Posts Tagged indoor plants

Growing Small in Different Ways with Indoor Bonsai

http://astore.amazon.com/twogrethulivm-20/detail/480531270X

Bountiful bonsai is different way to grow fruit trees indoors with limited space.

Growing Small in Different Ways with Indoor Bonsai

The new hobby of miniature gardening overlaps many different types of gardening and brings them together into one very special package. One of those forms is the art of bonsai, what we call the godfather of miniature gardening, an ancient art form of gardening small started centuries ago in China.Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

We insist on calling bonsai “art” because of the strict rules applied, as well as the commitment and focus needed to sustain it. Bonsai literally means ‘tray-plant’ and it’s the shallow tray in proportion to the tree that defines a true bonsai. You’ll find some call a small tree in any pot bonsai, but if you return to the literal translation, there is no question about the definition of true bonsai.

But with miniature gardening, we can have our bonsai and go on vacation too. We plant our young trees in deeper pots and let the trunks thicken while it lifts the tree canopy off the ground, the branches develop gradually, and you get the look of bonsai without the unyielding maintenance schedule. So, when I was sent this interesting book to review, I knew it was right up my alley. I’ll never pass a fruit tree at the garden center again without considering the potential.

Bountiful Bonsai: Create Instant Indoor Container Gardens with Edible Fruits, Herbs and Flowers by Richard W. Bender (Tuttle Publishing, 2014) is a fun way to enjoy the art of bonsai – and you can eat it too.

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The author Richard Bender includes a long list of edible plants you can bonsai for indoors.

The focus of the book is edible trees that can be grown indoors, a very fun idea made achievable, thanks to the author, Richard Bender. Richard takes you through the true art of bonsai, and then explains how you can achieve the look of bonsai quickly, with a few compromises.

The book then lists a number of different kinds of plants that can be grown this way: cherries, oranges, guava, coffee, lemon, lime, figs, basil, thyme, mint bushes, the list goes on. Hungry yet? This may be the book to keep in the car just in case you come across a potential candidate at your local independent garden center. The number of different possibilities alone is inspiring in itself.

Richard doesn’t leave you there either. There is a chapter on long-term care that includes some easy indoor light ideas, planting, pruning and fertilizing, then followed by a chapter full of cooking ideas and more.

It’s a cute and inspiring book. If you are a foodie and a gardener, this book is for you. If you want to step into the world of bonsai, this is a great introduction to the art. Or, if you are like me and like growing different ways, this is for you. I can’t wait to see if I can build one into a miniature garden too.

Find it through our affiliate link on Amazon here.

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Robert’s Truly Magical Indoor Miniature Water Gardens

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

Miniature gardening with Robert from Plantaria.com with his magnificent indoor water gardens. The tiny deer tells the scale. 

Robert’s Truly Magical Indoor Miniature Gardens

A funny thing happened the other day at the Philadelphia Flower Show. A fellow miniature gardener from the Miniature Settings Exhibit told me about this booth in the show with huge wall displays that were filled with a miniature gardens, complete with a working waterfall and creek. She was very impressed and it was something I needed to see. When I sought out the booth, I saw Robert Dekker’s nametag and immediately said, “Hey, I know you!” Can I say it’s a small world within the miniature garden world? Robert had called us a few times during his experimental stages and now I finally know what he was talking about. They were gorgeous.

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

The atmosphere changes as you get closer to the garden. Similar to a large active aquarium, it is serene and surreal.

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

Robert and his son, Stephen, have spent the last few years developing and growing very impressive indoor miniature gardens – really living works of art. His background is full-sized waterscaping and you can tell that it has translated well into his miniature work. Every plant and rock is placed just so-so-perfectly in the mini landscape built inside a bookcase-type hutch adapted to hold the water reservoir and pump for not only the waterfall and creek, but a timed, self-watering system too.

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

I could identify a few of the plants, but not all. The  tree on the left side and almost center, are Juniper. Up on hill, on the left are Elwood Cypress and I think the stand of trees, upper right, are Boulevard Cypress. All have been trained in shape and nurtured to grow in this indoor environment.

Did you get that? The whole piece is a self-contained miniature forest for indoors. Wow. It would be absolutely perfect in a large living room, waiting room or lobby. I want one.

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

The understory plants are combinations of tolerant perennials and small-leaf indoor plants. Miniature brass buttons and Baby Tears mingle with Pileas and Begonias.

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

The garden is self contained within the hutch. There is a drawer for the reservoir and another for the timer system.

But what left the most impression on me was the serene, comforting feeling that the garden gave me when I walked into the booth. The world dropped away and I could feel the presence of nature that only a large, fish-filled aquarium could deliver. It was so peaceful, serene and, well, completely magical. Who needs a TV when you have one of these?

Note that the plants Robert has used is a mixture of indoor and outdoor plants. The ground-layer plants are a combination of Mini Brass Buttons and Baby Tears that can he has nurtured to handle the year ‘round indoor temperatures. The trees are mainly outdoor plants that he has trained to grow in this particular environment. Robert spent years of experimentation with different combinations of fluorescent and LED lighting to get to this stage. He was careful to consider the type of light that would shine into the room too.

See more photos and get in touch with Robert through his website at www.Plantaria.net. He is based in the New York / New Jersey area. If you get the chance to see these works of art in person, I would highly recommend it.

Like this? Want more miniature gardening? Join us here for your Mini Garden Gazette, a monthly newsletter from America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com.

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

This second miniature garden had Hinoki Cypress trained to look like forest trees. You can see now, without an animal, figure, or man-made item, the scale of the garden can look smaller.

Miniature Garden Center

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

The faux rocks in the back of the mountainscape merge expertly with the real rock used for the waterfall and creek.

Miniature Gardening at the Philly Show with Janit Calvo

Baby Tear cascade out the front of the scene, welcoming visitors in to get a closer look. I wanted to stay and play.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

 

 

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Miniatures at the Huge Philadelphia Flower Show

Miniature Gardens at the Philadelphia Flower Show

A close up of Louise’s award-winning miniature Rear Window scene with close attention to detail, replicating the scene in the movie to a “T.”

Miniature Gardening is Still Growing at the Huge Philadelphia Flower Show

Dateline: 3.4.15 – Reporting in from our Timber Press tour to Philadelphia with our unique perspective – as usual! Here is our review of the garden event of the year, the best in the country, the Philadelphia Flower Show that is! It’s still on until March 8, 2015.

Miniature Garden Settings Exhibits

Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

And our good friend, Louise Krasneiwicz won the Best of Show this year for her steller Rear Window display! Congratulations, Dr. K! It. Is. Awesome. (More details to come.)

The Miniature Garden Settings Exhibits is a series of 10 dioramas set into window boxes built into walls for easy viewing. Despite the long list of the parameters that everyone has to work within, the exhibits vary in skill, vision and expertise. Every year there is at least a few great ideas and “wow” scenes that keep us coming back for more.

The organizers, Ron Hess & Louise Krasniewicz, spend countless and thankless hours finding new artists to participate, helping with the progress of the exhibits, blogging to keep everyone updated, promoting the exhibit throughout the year, and organizing and maintaining the main event during the show. That statement alone made me tired. Lol! Thank you Ron, Katy, Louise and the rest of the artists for a great show!

Here are a few of the exhibits below. Most of my photos I took at the wrong time of day, when the hall lights were on and the glares in the windows really got in the way. Thankfully I was able to get most of the plant-based exhibits photographed. Louise has much better photos  of all the exhibits up in her blog, the drama class and the fantasy class.

Click to enlarge the photos!

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Louise Krasniewicz

Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Best of Show. This scene was all handmade by Louise. You could stand there for an hour and still not see all the little nuggets in the details. Superb! 

Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Pamela Goldman

Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Pamela does it again with her Wizard of Oz scene. The house was at a terrific angle that really made the building look like it just landed.  (The lights you see in the shot are from my negligent photographing.) 

Miniature Gardens at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Pamela use over 22 different kinds of tiny plants in her display. Click to enlarge the photo.

 

An Affair to Remember, Lucille Dickerson

Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

I liked the garden border idea in this scene. The tiny plants grow fast in the displays. Some are switched out during the show because they get too big. 

Enchanted April, Cathy Bandoian

Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Cathy painted the backdrop to blend in with the “real” forest plants behind the tent to create a lush garden border. 

I will be going into greater detail with Louise’s Rear Window display. You can find the rest of the photos of the exhibits on Dr. K’s Miniature Settings Exhibit blog:

  • Gone with the Wind, Beverly Sue Palaia
  • Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Mary Ciccolella
  • Little Shop of Horrors, Ronny Smith and Chris Bogs
  • ET Goes Home, Randiee Wismer’s Dream Team of the Norristown Garden Club
  • Sleeping Beauty, Lori Anne Currall
  • Lady and the Tramp, Kathy Bright, Sheri Sullivan, Ron Sullivan

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More than Just Miniatures!

There were miniature gardens throughout the show this year too – so much more than last year! Most of the vendors just had the accessories for sale, a couple of vendors stood out as favorites, which they really couldn’t help, we’ve been following their work for years. Here’s more of our review of the best garden show in the country:

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Miniature Water Gardens – Plantarias

Miniature gardening at the Philly Show

Robert Dekkers of Plantaria.com – I didn’t realize we knew each other until I saw his name. More on this FMG to come… ;o)

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

I lighten up the shot so you can see the similarities to an aquarium. It has the same calming and “other-worldly” quality that a fish tank has – it draws you in and you don’t want to leave! 

More on this in a future blog! Robert Dekkers has been working on this ingenious approach to miniature gardening for a few years now. He calls them water gardens because they have the world’s cutest rock waterfall and stream running through each one. His plantarias are a fully contained, self-watering miniature garden that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own living room. A great idea for lobbies, waiting rooms and restaurants too – it exudes the tranquility and peacefulness similar to an aquarium! The irrigation is on automatic, the lights are the right balance for the trees and plants, the entire hutch is self-contained and made for indoors. I wonder how much shipping is to Seattle? Robert is based in the NY / NJ area. Connect with him here.

Twig Terrariums

Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

The first gals to bring the moss terrarium idea to market. They have a store in Brooklyn, NY and sell online too.

These are the gals that started the mossy-mini terrarium trend, Twig Terrariums. They put tiny HO scaled miniature people into mossy terrariums and instantly created a completely different world. It’s fun to see their creations up close and personal at the show. They have an online store, and a popular book on their work. Find them here.

More on the Philadelphia trip to come!

Like everything miniature garden? Want to go deeper? Then join us here.

German edition of Gardening in Miniature

Gardening in Miniature – now available in German! 

 

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Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

New Miniature Garden Merchandise!

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

The brand new book on air plants easily rekindles our love of Tillandsias.

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

A soil-less option for your tiny pots – air plants!

Well, Timber Press has done it again. I’m not sure how many of their books I have to put down because I get too inspired, and have to go make or plant something. When I curled up with the new Air Plants book, I read to page 101 before I couldn’t stand it any longer, and went looking for my air plants to play with. Lol!

The new book, Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias, by Zenaida Sengo, released late last year, is yet another gem to add to your miniature garden library. Beautifully photographed by Caitlin Atkinson, the detailed images focus on the wide variety of tillandsias, from a simple plant on a tray placed on the coffee table to a bushel of “sun-kissed clumps” that can help fill in the bare base of a houseplant.

From a miniature gardener’s point of view, I really enjoyed the primer chapter that defines the different types of air plants to get a better understanding of what they need. The maintenance and care sections were a great refresher course for keeping the air plants looking their best. Zenaida sorts out the watering for us too – yes, air plants need water – and she gives several different ways, and a handy chart, to help you keep the tillandsias hydrated. Propagating, bloom and growth cycles, light problems, fertilizing, and much more are included and all the segments are carefully photographed so you can see what to look for too.

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

Of course I zero in on the smallest plant in the book… Lol!

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

You can enjoy your air plants in a miniature pot to be placed right in your mini garden, or on your desk or windowsill.

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

A Tillandsia ionantha placed in a miniature urn immediately turns into a tiny Dracena palm. Take it inside for the winter, they are tropical plants after all.

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Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

Fun projects like this air plant display that almost teases you as you go up stairs, are included in the book too.

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

Air plants are ideal for open terrariums or dish gardens. Pair them with a miniature figure to define the theme and the scale.

Miniature Gardening with Air Plants

An open terrarium with the right kind of air plant combined with shells, coral pieces, tiny driftwood and moss, can look like an underwater garden. This one is a Tillandsia bulbosa.

If you only have one book on air plants, make it this one. Beyond the care and maintenance chapters are a wealth of more ideas on how to display and use your air plants in your interior décor and around your home where you would least expect something living and green to grow. A few very fun projects at the end are just more icing on the cake, in case you weren’t inspired enough already.

Find the book on the publisher’s website here, or on Amazon here.

Find small pots for your air plants here.

Find small figures for your miniature garden here.

Find colorful pebbles in different sizes here.

Join us for more fun in the miniature garden here.

The new Air Plant book from Timber Press

Register with Timber Press to receive their updates – they frequently have fun giveaways and contests – and they’ll let you know when there is a sale on too.

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Miniature Garden Ideas for Black Thumbs, Part II

Miniature Garden Center

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

With this idea, you can grow a little something just about anywhere.

Miniature Garden Ideas for Black Thumbs, Part II

With a name like Two Green Thumbs, I tend to turn-off non-gardener immediately. I don’t mean to, if they only knew that I’m pretty good at killing plants too. So, the other week when I was brainstorming for my Pottery Barn gig I had to switch my thinking to be more inline with their inventory. It wasn’t hard to get enthusiastic about their products – someone give me a gift certificate and I’ll show you how fast I can use it – but it was a bit of a puzzle to come up with new and different ways to use living plants. Here’s the second half of what I demonstrated for our fellow miniature gardeners at the University Village Pottery Barn store.

See the first blog post here on easy cache-pot gardening, When Pottery Barn Meets Miniature Gardening.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

A close-up shows the hidden tequila bottle that holds the houseplant cuttings. We call them twee gardens.

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

Twee Gardens: Miniature Fun with Houseplant Cuttings

For the beach garden that looks like a terrarium, I placed a clear glass tequila bottle in the bowl first, then layered in the different stones and sand. Between each layer of stone or sand, I put a piece of landscape cloth to help preserve the layers. Any kind of cloth or paper will suffice because it’s not supposed to get wet.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I used two Pothos cuttings at first – but it didn’t cut it, then added a couple of Begonia branches for some much-needed height. After they root, I can either plant them in soil by transitioning them from water, to wet soil, to regular damp soil gradually, for the best success. Or, I can leave them to grow in the water. Easy. Peasy.

This can be done with any theme. I always tend to go for a beach theme because its one of my fave places to go and I seldom have a chance to because of my work, so I getaway in small doses. (Ha! Do the puns EVER stop? ;o) The patio was taken out of a regular miniature garden than needed repotting. The adirondack chair , logs and shells with the superfine sand in perfect scale, delivers the message perfectly.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Now you have an idea for that darling candy dish or vase that you’ve had for years but never used for anything – a twee garden!

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I’ve been holding on to these small glass vials that I think are from the medical industry – does anyone know what they were used for?

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

 

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Aaaand that little vials sits in this vase just right.

When you put it together, hold the vase at the height that you want inside the vase/dish and then pour the pebbles in. If you mess-up, dump it all out in a tray or cookie sheet so you can corral the pebbles easily.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Looks like dessert! Wouldn’t this be a perfect centerpiece for a wedding or special event? Those are Hinoki Cypress branches that last for a surprisingly long time – but they probably won’t make a very successful plant start.

Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.com

The Definition of Twee: In British English it is used much more widely for things that are nauseatingly cute or precious. – The Urban Dictionary

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

This vase is buried about half-way into the pebbles. That is an Adromeda ‘Little Heath’ branch that lasts a long time in water but I don’t expect it to root in soil. Note that the miniature accessories will tell the scale, and the story.

I’m not expecting this Andromeda branch to root although it might if I leave it in the water long enough. With this idea, you can treat it like a flower vase too, and refresh different cuttings whenever you want. A friend with a garden would be very handy to have, and they probably won’t mind giving you a wee branch of something on a regular basis.

A quick list of plants that apparently root well in water: succulents, vines, spider plants, pothos, mint, basil, rosemary, African violets, begonias, coleus, geraniums, impatiens and willow. Experiment!

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I put in a fresh Andromeda Little Heath branch for a show the Seattle Miniature Show past weekend, and all of a sudden it needed something taller. The miniature tower birdhouse fit the bill perfectly.

See our selection of bird houses here.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

With this Twee Garden idea, you can grow a little something just about anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about the water or dampness. I used a turkey baster to direct the water right into the vase. Squirt gently!

See our selection of miniature furniture here.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I brought the group to the Seattle Miniature Show and, everyone liked it! I won the second place ribbon!

Like this? The you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette. Join us here.

Visit our store for more ideas and inspiration here.

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When Pottery Barn Meets Miniature Gardening, Black Thumbs Ideas, Part 1

New Miniature Garden Merchandise!

Pottery Barn Demo & Book Signing

It was a lot of fun showing everyone what I came up with when we joined Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center with Pottery Barn. That’s me, with my back to the camera on the right.

When Pottery Barn Meets Miniature Gardening, Black Thumb Ideas, Part 1

I had been on high-alert, looking for different ways to grow indoors when Pottery Barn called. They wanted me to do a miniature garden demonstration at one of their stores here in Seattle. My first thought was “indoor plants” and my second thought was, “Oh, cache pots.”

Get Crafty with Two Green Thumbs!A cache pot is simply a pot without a drainage hole in it. Its main purpose is to hide the nursery/plant pot so you can put it anywhere you like, on your TV  –  whoops, I’m dating myself, remember when you could do that? – Okay, you can put it on your mantle, your dining room table or even in your bathroom. When the plant needs water, you take the plant out of the cache pot, water it and put it back. Easy-peasy! It’s the perfect spot for seasonal color too, just keep in mind that the seasonal plant won’t live too long but you can have fun swapping it out for something different next season.

So, being the miniature garden nut that I am, I had to bring a little Two Green Thumbs flavor into the mix and here’s what we came up with.

(CAVEAT: Watch any pot, saucer or cache pot on your wood surfaces. If the cache pots are not glazed china, they may wick moisture onto your good wood surface – and I’ve seen some antique glazed china wick moisture too. Find plant coasters at your local independent garden center, they will have a few options for you and you can pick up a couple of 4″ houseplant at the same time.)

Pottery Barn Gig Creates More Miniature Gardening for Indoors

This was part of our display for the demo at Pottery Barn. We re-invented the cache pot and combined it with a little miniature garden idea.

Pottery Barn Gig Creates More Miniature Gardening for Indoors

A cache pot in a bowl filled with tumbled pebbles give the illusion of a miniature garden with the cache pot being a “large” container. The brown weathered markings of the cache pot was picked up in the color of the bowl – it was rimmed in the same brown.  That seaweed-type plant material on the “patio” is artificial.

More Miniature Gardening Ideas for Indoors

You can still have fun with the tiny miniature garden details. That’s a real baby Hen & Chick in the tiny pot. The gnome is staked to stay in plants. (Find him at TwoGreenThumbs.com)

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

So, I brought the idea home and tried some different combos. Some of the smaller gardens made me say, “Oh, how twee!” I’ll show you more details of the wee ones in part two of this blog post.

Janit's Mini Garden Etsy Store

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Using the cache pot in the dish idea, I came up with my own version. Even though my cache pot was a bit tall, it still worked in this shallow dish.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

And tried it with a couple of different houseplants… That’s a pilea that’s a bit leggy.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

And here, with a perfect Primose for spring. Still very fun and really, really simple – this is the perfect idea is for any black thumb, or think retirement centers where the ability to dote on plants may be limited.

Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.com

More Miniature Gardening Ideas for Indoors

I tried it in a basket. It didn’t work as well as the dish but I think it could with the right combination of cache pot and basket. I lined the basket with a plastic bag before putting in the cache pot and then pouring the pebbles around it.

See the variety of miniature pebbles and tumbled stone here.

More Miniature Gardening Ideas for Indoors

The same basket as above but with a Variegated Boxwood tree. The black, poly pot was a little too big for the cache pot and didn’t look right despite me trying to hide it with moss. This scene could have used another birdbath or more miniature garden art to help tell the story.

Find the Variegated Boxwood Tree here. Need miniature driftwood? Find it here.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Just like all things miniature garden, the fun is in the details and you can customize your miniature garden do suit just about any occasion.

Find our miniature water features and birdbaths here. And see what miniature pots we have in stock here. And that’s a real engraved rock too – see more here.

Like this? Then you’ll love our newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette. Join us here: http:/www.TwoGreenThumbs.com.

Carry on to Part II, our new Twee Gardens. Miniature Garden Ideas for Black Thumbs.

Miniature Gardening

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More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

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Indoor miniature gardening

Create this Indoor miniature garden as a centerpiece for the holidays at our Nov. 23rd workshop at Swansons Nursery, Seattle Wa. (Click the picture to get to the calendar for more workshop details.) This pot is about 12″ wide.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

Don’t you just love this hobby? The seasons changing can only mean another miniature garden and now you can make one for the indoors! Do you want a wee beachy-garden scene to get you through the cold months? Or, create a miniature gratitude garden for Thanksgiving? Let’s recap what you need to know, and then follow with a few examples of the different indoor miniature gardens we’ve grown over the years.

Ten Golden Rules are from The Houseplant Expert, Dr. D. G. Hessayon, my favorite go-to book for indoor plants and a great reference for your bookshelf. Here’s a quick summary of his top 10 adapted for miniature gardening.AdS-LrgRec-Dog

1. Don’t drown them. Roots need air as well as water. Let the soil dry out until barely damp. Put your finger down into the soil about 1” deep to test and yes, your finger is still the best way.

2. Give them a rest. Plants need less water and feeding in the winter. Some plants may not look as good, or need cutting back, before the new growth signals their return. Be patient and follow the plant’s signals.

3. Accept the loss of “temporary” plants. Some plants are not meant to live more than a season or two. Some miniature gardeners treat outdoor plants as short-lived houseplants during the winter. The Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Spruce, or the Pixie or Pixie Dust, is often used this way because they are true miniature Christmas trees.

4. Give them extra humidity. The average houseplant needs more humidity in the winter as the forced-air heat dries out the air quite quickly. By misting or grouping your houseplants around your miniature garden, you can maintain a better level of moisture in the air around the plants.

5. Treat trouble promptly. With Google at our fingertips, there is really no reason not to be able to identify a plant-problem quickly and easily. State the problem plainly; name the plant and search under Google Images to find it faster. For example, “brown spots on parlor palm leaves.” Search at least two or three sites to get a better perspective of the solution. Not everyone is an expert out on the Internet, most often the most simple and natural solution is best.

6. Know when to repot. When the plants start to look sickly, then it may be time to repot. Look for the roots growing out of the bottom drainage holes to know when.

7. Choose wisely. Right plant, right place. You can’t grow a sun-loving plant in a dark corner nor can you grow a shade-loving plant in front of a sunny, southern window.

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Recommended Tools:

  • Water can with a long, narrow spout to get the water through to the bottom of the plants. Get used to how it pours before using indoors or you’ll make a big mess the first time.
  • Mister – but know which plants like more, which like less.
  • Saucers AND protective pads with plastic on one side, felt on the other. Don’t trust any pot or saucer on your good wood surfaces. Use an extra moisture-barrier-pad recommended for plants with a plastic backing to avoid wicking. I’ve seen cork mats, but I’m not sure if they wick moisture or not.
  • Organic fertilizer. Avoid chemical fertilizers of any kind, the plants just don’t care for it and it builds up in the soil.
  • Soft sponge for cleanup.
  • Old kitchen spoon for repotting and fork for raking.
  • Scissors or small garden shears – or both.
  • indoor Potting Soil – Use potting soil without any extra fertilizers or moisture-retaining polymers. Look for an organic, indoor potting mix for a general-purpose soil that will be okay for most of your houseplants. Succulents, cacti and African Violets need more drainage material, like vermiculite or perlite.

You will notice that there is not a lot of variety yet in the plants that are shown here. That is because I killed the rest of them. Yep. I tend to kill indoor plants a lot better than our outdoor plants. The plants shown here are some of the tougher plants I have found for gardening in miniature. For the most part, I’ve included the plant’s names, and the growing notes under each photo.

Indoor miniature tropical garden

A Parlor Palm and Norfolk Pine anchor the garden, filled in with miniature Aloe and Hawarthias as the understory. The Pine was left in its original poly pot to help keep the roots damper than the other plants. The lagoon-shaped pond adds to the theme. (“Janit Calvo’s Lagoon Pond” is now discontinued.) This pot is about 22″ in diameter.

Indoor miniature gardening

One of our all-time most popular plants, the English Variegated Boxwood stands alone to make a simple gratitude garden for a sunny spot. This pot is about 8″ wide.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

A baby Parlor Palm on the left and a Kingsville Dwarf Boxwood on the right. This miniature mediation gardens need regular water and bright light. This pot is about 8″ wide.

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More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

The tree in the back is the Variegated English Boxwood, to the right is Dwarf Mondo Grass, a small-leafed succulent with an elusive name ;o), in the foreground, two Kingsville Boxwood shrubs. Needs regular water with bright light. Sedum cuttings in the urns will last a few months before needing replacing. Large size or one-inch scale accessories. This pot is about 20″ across.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

The same garden as above, but with medium size, half-inch scale accessories and gravel mulch in the garden beds. You can see how the smaller accessories are swimming in such a large pot, but also notice how big they make the whole garden appear.

Indoor Miniature Gardening

A custom-made miniature garden planter from England. Elwood Cypresses on the each end, Dwarf Mondo Grass behind the urn, sedum cutting in the urn, a small boxwood shrub to the right of the bench and baby tears as the “ground cover.” (Get in touch with me if you want more info about this handmade planter.) This garden needs bright, indirect light and a very cautious watering schedule as this box has no drainage holes. This container is 21″ wide by 9″ deep.

Indoor Miniature Gardening

A finished project from my book, Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World. Clockwise from the tall Elwood, to the left is a Sugar Vine (Cissus striata,) Baby Tears and a Variegated English Boxwood. Bright light with regular watering, the Sugar Vine will need cutting back every year to slow it down. This pot is about 12″ wide.

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Indoor miniature garden

A simple Fairy Vine and a handmade trellis is the perfect place for an daily empowering message. The “boulder” anchors the garden and makes it look established. This pot is about 7″ across.

Indoor miniature mediation gardening

Our Complete Indoor / Outdoor Miniature Garden Kit has our three most-durable indoor plants, from left to right: the Dwarf Mondo Grass, Variegated English Boxwood and Baby Tears. The Kit includes the stone, Mini Patio Mix and different accessories. This pot is about 10″ across.

Indoor miniature gardening

An impromptu miniature garden centerpiece for Halloween that I made a few years ago. It lasted about three weeks before it turned to mush. I would try this again with a taller pumpkin – the candle burnt the top of the “greenhouse.” The pumpkin was about 10″ in diameter.

SEE more of our plants that we recommend for indoor miniature gardening here.

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Gardening in Miniature book

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