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Indoor Gardening on a Small Scale

When window space is scarce, dwarf and miniature varieties of plants can make a wonderful display. In my kitchen, for instance, the window is 5’ tall, 1.5’ wide and only 4” deep. I built a box frame that sits inside the window, and attached glass shelves to the frame. Currently I have a fat little Masdevallia orchid, a little 2.5” pot Phalaenopsis orchid, 6 succulents in 3” clay pots, and a small pot of Christmas cactus. I left the bottom 2 feet of window shelf-less so that the cats would not be tempted to climb onto the plant shelves. They can sit happily in their part of the window, leaving my glass shelves and pots intact.
Little potted plants give you the same warm feeling as puppies and kittens. Growing in ordinary terra cotta pots or sitting in fine china teacups, they add the delight of green growing things without taking over your living space as houseplants are sometimes wont to do.
Another use for small plants is in terrarium building. From large mason jars to candy jars to rose bowls to fish tanks, any glass container that can hold one or more small plants will do. I bought a little conservatory-looking container that holds 3 or 4 small plants, and instead of planting them in the container, I just set the pots in there so that I can easily swap them out as they grow too large. This container has a greenhouse-styled lid, but in general, I prefer an open terrarium for ease of planting and maintenance. If your container has a lid, just remember to remove the lid for a little while whenever condensation forms on the glass.
And if you haven’t heard about the fairy garden craze…keep up, will ya! Miniature plants are perfect for creating the woodland or cottage gardens for fairy (and gnome) figurines. These charming miniature landscapes can be made in terrariums or dish gardens, with lots of accessories available to dress them up as much as you like.
If you get interested in collecting small plants, look for dwarf or small leaved ivy; miniature begonias, orchids, or succulents; Tillandsias; miniature African violets and other gesneriads; and small leaved plants such as Baby’s Tears, Syngonium ‘Pixie’, Angel Vine, Pellionia, Scilla violacea, Creeping Fig, Selaginella, mini Mondo grass, Possum tail fern, and Mini Fittonia. Young plants or cuttings, offsets, and small divisions, are also good, at least temporarily, such as stolons from spider plants and strawberry begonia, or small divisions of ferns.
Think small and reap big rewards!
Posted: 3/23/2013 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: MargotGunn, TheGreatIndoors
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