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How to Build a Fairy Garden

Where do I start?

So you want to create a fairy garden but don't know where to start? Just follow these simple guidelines and you can be on your way to creating something long lasting, unique and fun.

Choosing a Container

When building a fairy garden, the first step should be to choose a container. The options are limitless and go as far as your imagination will take you. It can be as simple as a flower pot or as extravagant as a high-end Wardian case. Some things to keep in mind when picking a container:  

Drainage: If there will be live plants in the fairy garden, you might want to consider a container with drainage holes. If you’ve already fallen in love with a container without holes, don’t despair. A simple drainage layer will take care of the problem.

Location: Where will be home to your fairy garden? The coffee table? The patio? If you’re planning to place your fairy garden on the patio in say full sun, don’t choose a glass terrarium for it. The terrarium will act as an oven and bake your plants the first day. On the other hand, a glass terrarium will work just fine for a shady outdoor area or coffee table in front of the couch.

Choosing Plants

What is considered a fairy garden plant and how can you tell? There is a common misconception that certain plants stay small, never growing any bigger and therefore can be considered a fairy garden plant. This is just not true. All plants will grow. Yes, some may grow at a slower rate and be more apt to work in a fairy garden, but grow they will. Eventually, most plants planted in a fairy garden will either need to be pruned or replaced. Whether that will take three months or a year, it will happen. When choosing plant for fairy gardens, here is what I recommend: Small leaves: Plants with small leaves are more in scale with items in a fairy garden. That’s not to say that large-leaved plants won’t work, but unless you know the plant and are familiar with how fast it grows, I would avoid them. Easy care: Pick plants that can easily be pruned. If you’re not an experienced gardener, I wouldn’t choose a rare orchid or other plant that needs specialized care. Keep it simple. Some plants grow faster than others and will need to be kept in check by pruning. Some grow at a slower rate and will therefore last longer in your fairy garden.Here at Sprig & Stone we have a category for fairy garden plants. The plants listed in this category have met certain criteria such as being a slower grower, has small foliage and is easy to take care of. When we recognize these characteristics in a plant, we place it in this category.

Picking the Right Soil

Depending on the type of container and plants you choose, the soil will be an important consideration. Most open containers with drainage holes such as a flower pots or planters will be fine with a good quality potting soil. Closed containers or ones with no drainage holes may need a terrarium soil mix with a drainage layer. A drainage layer is simply a place for the water to go. Plants sitting in wet soil all of the time will rot and smell. A drainage layer is the first layer at the bottom of the container that can be rock, pebbles, clay pellets, gravel or a lightweight drainage layer made for terrariums such as Josh’s Frogs Drainage Layer. Note: If you’re using plants such as cactus or succulents, then use a good cactus/succulent soil. Pick the right soil for the type of plants you are using. 

Fairies and Fairy Garden Decor

Fairy Garden popularity has grown exponentially over the last few years and so has the availability of products to create with. From whimsical to realistic, you are only limited by your imagination. Due to their compact size, fairy gardens fit well in most small spaces, hence their growing popularity. A fairy garden can be as simple as a pot with one plant and a fairy or as detailed and a small fairy city. The ability to tailor these miniature gardens to the size that fits your lifestyle is a great way for many folks to bring the outdoors in. We carry a variety of fairies and fairy garden decor items at Josh's Frogs that will give your fairy garden that unique look. For more information about any of the products in this blog, please visit our website at You can also visit us on our YouTube channel for How-To and product videos.  Additional help can be found by contacting us at [email protected]

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