Posted in category: Ferns, Miniature Plants.

Mini Ferns for Terrariums and Fairy Gardens

miniature fern in potIs it just me or do fairy gardens seem incomplete if there’s not at least one fern? Maybe I’m just suffering from Pteridomania, but I truly am fascinated by all things fern. It’s as if there’s a bit of a special kind of magic hidden among the fronds of all ferns but there’s even more to be found in the miniature fern varieties used in terrariums.

If only that magic could extend to making them easier to find. Like so many other things becoming harder to find since 2019, finding mini ferns for terrariums and fairy gardens can be a bit of a challenge. More on that later. But, first, let’s talk about miniature ferns and I’ll share some tips on buying them.

If I’ve learned anything about trying to grow ferns indoors, many varieties are quite fussy and will quickly decline if not provided the proper conditions. All of the miniature ferns we’ve had fall into that category. We do have one asparagus fern, that’s easily 25-years-old. It’s withstood months of abandonment and even 36 degree (indoor) temperatures when our furnace failed on New Year’s Day – help might be available on a holiday, but parts aren’t always available too. And, bringing in the hanging porch fern has kept it alive for years as well – even through the same indoor cold spell. But, most of the little ones, we found, prefer being watered or misted every day. If you aren’t prepared for that, having miniature ferns will require a well-established terrarium, irrigation system or someone willing to water them for you if you can’t.

We have had great success with our miniature ferns as well as abject failures. I suspect we had a few who would have preferred a less rain-forest like environment than we gave them. (Entirely our fault for not researching the members of our assortment more thoroughly.) The others, thrived until we had to leave them without daily watering, in a very cold house. Ah, the joys of appliance failures on a holiday.

Tips on Buying Mini Ferns for Terrariums Online

  • Pay attention to the descriptions and maybe do some research before you buy miniature ferns for terrariums. Some ferns are slow growing and short while others could quickly grow out of your terrarium. Most of us, in the southeastern United States, are familiar with Boston ferns. They grace our front porches during the summer months. They’re lush and big plants. But one, of the smallest miniature ferns is also a variety of Boston fern. So, when buying individual mini ferns for terrariums, try to buy ones known for slow growth or a small size.
  • If the ferns are being sold in anything other than a 2 inch or 2.5 inch pot, they may be simply young plants; rather than miniature or smaller varieties.
  • Not every fern species likes a moist environment. Some plant vendors are selling plants which will not do well in a closed environment. If you receive them in a terrarium assortment, simply pot them separately and enjoy them like any other houseplant.
  • Some ferns prefer a bit of air circulation, again, do your homework before you buy ferns to put in a closed terrarium.
  • Plant shipments should be opened immediately. Even during ideal weather conditions, shipped plants may dry out, freeze or escape their pots.
  • Some vendors will include cold/hot packs with shipments made when it’s extremely cold or hot. Don’t assume that the vendor you buy from will do the same. Ask first and try to arrange for the shortest delivery schedule you can afford.
  • Ferns are generally plants that require natural light but do not require a great deal of sun. Putting your mini ferns in prolonged direct sunlight might kill them. That said, some ferns will thrive with a bit more sunshine.
  • If including miniature ferns in a terrarium or fairy garden with other types of plants, make sure they have similar water and light requirements.

Where to buy miniature ferns online

I’ve purchased miniature ferns online in the past. The transactions went well. But it appears the company is no longer in business.

So, while I have not yet ordered from any of these 3 companies, I would certainly try them if I were wanting to purchase some miniature ferns.

Hirt’s Gardens

I think Hirt’s has been on Amazon since I first started Tiny Green Gardens in 2013. They’ve been in the nursery business since 1915 and sell plants directly. However, their website does not seem to have the same offering of mini ferns. They were out of stock, on Amazon, when I updated this article. I’ve included their link below. If you see a price listed, that means they’re back and ready to ship.

Mini Ferns for Terrariums

  • 10 live plants
  • sellers choice of varieties sent
  • miniature ferns sold in 2 inch pots

The questions in the comments are referring to the Hirt’s selection of ferns.

Optiflora

We’ve had quite a few plants from Optiflora in our home; mostly African violets. I don’t remember seeing them on Amazon when I first wrote this article in 2014. Their miniature fern collection had very few reviews, when I wrote this, but hopefully, their ferns are every bit as nice as their violets.

Mini Ferns for Terrariums

  • 6 live plants
  • sellers choice of varieties sent.
  • when buying multiple sets, Optiflora promises to try to send as many different varieties as possible
  • sold in 2 inch pots but Optiflora states they are not true miniatures and may need trimming to remain small – not sure if that just makes them more honest or if there are smaller varieties truly available that they just don’t sell

Wekiva Foilage

I haven’t ordered or owned any plants (that I know of) from Wekiva Foilage. They have been in business for over 50 years. Their their association with Amazon may be fairly new. They seem to be getting primarily good reviews and have a nice selection of plants available, including a collection of mini fern plants.

Miniature Ferns for Terrariums

  • 6 live plants in 2″ pots
  • sellers choice of varieties sent

BubbleBlooms

I hadn’t heard of BubbleBlooms before writing this article. That, said, among the companies featured in this post, I would likely give them a try. They are a small company out of Florida and specialize in houseplants and offer over 500 varieties. They have a number of things that I’ve not seen before. And, they seem to take a bit more effort in crafting their product descriptions and their reviews read well, across the board (at least in Jan 2024). They have several small plant collections including carnivorous plants and these mini ferns.

Sale
Miniature Ferns for Terrariums

  • 6 live plants in 2″ pots
  • sellers choice of varieties sent

Buying Miniature Ferns Locally

We’re lucky that we have one extremely large garden center who stocks mini ferns for terrariums now and again. They are about an hour away and while their plants are always healthy, the can be a bit pricy. But, we can pick out the varieties, ensure the plants are in good condition and have the added bonus of a lunch somewhere a bit different.

The downside, is they don’t always carry them and they tend to sell out fairly quickly.

If you are lucky enough to have a reputable seller nearby, I would definitely check them first. If not, the good news is there are more options to buy miniature ferns for terrariums online than there were 10 years ago.

Let me know how it goes and where you found your magical plant companions.

2 Responses to Mini Ferns for Terrariums and Fairy Gardens

  1. Jami Lind says:

    In the above fern bundle what is the name of the plant n the bottom row far left? Thank you!

    • Tiny Green Gardens aka Michele says:

      Hi Jami,

      Sorry I took so long replying. I believe I found the plant you are asking about. It’s often called a frosted fern. I’ve admired it too and am sorry I didn’t grab one when I had the chance last year.

      I’ve added a post so that we can all learn more about these lovely plants and how to care for them. I invite you to visit – Frosted Ferns.

      Michele

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