26 Tiny Plants Perfect for Miniature Landscaping

Scale is everything in little gardens. Here are some of the best choices for fairy gardens, terrariums, and other petite plantings.

Alternanthera 'Christmas Tree'

This petite, conical plant displays densely clustered foliage and doesn't need regular pinching to stay small. Preferring moist soil, it will tolerate some shade.

Sun, Zones 9-10

Ophiopogon chingii 'Sparkler'

Also known as lilyturf, this little plant creates the look of fountain grass in miniature landscapes. Tiny white flowers are held high on the plant, followed by blue berries.

Shade/Sun, Zones 5-9

Dwarf Lady Fern

In moist soil, this pretty, soft-leaf fern can tolerate a bit of morning sun. When grown in a terrarium, you might need to clip out oldest stems to keep it down to size. Athyrium filix-femina 'Minutissimum'

Shade, Zones 3-8

Dwarf Sweet Flag Iris

This plant loves moist soil and can even grow in standing water, where it will tolerate bright sun. Grow it in a terrarium or in rich, moist soil outdoors. Acorus gramineus 'Himenasumene'

Shade/Sun, Zones 5-9


Every spring this leafy groundcover sends up bloom stalks covered in deep-blue flowers. It goes dormant in cold-winter climates. Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor'

Shade, Zones 4-10

Brass Buttons

Brass buttons -- picking up its name by the tiny, yellowish, buttonlike flowers it blooms in spring -- looks like a meadow of tiny ferns. Leptinella squalida 'Platt's Black'

Sun/Partial Shade, Zones 4-9


This tiny ivy loves bright shade and can be trained up miniature trellises. Allow the soil to become almost dry, then water generously. Keep an eye out for spider mites. Hedera Helix 'Feenfinger'

Shade, Zones 5-11

Super Star Creeper

Tiny white flowers seem to float above the leaves of this creeping groundcover, which loves moist soil. Remaining only 2-3 inches tall, one plant can grow to 12 inches wide. Pratia puberula 'Alba'

Sun/Partial Shade, Zones 6-10

Miniature Moneywort

A very hardy groundcover, moneywort remains evergreen through the winter. Great for topping bonsai containers or among stepping-stones, it grows only 1 inch tall. Lysimachia japonica 'Minutissima'

Shade, Zones 3-8

Tiny Boston Fern

This fern remains very small, growing only about 2 inches tall. Do not allow it to dry completely, and fertilize sparingly. It performs well in terrariums. Nephrolepis 'Mini Russells'

Shade, Zones 9-11

Tree of a Thousand Stars

A diminutive woody shrub, Serissa responds well to pruning and shaping, making it a popular blooming choice for bonsai. It prefers evenly moist soil, but don't overwater. Serissa japonica 'Flore Pleno'

Sun, Zones 8-10

Dwarf Betony

Growing only 3-6 inches tall, this pretty little plant produces globe-shape clusters of pink flowers. It prefers well-drained soil and is generally a trouble-free plant. Stachys officinalis 'Nana'

Sun, Zones 3-8

Dwarf Heron's Bill

Soft, heart-shape leaves form a little mound growing only 2-4 inches tall. It often blooms all summer long with double pink flowers. Best in outdoor containers or beds. Erodium x variabile 'Flore Pleno'

Sun, Zones 5-9

Blue Moneywort

This charming little creeper with bright green leaves and tiny blue flowers requires a well-drained site -- overwatering will kill it. Blue moneywort looks great tumbling over the edge of a container. Lindernia grandiflora

Sun, Zones 7-10

E. T. Fingers (Shrek Plant)

A narrow band of red edges the fingerlike leaves of this succulent, earning it the nicknames of Shrek Plant or ET Fingers. Suitable for miniature gardens because the leaves stay small. Good drainage is a must for this plant, as is good air circulation. Crassula x portulacea 'Baby Jade'

Sun, Zones 9-11

Cretan Oregano

Cretan oregano has little aromatic leaves and tiny purple flowers. Shape it into a small shrub or treelike form for miniature gardens in dry, sunny plantings. Origanum microphyllum

Sun, Zones 8-9


A very low-growing groundcover with small leaves, wintercreeper looks lovely draping the edge of a miniature garden or climbing a little trellis. Take care not to overwater it. Euonymus fortunei 'Kewensis'

Sun, Zones 5-8

Tiny Golden Yarrow

Ferny foliage grows to about 2 inches tall and blooms in summer with stems of tiny yellow flowers. Like taller yarrows, it prefers sun and good drainage. Achillea sp. Ex Utah

Sun, Zones 5-8


Sweet little pink balls of flowers form a cloud above a cushion of narrow leaves when this plant is in bloom. Very good drainage and full sun is a must for thrift. Armeria juniperifolia 'Bevan's Variety'

Sun, Zones 4-9

Heart Fern

This unusual-looking dwarf fern is perfect for terrariums or Wardian cases because it loves humidity and bright, indirect light. Don't allow it to sit in soggy soil. Hemionitis arifolia

Shade, Zones 10-12


Easy to grow, the bright orange color of its new foliage is stunning. This prince will eventually grow too tall for a miniature garden, but it makes quite a statement when small. Philodendron 'Prince of Orange'

Shade, Zones 10-11

Variegated Weeping Fig

This variegated form of the popular houseplant can grow into a large tree over time, but it can be pruned and trained as a bonsai as well. Bright, indirect sun is best, but a little direct morning sun is fine. Ficus benjamina 'Variegata'

Shade, Zones 10-12

Weeping Fig

Grow this pretty tree where it can receive bright indirect light and good air circulation. Perfect for pots, it is often used in bonsai culture. Ficus benjamina

Shade, Zones 10-12

Wax Privet

Glossy green leaves and a trailing habit make this plant a lovely addition to Wardian cases or terrariums. It loves humidity and bright light but does not tolerate hot sun. Peperomia glabella

Shade/Sun, Zone 10-11

Autumn Fern

Young fronds are coppery, turning green as they mature. Its preference for humid shade makes autumn fern a colorful candidate for terrariums or shady outdoor plantings. Dryopteris erythrosora

Shade, Zones 5-9

Victorian Parlor Palm

One of the most popular houseplants you can buy, this palm adapts to varying humidity levels but prefers even moisture. It tolerates a little morning or evening sun. Chamaedorea elegans 'Bella'

Shade, Zones 10-12

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