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This year, you decided to try something new. Instead of building a fairy garden in the yard, you planted a miniature garden in a container! The container might be small, just big enough to fit on your desk. Or perhaps it is large, nearly as big as an outdoor garden, but sitting in a vibrantly painted container that adds plenty of character to your porch. What now?
Container gardening brings unique joys and challenges. Within the confines of a container, miniature plants and miniature accessories can spring to life in unexpected ways. Containers offer versatility, inspiration, and added beauty, but they also need special care. With a few tips, your container fairy gardens will be healthy and happy all year ‘round.
When springtime arrives in your neck of the woods, you may want to move your container garden outdoors for a little miniature plant “vacation.” Most houseplants will do well outside in mild, warm weather, but you should take care to gradually acclimate them to the new space. Sudden changes in light, humidity, and temperature can shock a houseplant, so you’ll want to find a nicely shaded area, such as a roofed patio or under a tree. Start by putting the container outside for just a few hours each day, gradually increasing the outdoor hours to full-time. Once the miniature garden has adjusted, it should be comfortable outside all summer long.
Once you have brought your container garden outside, you will need to adjust your watering and fertilizing to account for the hotter, brighter location. You should also be on the lookout for pests. Insects have increased access to your fairy garden when it is outside.
When nighttime temperatures reach about 70-degrees F or September rolls around, you will want to consider bringing your miniature container garden indoors, where it can overwinter inside.
All miniature plants need light, but some need more than others. Most miniature plants come with labels that include the plant’s light requirements. You can also contact an online shop, university extension office, or county agricultural department to learn more about requirements for specific miniature plants in your fairy garden. If your miniature garden is receiving too much sun, it might have dried flower petals, burnt or dried leaf edges, faded flower colors, and an altogether weakened or “droopy” look. If this is the case, you may want to move the fairy garden to a different window or another room.
Insufficient light will result in sparse growth, lanky stems, fewer flower buds, leaning, and wide distance between leaves. When it comes to light, the most important thing you can do is keep an eye on your miniature garden. Since you have chosen to plant it in a container, your miniature garden can always be moved to a sunnier or shadier spot.
Do not let the soil in your container miniature garden dry out completely. To check moisture, press your finger about an inch down into the soil. If the dirt is dry, give the plants a thorough dose of water. It is best to do a larger dose less often rather than a small, frequent sprinkling. In large containers, a shallow layer of mulch can help retain moisture. Remember to water your miniature garden in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening. This helps avoid diseases.
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