The Best Plants for Fairy Gardens in 2021

Plants for fairy gardens in a clear glass jar

Last Updated on January 30, 2021

If you’re planning to create a fairy garden, your first thought should be, what are the best plants for fairy gardens? They should be plants that thrive in confined conditions and reflect the magical nature around you. 

These miniature garden plants help create a landscape fit enough for a fairy family to live in. So, what are these plants? 

Here are the best plants for fairy gardens:

The Best Plants for Fairy Gardens in 2021

Top 10 Plants for Fairy Gardens

Bonsai for fairy gardens

Finding the best plants for fairy gardens is a key factor in the maintenance and overall design of miniature gardens. That’s why you need to be careful when selecting these plants. 

Fairy garden plants that exhibit low and dense growth are most preferred. However, you should only choose garden plants that aren’t susceptible to disease and stay healthy with minimal effort from you. 

The same fairy garden plants should also fit into your chosen container, leaving plenty of space to grow. You should select miniature plants of different heights—shorter ones in the front, medium height to occupy the middle section, and taller plants at the back. 

Try to ensure that all your plants require the same amount of light and moisture, and avoid tropical fairy garden plants as they only thrive in really hot and humid environments. 

Below are the top 10 fairy garden plants that look realistic, both in scale and appearance:

Designer fairy garden

Nasturtium

Nasturtium comes in many vibrant colors like red, orange, and yellow. Since they’re climbers, these magnificent plants can grow well in baskets or on small trellises in miniature gardens. They also attract a variety of pollinators to your little garden.

The flowers are perfect for fairy gardens as they’re edible, providing a little snack for the fairies. They can also add a peppery taste to a light summer salad.

The dwarf Nasturtium requires minimal maintenance. They don’t need rich soil; they prefer poor, well-drained soil and need very little water. Plant them in full sun or partial shade. They normally only bloom in the summer but can make great indoor fairy garden plants if you want them all year.

Pros

  • Produce edible flowers.
  • Easy to plant.
  • Provide robust blooms.

Cons

  • Trimming or pruning is needed due to their climbing nature.

Miniature African Violet

The miniature African Violet is one of the best plants for fairy gardens or terrariums. The colors available will vary depending on the season. This is more of an indoor plant.

Great for beginners and experienced gardeners, these tiny flowers can thrive in indirect sunshine and warm temperatures. They require moist, peat-based soil and like a bit of humidity. Make sure to give this plant room-temperature water as cold water can cause leaf curling.

Pros

  • Easy to grow and maintain.
  • Stay in great shape.
  • Come on a variety of colors.

Cons

  • Leaves may wilt when exposed to full sunshine.

Pink Nerve Plants

Also known as Polka Dot Plants, the Pink Nerve Plants have a network of nerves that look like veins. These vein-like features run through their leaves, giving them a distinctive appearance. 

They’re slow-growing plants that thrive best in containers both indoors and the open outdoors. Since they’re low maintenance plants, they’re perfect for use in miniature gardens. They need indirect bright light and try to keep the soil moist, not dry or soggy.

Pros

  • Hearty.
  • Unique in appearance.
  • Easy to grow.

Cons

  • Die quickly when mishandled.

Marigolds

Marigolds are a classic flower, perfect for use in your fairy garden as they need less maintenance than others. Another bonus of this dwarf plant is that it repels several types of plant-eating bugs. Your marigold will serve as a hearty and protective plant for your fairy garden—and the fairies. It has bright flowers and great foliage when it’s well taken care of.

They need moist soil, full light and come in lovely shades of yellow and orange.

Keep and dry the spent blossoms as you can use the seeds inside for the fairies next year.

Pros

  • Fast blooming.
  • Attract pollinators.
  • The seeds germinate quickly
  • The flowers are a natural pest deterrent, so they help protect other fairy plants around them.

Cons

  • Vulnerable to slugs.

California Poppies

California-Poppies add a traditional look to your fairy gardens. These lovely plants are easy to grow and maintain—and a favorite of fairies. They’re deer resistant but attractive to almost all pollinators. California Poppies produce small, bright, and delicate flowers that make your garden more adorable.

These dwarf poppies flourish with good drainage and need full light. The flowers close in the shade and at night and will open in the morning.

Pros

  • Beautiful orange blossoms.
  • A prolific reseeder.
  • Quickly-bloomer.
  • Powerful pollen producer.

Cons

  • Can be toxic to pets such as dogs

Lavender

Lavender is by far the most beloved plant in gardens. It has fragrant flowers that attract pollinators such as butterflies to your fairy garden and grows almost anywhere. It’s perfect for fairy gardening as it can promote wellness and calmness.

It’ll want full sun and moist soil to thrive and doesn’t survive long in the shade.

Pros

  • Provides a sweet, soothing and long-lasting scent.
  • Versatile herb; use to treat a wide range of ailments.
  • High yield and hardy.

Cons

  • Seeds aren’t likely to sprout if conditions aren’t right.

Jade

Jade is a favorite succulent among many gardeners. Although it’s technically a houseplant, this hearty succulent can also do well outside during summer, but not well in the winter. 

For best results, you want your dwarf Jade growing in gritty, well-drained soil and keep it in full sunlight for green succulent leaves. Only add water when the soil is dry to the touch.

A Jade plant can make a wonderful miniature tree for a fairy garden.

Pros

  • Excellent eye-catching tiny tree for fairy gardens.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Don’t require frequent watering.

Cons

  • Slow growth.
  • Not all-season.

Periwinkle

The dwarf Periwinkle goes by the name Vinca minor. It produces dark evergreen leaves that contrast sharply with its striking blue flowers. The subshrub spreads along the ground, creating a beautiful carpet for the fairies to play on.

This plant can hold up to different types of pests and grow well under the shade but does like a full day of sun. It prefers well-drained, sandy soil with moderate moisture; you don’t want to add too much water.

Pros

  • Hardy fairy garden plant.
  • Resistant to deer.
  • Well-rooted.

Cons

  • Very few can withstand winter conditions.

Coleus

Coleus plants grow right from seedlings or seeds. Their leaves are appealing and have shades of red, lime, and yellow. They’re low-growing plants, which make them suitable for borders and pots for your fairy gardens.

They love the shade, but some varieties do well in the sun. Coleus is a thirsty plant, so keep the soil moist. Their succulent stems are prone to snapping, so they want an area protected from the wind.

Pros

  • Produce multi-colored foliage.
  • Super easy to grow.
  • High rate of germination (at least 70 percent successful.)

Cons

  • Overwatering can lead to fungal and mildew problems.

Miniature Daisy

Miniature Daisies are loved by almost everyone and are perfect for those new to the fairy garden game as they’re low-maintenance. Their flowers are a mixture of yellow and white; they’re absolutely adorable.

The dwarf flowers are perfect for filling in gaps or providing ground cover. They can handle any type of soil as long as it’s moist and well-drained, and they like the shade.

Pros

  • Blooms five times a year.
  • They’re vigorous growers.
  • Bee-friendly.

Cons

  • May provide a habitat for bugs.

Best Containers for Fairy Gardens

Container for fairy gardens

After you have identified the best plants for fairy gardens, your next task should be to look for the best containers for fairy gardens. 

The ideal containers depend on what fairy garden ideas you have, but they should be large enough to accommodate various miniature plants. They must also have a well-established drainage system to let out excess water. 

You don’t need to buy a fairy garden container; you can make one. An old wheelbarrow with some holes drilled in the bottom, a log split in half, even an old tree stump hollowed out will make an amazing fairy garden container. The possibilities are endless. 

But if you want to get straight into the gardening, here are a few examples of containers you can rely on:

NCYP Forest Fairy House

NCYP miniature decorative planters can withstand outdoor weather conditions better than most containers, as they’re made of weatherproof resin material.

It weighs 4 pounds and measures 14 inches in length, is 11.4inches wide, and has a height of 10.5 inches. Plus, it comes with three different sized pots, each at various levels, to create an impressive tiered appearance of a forest landscape. 

The container also has a detailed staircase, doors, windows, realistic tree bark, and a few roots over tiny stones. All these features make the miniature garden look realistic. 

This forest house can give a fairy family a beautiful life, surrounded by moss, succulents, ferns, and a variety of other small flowers.

Pros

  • Durable and weatherproof.
  • Three tiers.
  • Realistic decorations.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Quite small.

Fairy Garden Tiered Planter

Just like a pot in fairy tales, the Fairy Garden Tiered Planter will transform your fairy garden and give it a magical look. 

It’s sturdy, large, and well designed to resemble an actual log or stump miniature garden. The container is made of high-quality and durable resin to withstand outdoor weather conditions. This material also makes it lightweight; it weighs 7.28 pounds for easy portability.

Measuring 14 inches tall by 12 inches wide, this container holds plants such as moss, ferns, cactus, and succulents. You can even add decorative stones or plant herbs for both you and the fairies to enjoy.

Pros

  • Beautiful addition to fairy gardens.
  • Deep enough to grow several herbs.
  • Sturdy but lightweight.

Cons

  • It’s quite thin.

Vtete Succulent Container-Miniature Ornament Container Box

With approximate dimensions of 7.5 by 5 by 2.4 inches, the Vtete Succulent Container Box provides enough room for several of the best plants for fairy gardens. This solid wood container adds a rustic style to your little garden. 

This trough-style plant pot is made for plants such as herbs, succulents, cacti, wheatgrass, and many other small plants. 

The fairy box comes with 30 miniature ornaments like a bridge, picket fence, a couple of street lamps, and several animals. It also includes four artificial trees.

It’s quite small but would make a great new addition to an existing fairy garden. Perhaps you can create a fairy village or town—or world, and add a box every time a new family moves in, or a fairy teenager says, “I’ve had enough, I’m moving out!”

Pros

  • Durable.
  • Built to hold a variety of dwarf plants.
  • Includes a variety of miniature ornaments.
  • Great addition to an existing fairy garden.

Cons

  • Not recommended for children under three years.
  • Quite small.
  • Some of the ornaments are disproportionate; swans should not be smaller than rabbits.

Cnomg Pot Creative DIY Container

At approximately 3.9 inches for the bottom and 6.7 inches for the upper diameter, this handmade container provides unmatched beauty for a fairy garden. It’s crafted using resin—a natural material—to keep your environment protected and safe. 

This container is lightweight—weighing 1.1 pounds, enabling you to move it to any location with ease. 

The unique design of this DIY container for fairy gardens is adorable. It looks like a plant pot that has been split down the middle, and a fairy family has just moved in, but they need your help with the gardening.

There are three sections that are suitable for planting all your favorite plants, including moss, dwarf flowers, and succulents. The planting areas are all linked to allow water to escape.

You may use it outdoors or indoors; you could put it on top of a tree stump, have one as your dining room table centerpiece, or get one to take to the office and pop it on your desk.

Pros

  • Ideal for succulents.
  • Lightweight.
  • Interlinked drainage.

Cons

  • The resin material is thin and fragile.
  • Quite small for the price.

The Best Plants for Fairy Gardens FAQs

Fairy garden house

What Should I Put in the Bottom of My Fairy Garden?

You can put different types of drainage material at the bottom of your fairy gardens. These materials include:

  • Pebbles.
  • Rocks.
  • Gravel.
  • Marble chips.

Once you’re done with putting drainage material at the bottom of your container, you can add the growing medium. It should be high-quality, ready-mixed soil. This type of soil is a blend of vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss, rich in essential nutrients for your little plants. 

What Plants for the Fairy Garden Look Good Throughout the Year?

Plants that look good all year are those that act as ground cover. 

They include:

  • Elfin Thyme.
  • Miniature Oakleaf Creeping Fig.
  • Golden Creeping Speedwell.
  • Golden Japanese Stonecrop.
  • Silver Sprinkles Plant.
  • Spikemoss.
  • Dwarf Mondo Grass.
  • Baby Tears.
  • Sugar Vine.
  • Zebra Haworthia.
  • Corsican Mint.
  • Miniature Daisies.
  • Iris Moss.
  • Cranesbill.

They’re actually the lawn for most fairy gardens. Apart from adding beauty and charm to your miniature garden, they grow and spread all over the container for a very long time.

Where Do I Buy Fairy Garden Plants?

You can get plants by checking with your local independent Fairy Garden Information Center. If not, your local human garden center should be able to guide you through all your fairy gardening needs. 

You may find young fairy plants and trees in the grocery stores’ floral section in the winter months. 

Be sure to get as much information from the salesperson as possible regarding the care of your new miniature plants; they’ll be happy to guide you through the whole process.

Where Should I Look for Realistic Accessories for My Fairy Garden?

You can get realistic miniature accessories from your local dollhouse stores. Other places to find such accessories include thrift stores and flea markets. You can also look online. Remember to choose items that will withstand all types of weather conditions.

The Verdict

The best plants for fairy gardens combine imagination, magic, and the joy of gardening. These plants help you create lush, living, and magnificent miniature gardens, indoors or outdoors. 

You need a plant to provide ground cover or act as the fairy’s lawn and some dwarf flowers for the fairies to care for when they move in. Also, add a couple of green succulents or ferns to act like trees, providing shade when the fairies are gardening.

Our top pick is the Nasturtium. They’re available in many sunny colors and attract several insects to your garden to promote pollination, helping maintain the ecosystem of your fairy garden while making it more attractive. Most significantly, their flowers are edible.

You can add them to the tiny patio, place them around the ponds, or include them in the little, secret garden. All you need to do next is to look for the best containers for fairy gardens, and your dream of having a miniature world within your home can come true.

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