. Some of the popular choices contain terra cotta pots, troughs, and deep dishes, glazed and plastic containers as well as many improvised containers, such as small wheelbarrows and wagons, tin tubs, birdbaths, gourds, and more. You may use wooden clementine crates you can get in grocery stores and various types of decorative bowls and baskets. The only thing to keep in mind is drainage holes.

Soil for miniature garden

Soil mix is a must for miniature garden and uses organic potting soil with no added fertilizers or water-retaining polymers. Soil mix is good but organic potting soil is considered as the best for miniature gardens. The whole pot with organic soil mix, the soil mix was dark, so filled the top of the soil mix with a layer of sand (the sand layer is less than an inch).

Light and temperature requirement for miniature garden

Grow bulbs are the same as full-spectrum or 5000K bulbs and less expensive. They are a variety of shapes to fit most lamps, including regular desk lamps.

Indoor miniature plants are tropical plants that need the temperatures to stay above 60F / 15C all year round.

Water requirement to create a miniature garden

Your pot must have a drainage hole unless you understand perfectly how to water without one. Obtain one with a drainage hole and matching saucer, it’s just easier. Use an excellent quality plant coaster underneath the saucer to protect your furniture.

Water your miniature plants only when the soil is completely dry, to avoid killing it by overwatering. Carefully, pour the water on the soil, not on the plants itself, to avoid rot.

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Plants suitable for Miniature garden

Best Plants for miniature gardens young plants can serve your purposes for a miniature garden for a short period of time. Once the plants grow too big, you’ll have to transplant them to their own pot.

Here’s a list of plants suitable for miniature gardens,

  • Dwarf trees,
  • Succulent plants,
  • Preserved moss,
  • Miniature ivy,
  • Baby tears etc.

Some of the plants suitable for the miniature garden can be given below;

Begonias – A lot of the Begonia plants look great as baby plants, but look for the more compact, smaller-leafed varieties.  All begonia plants like evenly moist, well-draining soil with some added organic matter. Regular watering is very important for healthy plants. The soil must remain moist at all times, but not too wet, as this can cause rot. Water at the base of the plant to maintain the foliage dry and prevent leaf spot and fungal diseases. Potted begonia plants prefer to be slightly root-bound rather than given too much room. Only repot when needed, and preferably in spring before plants are moved outside and start actively growing.

ColeusMiniature coleus plant varieties grow only a few inches tall, and others can grow several feet tall. In fact, coleus is often trained to grow as standards through careful pruning. Most coleus plants are a good size for the front of the border and look best when planted in groups.

Creeping Charlie (Pilea nummulariifolia) – Creeping Charlie plant is a low-growing, creeping ground cover. This is easily identified by its growth habit. This plant grows close to the ground and generally forms a mat-like ground cover. Creeping Charlie plant is well-noted for its rapid growth after the plant stops flowering. Creeping Charlie plant leaves produce bright, shiny green, round or kidney-shaped leaves that are broadly cordate and have scalloped margins.

Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes) – Polka dot plant needs even moisture to grow well. This is best delivered by planting in a soil that is rich and yet well-draining. Organic potting soil is ideal and Polka dot plant is a fairly heavy feeder. Fertilize once a month with a high-quality organic fertilizer designed for miniature houseplants. This plant gets leggy quickly. In order to prevent this from happening, pinch the plant back on a weekly basis and use your fingers to snip off the top two leaves at the end of each stem. Regular pruning will encourage the plant to become bushier.

African violetsMiniature African violet plants grow in 2- to 2 1/2-inch pots and reach heights of no more than 6 inches. Keep soil moist to dry, allow soil around roots to dry out before watering to encourage blooming. The amount of light that an African violet plant receives is very important for its health and overall performance. They can thrive in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light.

Cyclamen – Small pots of cyclamen plants are best grown on trays of moist gravel to keep humidity levels high. Cyclamen plant grows from a tuber which is very prone to rotting if the soil is kept too moist. To keep your miniature from rotting, water it by soaking it from the base, when the soil is feeling dry. To keep your miniature plant from rotting, water it by soaking it from the base, only when the soil is feeling dry. Let the water drain thoroughly from the pot and maintain the pot on some moist gravel in a tray to increase the humidity around the plant.

Peace lilies – Peace lilies are one of the most beautiful houseplants you can produce, if only for the dark green foliage that gracefully arches over. Try to keep soil evenly moist but not soggy. Standing water will quickly kill the root system. In fact, the most general reason that people kill their peace lilies is that they over-water them. Watering no more than once a week is plenty for this peace lily plant. Water even less during winter as the lily plant won’t be producing blooms.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) – Poinsettia plants are tropicals and will appreciate as much direct sunlight as you can provide. A loose, well-draining peat-based potting soil is best for your poinsettia plant. Water the poinsettia plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom, but do not let the plant sit in water and wilting is a common cause of leaf drop. Avoid locations that are very hot or cold or receive a draft. To avoid overwatering, set your plant in a pan of lukewarm water for 10-20 minutes.  Place the poinsettia near a sunny window.

Impatiens – Impatiens is a beautiful annual that makes a good houseplant or summer bedding and container plant. Plant impatiens plant transplants after the last spring frost. Impatiens plant prefers humus-rich, moist, and well-drained soil. Make sure the Impatiens plants have some shelter from the wind.

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Azaleas – Water your azalea plants regularly until they are established. These sorts of plants absorb water through their leaves, so it is very important to wet their foliage, as well as the area around their roots. Plant your azalea plant in a container that provides ample growing space for the roots and keep in mind that a small container will limit growth.

English ivy (Hedera helix) – English ivy plant is a versatile houseplant that can be grown in many different situations. English ivies can be grown in hanging baskets, at the base of other houseplants and in pots of their own. English ivy is often trained on trellis frames or wire topiary forms into various formal or whimsical shapes. English ivy plant is a vigorous grower when it gets the light and moisture it wants. Growing ivy plant with plenty of bright light will help variegated ivies to keep their color. Prune off any stems of variegated ivy plant that reverts to all green.

Aucuba – The Aucuba plant thrives as a groundcover or hedge in dry, shaded areas that are unsuitable for most plants. Aucuba is generally grown as a foliage plant. It is an ideal shrub for a dark corner on the north or east side of your house.

Croton – Croton plants (Codiaeum variegatum) are incredibly varied plants that are often developed as houseplants. Good Croton plant care will create plants with intense colors. There are many croton varieties obtainable with a wide array of colors and leaf shapes. Croton plant makes excellent additions as planted or potted specimen plants to a patio, deck or terrace. Croton houseplants require lots of light to keep their color even on new growth.

Carnation Plant – While your miniature carnation plants are flowering make sure they are in moist, but not wet soil, in a bright spot in indirect light, with cool temperatures if possible. Remove spent or dead flowers to encourage the plants to keep blooming. Miniature potted carnation plants or mini carnations as a house plant are fairly new to the market. They are obtainable in a wide selection of colors, including pale yellow, white, salmon, pink and purple.

Golden Oregano – Growing golden oregano herbs is particularly good for container and small space gardening since the plants tend to spread out less vigorously than other varieties of oregano. Caring for golden oregano is easy. Golden oregano plants can be trimmed at any time for cooking, but it’s useful to cut them back drastically in early summer to maintain them low to the ground and contained. Dry and store early summer clippings to have homegrown oregano on hand all year long.

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Directions to create a miniature garden

Steps to Create Miniature Garden.
Steps to Create Miniature Garden.
  • A great thing about miniature gardens is that they are completely movable and it is easy to move them from your kitchen to the indoor porch of a dining room. In warm weather, you can place them on the outdoor patio or garden.
  • By using a hammer and awl or large nail, poke holes for drainage about every 6 inches in the bottom of the metal tray or pot.
  • Cover the bottom of the tray or pot with a 1/2-inch-deep layer of two parts pea gravel and one part coarse sand. Top with a layer of potting mix and mounding it at least 2 inches deep.
  • Add some plants, beginning with the largest specimens (dwarf conifers and succulents) and filling in with alpines and ground covers. When planting, gently loosen root balls and shake loose extraneous soil, if essential, to tuck the roots into the potting mix. Leave room for pathways and selection of miniature features, such as a glasshouse (tabletop terrarium), fountain, and other accessories.
  • With the plants and furnishings in place, sprinkle aquarium gravel over some exposed potting mix to prevent erosion.
  • Water thoroughly after planting; then, water only when the potting mix feels dry.
  • To prevent damage to furniture, place the pot or container on a waterproof tray before setting it on your plant stand or table.
  • Place the mini garden in a lightly shaded area where it will not bake in the sun.
  • In cold climates, move the tray indoors for winter and a cool room with bright light is best.

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