Keep Gardening This Winter with Indoor Miniature Gardens

Miniature Dish Gardening is fun and rewarding.
You can create little worlds that are all your own with miniature dish gardening.

Miniature Garden Center

Keep Gardening this Winter with Indoor Miniature Gardens

~ You don’t have to give up your gardening Get Crafty with Two Green Thumbs!because it is getting colder outside. Miniature garden is so versatile; you can do it just about anywhere. Miniature gardens, dish gardens, terrariums or just a simple scene incorporated with your “full-sized” houseplants can add fun and creativity to your every day living. Here are a few ideas to kick-start your imagination to keep you gardening and crafty through winter months.

Indoor Miniature Garden

Baby Boxwoods make terrific trees for the indoor miniature garden.
Baby Boxwoods make terrific trees for the indoor miniature garden.

Thankfully, there are indoor miniature garden trees that look like outdoor trees that can really cinch the look of a true garden in miniature. Whether your theme is an Italian style, (using the narrow shaped Elwood Cypress to stand in for an Italian Cypress,) or a country backyard garden theme, (using the adaptable Variegated Boxwood, trim the bottom leaves to expose some trunk,) only choose plants and accessories that help to illustrate your theme. Avoid cluttering and complicating the scene with too many ideas, you will lose the enchantment factor.

Plant examples for indoor miniature garden include:

English Variegated Boxwood, Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’
Elwoods Cypress, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Elwoodii’
Monteray Cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Wilma Goldcrest’
Dwarf Mondo Grass, Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’
Baby Tears, Soleirolia soleirolii
Golden Baby Tears, Soleirolia soleirolii ‘Aura’

See what plants we have in stock now for indoors. (Plant availability changes often.)

AdS-LrgRec-DogDish or Open Terrariums

Dish gardens are very similar to open terrariums because neither of the containers used have drainage holes. The plants used are either moisture loving or very dry and attention to the watering is a must. That old, trusted maxim comes into to play, “Right plant, right place.” Group the plants that like the same water and light conditions together in the same dish.

If you are using a glass container to create an open terrarium, note the depth of the soil and make sure to leave head room for the viewer to see what’s going on in the scene. See the Halloween miniature garden photo further down on this page for a good example of what not to do. Using too much soil raised the scene up in the glass bowl, and it doesn’t “read” well when viewed from the side.

Open terrariums make great miniature garden scenes
Open terrariums make great miniature garden scenes

“Wet” Miniature Dish Gardens

We use this term a bit loosely. By “wet” we mean that there is no drainage hole in the container where the excess water can escape. For moisture loving miniature gardens use plants that love to have their roots in water all the time. Otherwise, try these plants and keep the soil damp at the very least. You don’t want to flood the dish with water but you don’t want the soil to dry out either:

Unique and unusual miniature garden accessories, kits, plants and more.

Miniature African Violets
Miniature Sweet Flag, Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ (coming next week!)
Dwarf Mondo Grass, Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’
Baby Tears, Soleirolia soleirolii
Golden Baby Tears, Soleirolia soleirolii ‘Aura’
Baby Norfolk Pines (<~ find the smallest ones in 4” pots or less, they grow fast but you can enjoy it for 3 or 4 years while it is small.)

NOTE: that these plants will not want to sit in water.

Dry Dish Gardens

For dry dish gardens, let the soil almost dry out completely between watering. Your watering schedule will change throughout the year,

Miniature Gardening in open terrariums.
Be sure to leave some “head room” for the miniature scene. I should have planted in down further in the bowl and used less soil, so I could see the scene properly from the side of the bowl, through the glass.

watering more often in the spring and summer, less water in the late summer and into the fall, in winter keep it almost dry. Stick your finger in the soil for the best reading and don’t buy into those water meters, I have yet to come across ones that are as reliable as my finger. Plants for dry dish gardens include:

Cacti – Desert Types
Succulents – There are lots of different shapes and sizes of succulents, including miniature Aloe Vera, Crassulas and Haworthias that behave well, are low maintenance and grow slowly. Young Jade plants and taller succulents can stand in as trees to give some height to the mini scene.

Shop Two Green ThumbsCreate a Scene

You can fit the miniature garden idea into your “regular” houseplants too. With a little bit of imagination and the right combination of accessories, you can create a scene at the base of any houseplant, using the stem as a large tree trunk. A lot of fun can be had with different themes and utilizing the wide variety of miniature patio materials available.

My favorite resource for indoor plants is The House Plant Expert, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon, published by Expert Books.

See our selection of indoor miniature garden plants here.

Join our mailing list here.

There is always space for some kind of miniature garden.
There is always space for some kind of miniature garden.
Indoor miniature gardens
Indoor miniature gardens

8 thoughts on “Keep Gardening This Winter with Indoor Miniature Gardens

  1. Pingback: garden fountains
  2. Christine Green. 18/01/2014 — 6:55 pm

    Janit you will find a lot of ideas at Epcot to use. It would be great to see you there but dont think I can. I’m enjoying keeping up with all you do.
    I’ve had miniature gardens a long time and it is so much fun especially here in central Florida. Best wishes to you.


  3. Thank you for the single houseplant idea. I don’t have my own yet but this idea gave me hope


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