How To Find the Right Miniature Garden Plants

Posted by Janit Calvo on

Gardening in Miniature with

Starting any brand adventure can be overwhelming but if you're just starting to explore the new hobby of gardening in miniature, it's a much different kind of overwhelm - it's excitement and anticipation of ALL the possibilities, ALL at once! 

I'm not sure how many fellow miniature gardeners I have spoken to that tell me that the dreams and visions of little gardens keeps them awake at night. I KNOW. I've been there before!

BUT you've come to the RIGHT place!

Or, I should say, "Have no fear, your miniature gardener is here!" which may or may not include a flowing green cape, a mask and a pair of leotards...  :o)

Miniature Gardening is a Journey

How to Find Your Mini Garden Plants

There is one thing that you should do before you start buying plants for your miniature garden, and that is a TINY bit of research.

Yeah, I know. Stay with me, it's not that hard and it'll pay off. 

**Because you can't pick up a pair of knitting needles, some yarn and just start knitting - you need to learn how to stitch. You can't learn to cook by just buying a new pan either - you have to learn a few things before you start, right?**

In fact, I'm hard-pressed to think of any hobby that you can just waltz-in, roll up your sleeves and start excelling-in right away. There is a learning curve for most things, right?  

THIS is where Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center comes in!

We've been simplifying the new hobby for beginner gardeners to make you as successful as you can be. We've been blogging since 2009 over on our Mini Garden Guru blog AND we've have the oldest and longest-running newsletter for the hobby - okay, so it's the ONLY newsletter for the hobby too -  the Mini Garden Gazette. (Do join us here!) 


Fairy Gardening

Start Here

To begin gardening in miniature, (or any type of gardening for that matter,) start by answering this question: WHERE am I going to grow my garden? 

Answer that question FIRST. 

Are you growing in a pot? Where is the pot going to live?

Are you thinking of planting on in the ground? Where is that going to be?

Did you want a miniature garden for indoors? Where? 

THEN follow these easy steps to find your plant choices.


How to Make a Miniature Garden Ebook


For Outdoor Miniature Gardens, in Pots or In-Ground

Not all plants are outdoor plants. Not all plants can grow anywhere. And no, you can't fool Mother Nature. Work within these parameters below, or you'll be wasting your time, money and energy. 

1.) Find your planting zone. Don't know? ~> To figure out what zone you are in, please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find your zone. See it here.

2.) Now figure out what kind of light that spot gets, click here for an easy outdoor light chart.

3.) NOW using the zone info, together with the light info, you can choose your plants.

~> We have our true miniature garden plants listed by zones,
just click the + sign beside it in the menu!

~> OR you can search by light so you can easily
find the right plants for your spot.

An Indoor Miniature Garden with a Baby Boxwood Tree

For Indoor Miniature Garden:

1.) They need to be indoor plants. Finding the right plants for indoor miniature gardening is trickier simply because the options are a LOT more limited. You need "indoor plants."

Indoor plants are plants that need to live above 60 degrees all year long. You can start to see how the indoor/outdoor plants choices start to blend together if you are living in a warm climate like Florida, for example.

2.) Light matters inside too! Some indoor plants can handle low-light but, technically not any kind of miniature garden plant - they will need light because the leaves are small. Bright, indirect light is perfect for most indoor miniature garden plants and you can always "add light" with the new grow-bulbs that can fit into any fixture. In fact, check out your local hardware store or indoor plant shop for all kinds of indoor plant lights. 

3.) Look for indoor versions of outdoor plants. The other thing to look for are indoor plants that LOOK like miniature versions of our full-sized trees and bedding plants. Which, are harder to find but they are needed to achieve the realism of a garden in miniature. THIS is why we love fairy gardening for indoors - it's a little less realistic which gives you more plant options. 

St. Patricks Day Miniature Garden for Indoors

See Our Mini Garden Plants Up in This Store

BUT we have some options here for you! There are a few plants that can handle colder temps as well as the warm indoor climate, like our favorite Variegated Boxwood for example. 

And, there are a few ground covers, aka "miniature bedding plants" that can be grown indoors or outdoors too. See our indoor plant section here, note that not all plants are available at all times. 

All our plant listings are marked indoor, outdoor or both.

Miniature Garden with Pond and Juniper

What to Look For If (GASP!) Shopping Elsewhere

Other points to remember when miniature plant shopping IF (Gasp!) you are shopping outside of our Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. (Say it ain't so!)

  • Look for high-quality, slow growing plants. An example: miniature conifers grow 1” per year or slow-growing dwarfs grow less than 3″ per year. "Quality" plants, like ours, should maintain their growth rate naturally. All plants will grow, but here at TGT, we focus on the plants that grow slowly AND look like a miniature version of a full-sized plant.
  • Look for small-leaves with small branches or stems. Example: miniature daisies, the leaves AND the flowers are both tiny and stay tiny. Sometimes the flowers are totally out of scale, like our miniature iris. The tiny blades of the iris are SO adorable the flower is a big when it blooms. But with a little grace, you can patiently wait and enjoy the flower until it dies away to get your perfectly scaled miniature garden back.

  • Expert shipping methods. If the plants get too stressed-out on the way to you, you may not know until it's too late and the plant decides to give up. Here at TGT, we guarantee our shipping methods when shipped by Priority Mail - we're that good. 

And while you are right here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, you can search by your planting zone zone AND you light from the search bar in the upper right corner. You may want to surf through some examples before you go on your search.

Any questions? Please leave them in the comments below or email us anytime! It'll tell me what I've missed.

Like this? Join our email list for your FREE Mini Garden Gazette newsletter delivered to every few days straight to your inbox. Our subscribers get the discounts, first dibs and exclusive kits that we don't advertise anywhere else! Join us here.

The Primer for the Hobby!


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