Plant Database forum: Uses: mini gardening

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 22, 2014 9:27 AM CST
Could this be added as an option in the database? It would be cool to be able to search for these little guys. Thanks for reading and any consideration possible for this idea.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Feb 22, 2014 9:41 AM CST
Wouldn't searching by plant height pull up the shorties?
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Feb 22, 2014 9:43 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I think "suitable for bonsai" might be the same?
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 22, 2014 10:35 AM CST
Thanks for the inputs!

Deb, going by height, I would (did) get herbaceous perennials and exuberantly creeping ground covers. I typed: under 12" and got no results. I typed: 12" and got 162 results, 3 of which would be suited to a mini garden. I put a 6 in the box and got 259 results. There are some candidates, but few, this is not a collection of plants to browse for mini gardening. Spreading ground covers are generally avoided for the same reason a woody entity would be, it would too quickly take over the whole container. Mini garden plants are not just (or always) short. They must also have small foliage and generally grow slowly.

Dave, most of the woody entities used for bonsai would be completely unsuited to a mini garden, for the size of their foliage, and proclivity to quickly become as big as the situation will allow (far too large for proportionate appearance overall, and for the size of the container.) One doesn't need to apply pruning techniques to maintain a mini appearance on the foliage of plants used in mini gardens, or apply advanced root pruning techniques to keep them in small containers. Bonsai is an art/skill that takes years to learn, and has objectively correct and incorrect aspects for shaping and presentation. Although some bonsai may have a mini scene, rarely are any other plants besides moss included.

Not to be argumentative, sorry, but I don't find either of these suggestions anywhere near the realm of being able to supply this info for these reasons. Thanks for reading!
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Feb 22, 2014 4:08 PM CST

Plants Admin

Tiffany, you might be able to find what you want if you search for plants "Suitable for alpine/rock gardens." These do not include any vigorously spreading plants, and most will stay quite small. I grow them in redwood containers measuring 2 feet by 4 feet and I can grow up to 20 plants in one container with no problems.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 26, 2014 10:47 AM CST
Zuzu, thank you for that suggestion. This label is usually used for outdoor gardening, in the ground, I think? In most places, folks need to bring their mini inside for winter or the plants will be killed. Most of the mini garden discussions I've seen are not about seasonal plantings. They are created with the hope and intention that they will last for at least a few years. I've never been interested in either term, (Alpine or rock gardening) and also thought the label Alpine indicated plants that would suffer heat/humidity stroke in the SE part of the US? I do use a lot of little rocks in containers, but they are only decorations on the surface, not part of the setup for the roots, and others in similar areas, wouldn't have rock gardening on their minds because there are no rocks. I've never dug up a rock bigger than a pebble here. IDK if my thoughts about this match the reality of the bigger picture, I've never read articles or forums about these plants or areas of gardening, though I'm sure there's a lot of overlap in selection of some plants for both types of gardening.

Searching ATP database for C/S plants suitable for alpine/rock gardening gives 1000+ results. How else would you narrow down this search? By also selecting house plants, the result drops to only 35 plants. Most of these would be suitable, except Agave, Kalanchoe tetraphylla, and most of the Aloes - leaves are way too big.

Indicating the plants as suitable for houseplant use seems to be the 1st step. Just finished going through my plant list on here and more than half of my house plants weren't indicated as such in the database. From within succulent houseplants, one can find plants suitable for mini gardening from the 837 results. Many would have to be further researched to see how fast they grow, and how large the foliage can get, tendency to creep.

I just thought there would be more people looking for mini garden plants than, for example, guardian plants, timber production, or cover crops. Was also thinking it kind of tied-in with leaving the mini garden forum up. If ATP had 'the' forum for minis (already done) and ability to find these plants specifically, it would really be a full-service facility for this. If not, I'm sure it's just my personal perspective on things, though number of results on google searches support. Thanks again!

Google searches a minute ago:
"timber production plants" 1,340,000
"cover crop plants" 7,720,000
"Guardian plant" (searched with parentheses because without, most results refer to "The Guardian") 32,900
"alpine plants" 3,810,000
"mini garden plants" 18,000,000 (more than the above combined)

"rock garden plants" 26,400,000 (definitely popular, but a lot of info extraneous to minis. Also, 90+% of pics show outside, ground gardening) That's one of the looks folks are trying to duplicate in much smaller scale in mini gardening though, no doubt!

TYVM for reading!!
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