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Plants for Dish Gardens

By Isabel Prontes ; Updated September 21, 2017
Dish gardens are small replicas of larger gardens.

Dish gardens are miniature-sized replicas of landscapes situated within shallow and open containers, including plastic or ceramic dishes, coffee mugs, cans, buckets, jars and empty milk cartons. Dish gardens tend to not have drainage holes. They also usually have an abundance of peat to keep the moisture in, and light amounts of soil. There are various plants that are commonly used in dish gardens.

Bird's Nest

Bird's nest (also known as Sansevieria trifasciata) is a commonly used plant in dish gardens. The plants are part of the Agavaceae family. Bird's nests are rhizomatous dwarf perennials. They have rosettes with deep green leaves that can grow to 10 inches in length. Bird's nest usually grow to be between 3 and 6 inches in height, and can survive in almost any place. The plants thrive in full sun and require average levels of moisture.

Maidenhair Fern

The maidenhair fern is also called Adiantum. They are ferns that are part of the Pteridaceae family. The plants are notable for their unusual appearances, with vibrant green leaf tissue and dark black stripes and shafts. Maidenhair ferns grow to between 6 inches and 1 foot in height. They function well with high levels of humidity, as well as well-drained and moist soil that has an abundance of humus. They can manage with shade and partial sun.

Prayer Plant

The prayer plant is frequently used to create dish gardens. Prayer plants are also called Maranta leucoreura, and tend to range from 6 to 12 inches in height. These plants are noteworthy due to the fact that, during the night, their leaves fold together. When it is completely dark out, the plant is completely closed, only to slowly open up again in the morning. These plants prefer warm and humid climates, and work best with indirect and bright sunlight, as well as soil that is well-drained. In areas with frosty and cold winters, the plants should be kept away from the glass by the windowsill.