Fairy gardens have become popular nowadays because of its dollhouse-like appeal where their owners allow their imaginations to run wild, from their creation to their care. Fairy gardens are essentially miniature displays that feature ornaments, crafts, and plants. There are some beliefs that fairy gardens can lure actual fairies in for good luck!
Creating and maintaining a fairy garden may initially seem difficult, but with a child-like imagination, even an aspiring artisan gardener (like me) can achieve success. With the appropriate plants and decorations chosen, along with adequate care, anyone can successfully maintain a fairy garden. So out with the shovel and glue sticks!
Read on for some of the best plants for indoor fairy gardens, and a few tips on how to begin one and care for them effectively.
Table of Contents
There are numerous plants available for miniature gardens, so it’s important to determine which plants work best for the indoor fairy garden. Here are some of the most enchanting, pint-sized plants that will bring your mini-garden to life! We categorize them based on the layering and size.
|Plant||Indoor/Outdoor||Sun Exposure||Watering||Is it pet safe?|
|Irish Moss||Indoor||Bright Indirect, west facing||Keep soil moist||Yes|
|Preserved Moss||Indoor||Shade||Keep away from water||Yes|
|Creeping Thyme||Outdoor||Full Sun to Partial Sun, south or east facing||Water when soil looks dry||Yes|
|Moneywort||Indoor||Partial Sun to Partial Shade, west to north facing||Water diligently||Yes|
|Polka Dot Plant||Indoor||Bright Indirect, south or west facing||Water when top soil looks dry||No|
|Mini African Violets||Indoor||Bright Indirect, south or west facing||Water when top soils looks dry. Avoid overhead watering||Yes|
|Lily of the Valley||Indoor||Bright Indirect, south or west facing||Keep soil moist||No|
|Floss Flower||Indoor/Outdoor||Full Sun to Partial Shade, east, south or west facing||Water when top soil looks dry||No|
|Miniature Daisy||Indoor||Partial Sun to Partial Shade, west to north facing||Keep soil moist||No|
|Johnny Jump Ups||Indoor/Outdoor||Full Sun to Partial Sun, south or east facing||Water when top soil looks dry||Yes|
|Jade Plant||Indoor||Partial Sun to Partial Shade, west to north facing||Water every 2-3 weeks||Yes|
|Hen and Chicks||Indoor||Partial Sun to Partial Shade, west to north facing||Water every 2-3 weeks||Yes|
|Foxtail Fern||Indoor||Partial Sun to Partial Shade, west to north facing||Water every 2-3 weeks||Yes|
|Sedums||Indoor/Outdoor||Full Sun to Partial Sun, south, east, west facing||Water every 2-3 weeks||Yes|
|Bee Balm||Outdoor||Full Sun, east and south facing||Keep soil moist||Yes|
|Baby’s Breath||Outdoor||Full Sun, east and south facing||Water when soil feels dry||No|
|Nasturtium||Outdoor||Full Sun, east and south facing||Keep soil moist||Yes|
|Lavender||Outdoor||Full Sun, east and south facing||Water when soil feels dry||Yes|
|California Poppies||Outdoor||Full Sun, east and south facing||Water when soil feels dry||Yes|
Ground Cover Plants
This is the base layer of any fairy garden as it not only adds color, but depth to a miniature landscape. The most popular ground cover plants are mosses and small succulents.
Preserved moss has various uses and is mostly used in crafts, making it perfect for fairy gardens. Use preserved moss to imitate shrubs, and give other fairy garden ornaments a touch of nature.
Care: It is long-lasting and requires almost no care: keep it away from water and do not put it in direct light, as it will make the color fade.
Use this moss as your ground cover if you want to give your little fairies’ home a meadow vibe.
This moss turns green as temperatures become warmer, and awards the fairies and plant parents with little white or yellow flowers occasionally.
Care: It likes bright indirect light and wants its soil moist.
Want to put your fairy garden in a field of flowers? Creeping thymes, especially when they bloom, can give you this wonderful effect with their wonderful vibrancy (they smell nice too).
Care: It is a sun-loving plant and grows in well-draining soil. Water them when the soil looks dry, especially when the plant is still young.
Moneyworts don’t just work on aquariums, they also work as ground cover for your fairy village too! This plant is fast-growing especially when in the perfect conditions.
Care: Bright indirect light to partial shade, moist soil with consistent watering (this plant loves water). Since it grows rapidly, pruning is needed to keep it in shape.
Small Stature Plants
After layering the ground, it’s time to add some small-stature plants. These are primarily used as decorative foliage and vary in size to provide depth and texture.
Fairies like bright colors, like pink, and with the Polka Dot plant you are sure to attract a lot of them with its striking foliage and miniature cuteness. This plant likes bright indirect light and humidity, so match it with plants that have the same care.
Care: It likes moist soil so water it when the top soil already looks dry. As pretty as this plant is, it can be toxic to your furry friends at home.
You can enhance the color of your fairy gardens by placing African Violets near the fairy's house. The deep violet colour greatly complements brighter flowers and foliage added to the fairy garden.
Care: It can tolerate very early or very late direct sun, but it prefers bright indirect light. As much as possible, avoid overhead watering this plant as it is susceptible to diseases caused by having water remain on its leaves. Keep its soil moist to make it happy.
One way to achieve a woodland or forest ambiance in your fairy garden is by incorporating Lily of the Valley amongst other green plants. Per folklore, the lily of the valley can ward off evil spirits.
Care: The white, bell-like flowers of this plant scream fairy world right away. Contrary to its name, the Lily of the Valley is a member of the asparagus family. Place it in a spot with bright indirect light and keep its soil moist. The plant is also toxic to pets.
Here’s another interesting plant for your fairy garden: the floss flower. It is also known as blue mink due to its interesting floss-like purplish-blue flowers, but it also has pink and white varieties.
Care: This dwarf plant can thrive from full sun to partial shade, and since its roots are a little shallow, frequent watering is needed to keep it from wilting. As fluffy as it looks, the floss flower is toxic to pets.
Commonly used as ground cover for bigger gardens, the miniature daisy can become a star of its own in a small container garden like a fairy garden.
Care: It is a hardy plant, it needs bright indirect light to partial shade and watered consistently and thoroughly just to keep its soil moist. Do note that miniature daisies are toxic to pets.
The butterfly-like petals of the Johnny Jump Ups would be a sure way to attract lots of attention in your small container garden. With beautiful vibrant petals in blue, purple, yellow and white, Johnny Jump Ups thrive in full sun to partial sun.
Care: They are low-maintenance plants provided they are in well-draining soil and regular watering. Prune spent blooms to encourage growth.
Succulents are often used to add an interesting and unique texture. Some succulents have peculiar shapes that soften the look of your fairy garden. This type of plant is low-maintenance but prefers bright indirect light. Since it stores its own water, be careful not to overwater them.
Jade plants are small tree-like succulents that can work best with your fairy garden provided it is grouped with plants with similar care.
Care: As it is a succulent, it thrives in bright indirect light to partial shade and only needs to be watered every two weeks. Add two or three jade plants to the fairy’s home to give the little forest aesthetic.
When we think of fairies, we think of flowers: big, bold, and beautiful flowers. With hen and chicks adorned in your fairy garden, fairies would surely love to give it a visit! But contrary to its looks, the floral appearance of this succulent is its leaves.
Care: Place them in bright indirect light and water them every two weeks to keep them happy.
Whether for ground cover or to embellish the look of your fairy garden, the cute little flower-like leaves of the sedum can be a perfect filler for a fairy garden.
Care: This plant can withstand drought and tolerate some full sun. Pruning is needed to keep this plant in shape or to avoid it overcrowding the container of the fairy garden.
Though not a succulent, foxtail ferns are a special mention due to its drought resistant features like succulents. With its pine needle-like leaves that resemble its namesake, foxtail ferns can be used as accents to your fairy garden and are great air purifiers.
Care: It thrives in bright indirect light. Mist occasionally and allow the soil to dry out before you water. Exercise caution if you have furry friends, this plant is toxic to them.
Outdoor Garden Plants
If you’re interested in making an outdoor mini garden, here are some plants that will surely help turn it into a magical attraction.
Outdoor fairy gardens will surely benefit from bee balms and their blooms that look like fireworks. Not only does it provide the fairy garden with a pop of color, it also attracts pollinators such as butterflies and bees (and hopefully fairies) which can encourage more flowers to grow and it is an effective mosquito repellant too.
Care: It likes a lot of sun, and can tolerate drought, but it prefers moist soil to keep it happy.
Do you want a vegetable garden vibe for your fairy garden? Then get the farmer’s recommended Nasturtium as an addition to your outdoor fairy garden. Not only are the blooms of the nasturtium striking with their big red-orange color, but it is also fragrant too.
Care: It thrives in full sun and likes moist soil so water regularly. The plant attracts insects; gardeners use them to deceive pests so they avoid the vegetables, and it is edible, too!
Baby’s breath are not just used to fill in a bouquet, it can be used to fill your fairy garden too, but it requires maintenance to keep them from looking too overgrown.
Care: They are very low maintenance: give them full sun and water them when the soil feels dry and they will take care of themselves. These plants are toxic to pets.
The small, violet blooms of lavender are not only beautiful and fragrant, but it also has health benefits as well. Lavender, a member of the mint family, is not just a effective bug repellent but also attracts useful pollinators like butterflies. Let the fairy party begin!
Care: Lavender likes full sun, so place it in a spot that receives lots of morning sun, but be careful with the watering as it does not like to be in overly wet soil. Prune spent lavender blooms to encourage more flowers.
California poppies are wonderful for your fairy garden for so many reasons: they are perennials and will reward your fairy garden with glorious blooms for longer. They are bright, beautiful, and most importantly, low maintenance!
Care: California poppies love a lot of sun and they can survive even the most negligent of plant parents, a little watering is a lot to the plant already. Deadheading is recommended to encourage more blooms.
With the right plants, your fairy garden will be a success, but don’t forget the other elements! Decorative materials like fairy figurines, small animal figures, and tools for the little fairies to use! Make sure that the containers you’re using are suitable for plants as well.
Fairy Garden Container
Choosing the planter in which to place your fairy garden depends on the size of the fairy’s house and the total number of plants you like to place them in. Considering the space that they are in, outdoor fairy gardens are usually bigger than indoor fairy gardens. This simple planter is a good fairy garden container to start your first fairy garden, with at least one house, some ornaments, and the rest of the greenery. Want a more decor-like appeal to your fairy garden? Try this concrete planter from Dahlia which is perfect for indoors and small plants like succulents.
Some planters can be flexible, allowing you to mix and match plants with different needs in one whole fairy garden. Take this layered planter pot from Ounona. The planter itself can stand as the fairies’ home, and you can add a lower “forest” level where other varieties of plants can be placed.
Potting Mix and Other Natural Materials
The potting mix used depends on the plants chosen in the construction of the fairy garden. If your fairy garden features a lot of moisture-loving plants, a tropical potting mix would be enough. For plants that require less watering, like succulents, this starter potting mix would be a great recommendation for your fairy garden.
Additionally, you can include other natural materials to mimic the magical forest feel a fairy garden imbibes. Use gravel and pebbles to simulate boulders or simple stepping stones in the fairy garden. Use some driftwood or sticks to make it look more natural.
Calling fairies in can be a daunting task (it is, really) and sometimes, it is best to start small, like really small. With that, we recommend this ready made kit from Terra Green.
It includes a glass container, potting mix, activated charcoal (to prevent root rot since there will be no drainage holes, like a terrarium) pebbles and starter ground cover plants. You only need to place one stand-out plant of your choice, like a succulent and add your ornaments away!
How to make your own fairy garden (DIY)
With your imagination and the right tools, it is fairly easy to make your fairy garden. Think of it as a crafts project with a little bit of landscaping: after all, you will make the perfect home for your little magical guests.
- Be sure to have everything on hand before beginning and organise the materials needed to make your fairy’s home (or the house itself if you have bought it),
- Additional ornaments such as figurines
- The plants or seeds to create the forest
- Potting mix depending on the plants you will put in the garden
- The planter to put them all in
- Create your fairy’s home:
- Feel free to add details depending on your crafting skills, or go with a pre-made one to save time (but it is so nice to DIY this part).
- Let your imagination fly: it can be a typical house, or go different with bottles, jars, or anything available in the home.
- Once the house is complete, prepare the planter by putting the potting mix in the planter and set aside a space where you will put the house in.
- Once that space is determined, arrange and plant your chosen plants in the container (depending on the size of the planter, have 3 standing plants per house)
- After which, start to plant in your chosen ground cover.
- Once done, you can add the finishing touches with other ornaments or decorations in the garden: pebbles, rocks, etc.
- Place your planter in the desired location (if a smaller garden) and enjoy!
- Maintain the plants like any regular houseplant.
Here’s a video for a more detailed look.
Fairy Garden Plant Combinations
You can try the following combinations in creating your first fairy garden:
- Simple Start: For beginners, succulents are usually the first go-to plants in making a fairy garden. Just start with one small house and adorn it with hens and chicks or echeverias for that floral world-like vibe. Use succulent potting mix for your soil and use preserved moss as your ground cover. Care as you would any succulent plant.
- Forest Village: For a rainforest fairy land peg, you can use floss flowers, Lily of the Valley, polka dot plants or African violets for intrigue and vivid hues. Use moss or just leave the ground as it is and adorn it with other natural materials like rocks, driftwood or pebbles.
- Land of Flowers: Want to welcome not just fairies, but everyone with flowers? With your fairy’s home, use California poppies (so flowers bloom for longer) or just use bee balm and add Johnny Jump-up violas so they would be like butterflies in your floral fairy garden. Fill in with baby’s breath.
Creating a fairy garden is a romantic and enchanting endeavour, with endless possibilities to explore. When creating an indoor fairy garden, choose the best plants that can thrive in your home environment. Always pay attention to the care needs of each plant and remember to prune when necessary.
As long as you have the right tools at hand and know your plants, you can make a stunning world that fairies would love to call home.
Have fun fairy catching! 🙂