As the idea of growing your own food resurges as a popular and sustainable one, many people are trying to see how they can do this for themselves, no matter where they live. While it’s relatively easy to jump into this adventure if you live somewhere with a cooperative climate and have ample outdoor space for a garden, how can people with limited space also grow food at home? One answer is by using indoor greenhouses.
Indoor greenhouses are containers that allow you to grow herbs, vegetables, fruits, or other plants in the comfort of your own home. They come in a range of sizes and are popular in apartments and urban spaces. They offer protection for your plants, allowing them to thrive indoors year-round.
In this article, we will take a look at the different benefits an indoor greenhouse has to offer as well as what you will need to do in order for your plants to happily grow inside one. We will also explore how you can get started today by building your very own indoor greenhouse.
Why Should Someone Use an Indoor Greenhouse?
There are a few reasons why an indoor greenhouse is a great choice for some people. First, indoor greenhouses are great for their ability to grow plants year-round. If you have an outdoor garden, but it is subject to low winter temperatures, you will be able to keep gardening through the winter by keeping some of your plants in your indoor greenhouse.
Second, indoor greenhouses are great options for folks who live in an urban settings or apartments who may not have access to an outdoor garden. These days you can get decorative greenhouses that can match your home aesthetics, so you can keep your plants inside cozy, happy, and growing, while looking chic.
Benefits of an Indoor Greenhouse
There are many benefits of using indoor greenhouses in your home. The first benefit of an indoor greenhouse is that your plants will be protected from uncontrollable elements. They will not be exposed to harsh temperatures, wind, rain, and storms that could potentially damage them. You will be able to control their environment and give them what they need in order to grow their best.
Since these will be in your home, it is easy and convenient to keep an eye on your plants each and every day. You will be able to observe how they are reacting to different factors, such as temperature, water, light, or humidity. You will be able to discern if anything is wrong and will be better able to react immediately and correct the situation.
Using an indoor greenhouse is a great way to access fresh, homegrown herbs and vegetables year-round. You can cut down on your trips to the grocery store by keeping your favorite herbs on hand and simply picking what you need as you prepare your meals. You can also do the same with vegetables in order to make delicious meals without taking a step outside.
Finally, if you have pets that like to make a mess of your house plants, an indoor greenhouse is definitely for you. The outer walls of the greenhouse will offer a barrier between your plants and your playful animals. It will keep plants safe and keep your animals out of harm’s way.
Can Indoor Greenhouses Work in Apartments or Small Homes?
Indoor greenhouses are a great choice for someone with limited space as they come in a range of different sizes, so you’re sure to find one that fits your space. Smaller-sized indoor greenhouses are perfect for anyone who needs to make the most of their space in an apartment or small home. Indoor greenhouses are very popular with those living in urban environments and those who don’t have direct access to outdoor gardening space.
Luckily, if you need to move or simply want to place your indoor greenhouse in a new spot in your current home, there are varieties that can be easily dismantled and moved. You will be able to choose a new location and set up your greenhouse again without too much hassle. You can rearrange the plants inside at any time in order to respond to where the sun comes in the strongest.
What Sizes do Indoor Greenhouses Come in?
Indoor greenhouses come in a variety of sizes, from mini ones that will house a few small plants to large, multi-tiered greenhouses that will offer several shelves of space to place your plants. Mini indoor greenhouses may have a base that will hold about two average-sized plants, while large, vertical greenhouses can resemble a type of enclosed bookshelf that can stand over five feet tall with several shelves of space.
What Size Indoor Greenhouse Should I Get?
When considering the size of greenhouse that will work best for you, you will want to consider two things: the space you have available in your home as well as the space needed by the plants you want to grow. If you have a small space and are only interested in growing some herbs, a small greenhouse will be just fine for you.
However, if you are considering growing plants that will get quite leafy as they grow and need room to be comfortable, you will have to consider this when sizing your indoor greenhouse. The main thing to do is measure out the place you have in mind, and make sure the indoor greenhouse you purchase fits in comfortably!
How Does an Indoor Greenhouse Work?
An indoor greenhouse is a safe, protective space for your plants to grow and thrive. They will have the protection of the greenhouse shell that is designed to insulate them from harsh external conditions. This means you are able to keep plants warm and protected, and they can be especially useful if you have some playful pets at home.
There is also the advantage of giving your plants a home that can be easily monitored, ensuring they get optimal airflow and sunlight at the perfect temperature to grow healthily.
Do Indoor Greenhouses Need Ventilation?
It is important to make sure your plants receive plenty of carbon dioxide so they are able to feed themselves and grow happily and healthily. A good way to ensure this is to make sure there is plenty of airflow throughout your greenhouse.
If you are worried that there is not enough air circulation and ventilation in your indoor greenhouse, you can consider adding a small fan. This will help spread the air around, making sure all the plants get a chance to get what they need to survive. It can also help lower the temperature in your greenhouse if you are worried it is getting too hot.
What Grows Well in an Indoor Greenhouse?
When selecting the plants you will grow in your indoor greenhouse, it is best to choose ones that won’t need a lot of expansive space as they grow. Herbs make a great choice here since they won’t get too big as they grow and offer plenty of utility in the kitchen.
Fruits are also possible, but you will want to choose fruits that don’t come from big trees that require lots of space to flourish. If you choose different kinds of berries, you will be able to grow their shrubs more easily than you would be able to grow a large tree in your indoor greenhouse.
There are a variety of vegetables you can choose from as well. Tomatoes and peppers are often a popular choice, and you may even choose to plant your own avocado tree if you have the space for it as well.
Where Should You Keep an Indoor Greenhouse?
To choose a location for your greenhouse, you should first consider which areas of your home get plenty of sunlight. By keeping your greenhouse in this space, your plants will be able to happily soak up the sun’s rays without much interference. Additionally, a spot that is humid and warm is ideal for plants. The natural sunlight will help ensure the spot will warm up during the day time.
Options for Low Natural Light Environments
If there isn’t an ideal location in your home that gets strong sun during the day, you can consider adding a grow light or reflective insulation. It’s best if plants receive at least some natural sunlight and adding one of these options will help make the best of your low-light environment.
If you want to maximize the power of the natural sunlight that you can get during the day, you can put reflective insulation in your indoor greenhouse. If you are still worried that your plants will not get enough sunlight to survive, you can add a grow light to help meet their needs.
Six Important Accessories for an Indoor Greenhouse
In order to take full advantage of the indoor greenhouse, you may consider investing in a few accessories that will help give your plants the best environment. Let’s take a look at some of these top accessories.
Placing a thermometer in your greenhouse will be helpful in understanding the temperature your plants are exposed to on a daily basis. With this information, you will be able to make adjustments as needed to help your plants thrive. You will have accurate numerical readings as opposed to just going off feeling alone.
Knowing the temperature of your greenhouse throughout different periods of the day will allow you to make any adjustments needed. These are also very informative as the seasons change, and you wish to keep your plants as comfortable as possible.
You can buy small fans specifically shaped for your indoor greenhouse. These can be easily placed inside in order to get the air moving and help keep your greenhouse well ventilated. They are also quite handy if you are worried about the temperature getting too high during peak daylight hours. These keep the air moving while cooling down the temperature of your growing space.
On the flip side of the fan is a small heater, designed specifically for use in your greenhouse. If you are worried that the temperature of your house is too low for the plants you are trying to grow, you can use this little heater during the cold months in order to keep your plants toasty and happy.
If strong, direct sunlight is something you regularly get in your home, you might consider getting a shade cloth. These products are designed to protect your plants from sunlight that might be too strong and ultimately be harmful to your plants.
You can find shade clothes in different densities, so you will be able to choose one that is a good match for how much sun protection you are looking for.
Grow lights can be handy in supplementing the amount of natural sunlight available to you and your greenhouse. If for any reason you suspect your plants are not getting enough sunlight, you can place grow lights in order to help them get the light they need. However, sunlight is always preferable to grow lights, so try to use grow lights as only a supplement whenever possible.
There are many small watering systems available that you can use on a regular basis or perhaps if you are going on a trip and won’t be able to personally water your plants for some time. These systems typically deliver water in a misting way so as to not overwhelm your plants with too much water at once.
If you are dedicated to watering your plants personally and have someone to care for your plants when you are not at home, you might consider skipping this accessory as it is not as necessary for you.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own Indoor Greenhouse
If you like the sound of indoor greenhouses so far but are hesitant to order one, you can try making one on your own. There are so many options and styles you can take advantage of when making your own greenhouse. There are many existing containers you can repurpose, or you can build an indoor greenhouse from scratch. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need.
Pick a Frame Material
First, you will need to determine what you will want to use to build the frame. You can use wood and stain it to match the interior design of your house perfectly. Alternatively, you can use PVC piping. Both of these materials can be found at your local hardware store and can be cut and assembled relatively easily.
Pick a Cover Material
Indoor greenhouses offer an outer barrier to keep your plants warm and protected. This exterior can be made of glass, but if you wish to use glass, it is best to find an existing container that already has a glass cut and fitted properly since it can be a difficult material to work with on your own.
You could choose fiberglass if you want a material that is quite sturdy, or you can opt for a strong plastic. Plastic is a common material used in ready-made indoor greenhouses and is easy to work with if you choose this for your DIY version.
Assemble the Frame
Now that you have your materials selected, you will want to cut the pieces of wood or PVC to create the skeleton of your indoor greenhouse. This can be completely customized depending on the space you have and the style you wish your greenhouse to be. You can take a look at ready-made greenhouses to get an idea of the size and shape you would prefer to build yourself.
Add the Covering
Once you have built the greenhouse structure with your base materials, it’s time to add the covering. If you are using plastic, be sure that you secure it in a way that holds it snug and smooth. Be sure to leave yourself a way to open the greenhouse to tend to the plants.
Repurposing an Existing Container
People have used a wide variety of plastic or glass storage containers as indoor greenhouses, and you can try doing the same. Glass-enclosed bookcases are a popular choice, as well as smaller, decorative glass containers that make for cute countertop greenhouses. Plastic storage containers can be used for this purpose as well.
Are Ready-made Indoor Greenhouses Available?
The good news if you’re not in the mood for a DIY activity, is that you can simply order an indoor greenhouse online. You can choose a style and size that is perfectly suited for your home. With so much variety, there is also a wide range of prices to fit all budgets. Let’s take a look at some top choices.
Inexpensive Indoor Greenhouse Options
If you’re looking to get started with an indoor greenhouse without breaking the bank, here are a few good models to check out that are below $40. These might not be the most stylish options, but they will keep your plants warm and safe inside your home.
If you are a fan of the minimal, clean look of Ikea furniture, you are sure to enjoy the appearance of this indoor greenhouse. The frame is alloy steel but painted to be a crisp white. This greenhouse will not only protect your plants but also add a nice decorative element to your home.
This option is not overly large and is well suited for someone in an apartment or small home. The base measures 17.75 inches by 8.75 inches and it stands 13.75 inches high. It can comfortably fit two standard-sized plants, perhaps more if you have some smaller pots.
The top of this model hinges open to allow fresh air in. You can also arrange and care for your plants by using this stylish roof opening. However, these panels do not stay open on their own, so you will need to arrange it yourself if you are looking to keep these open to allow for improved air circulation.
Nova 4-Tier Portable Greenhouse
This indoor greenhouse by Nova gives you tons of space at a budget price. This 4-tier greenhouse measures 27.25 inches in length, 19 inches in width with a height of 63 inches. This model is a spacious choice that gives you four different shelves where you can arrange all of your indoor plants.
The shelves and structure are made from coated metal and can be disassembled and reassembled as desired. This makes it a great choice if you need something portable as it is able to be moved around easily. The exterior of this greenhouse is a green-tinted Polyethylene cloth. It comes fitted with zippers and a feature to roll up the front panel. This design gives you full control over the airflow as well as easy access to rearrange and care for your plants inside.
The one drawback to this affordable, spacious greenhouse is the look. If you are looking for something cute and stylish to complement your existing furniture, this probably won’t be your top choice. However, if size and functionality are more important for you, this will make an excellent option.
Moderately Expensive Indoor Greenhouse Options
Here we have a few stylish options that are not the least expensive on the market but offer a nice option for a ready-made indoor greenhouse without requiring too much upfront investment. At the time of writing this article, these models were priced below $50.
Topline 3-Tier Greenhouse
Here we have another large indoor greenhouse that will hold many plants without hurting your budget. This option is also made from coated steel and features a clear PVC outer paneling. You can zip this greenhouse up tight if you wish to keep it warm and cozy inside, or you can unzip the panels and roll them back in order to cool things down and let fresh air in.
The base measures 23 inches x 15 inches and has a height of up to 50 inches. If this is too tall for you, you can assemble this greenhouse with fewer tiers. It is fully adjustable, allowing you to have complete control over your plants’ new home.
While this is not as beautiful as some of the more expensive options, its clear paneling gives it a clean, fresh look that may be appealing depending on your space. Its low price means you can order one easily and test it out in your home.
Ohuhu 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse
Here we have a cute, spacious greenhouse that will hold many plants without occupying too much floor space in your home. This 4-Tier greenhouse only measures 27 inches x 18 inches at its base but can reach a height of 62 inches.
Ohuhu takes great pride in the materials used in the construction of their greenhouses. The base is made from coated metal, and the exterior is made from the company’s signature PE cover. This material is made to withstand UV rays and harmful oxidation. Additionally, it is woven into a pattern that supports maximum durability.
This greenhouse allows you full control of airflow with zippered panels that can easily be rolled up and secured. It can also be assembled easily, which means you can take it down yourself, move it, and set it up again with minimal hassle. This model is similar to the budget models we have looked at but made with more durable materials.
If you can spare a bit more on your budget, this model would make an excellent choice if you are looking for a 4-Tier option for your home.
High-End Indoor Greenhouse Options
Last, we have a few options that are a bit on the expensive side but are quite stylish and will offer you a range of different benefits in an indoor greenhouse. Let’s take a look at a few of the more luxury indoor greenhouse options, which are priced between $100 – $200.
Giantex Wood Frame 3-Tier Greenhouse
While this model was originally intended for outdoor use, there is no reason why this stylish option couldn’t be used in a home with a little bit more space. Its natural wood frame is made from fir and will give your greenhouse an attractive and stable structure.
The plants are easily accessible through two front doors that fully open and close securely with a latch. The front panel of the roof can also be lifted to care for the plants inside as well as to allow fresh air in and increase air circulation.
This company creates a variety of sizes, so if you wish to purchase this style of greenhouse in a smaller size, that is available to you. However, the model we are describing here is a 3-tiered model that measures 30 inches in length x 22 inches in width and 43 inches in height.
Kitchen Joy 3-Tier Greenhouse
Here we have another beautiful, decorative 3-tier option for your home. This model by Kitchen Joy uses cedar for its base material that has been painted French Grey for a fresh and minimal look. The shelves inside can be adjusted depending on the height of the plants you wish to place inside.
The greenhouse has been UV-treated, so it won’t fade or peel even as it spends many hours in direct sunlight. This model specializes in its ability to allow for plenty of airflow. Its roof panels can be opened and fastened at any angle, allowing you to control exactly how much fresh air you want to let in from day to day.
This 3-tier model measures 28 inches in width x 16 inches in depth with a height of 52 inches once it is assembled.
Whether you choose to make your own indoor greenhouse or simply purchase one that is ready to use, it is a great option for growing plants in your own home. Not only will you be providing a comfortable growing space for your plants, but depending on the model you choose, you might also be adding a decorative, aesthetic addition to your home. So why not get one and proudly display your beautiful indoor garden to any guests who visit?
Here are Some of my Favorite Gardening Products and Tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful for growing some new plants in your home or garden. Here are some products I like that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, and I am compensated for referring traffic. But in all honesty, these are the exact product that I use or recommend to everyone.
Soil: For high-quality soil, I really like Fox Farm Ocean Forest. I do all my growing in containers and this soil has worked great for me. I like how they use nutrient-rich contents like earthworm castings, bat guano, and composted crab and fish.
Fertilizer: Currently I am using a seaweed-based organic fertilizer call Neptunes Harvest. This is a great milder fertilizer option if you want to use something organic. If you want a more powerful fertilizer, I recommend Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio, lots of people have had great growing success with this product.
Pruning Shears: Pruning shears are one of the most useful gardening tools to have because it’s important to prune your plants to keep them healthy. The pruning shears I recommend are the Gonicc 8’’ pruning shears. I like them because they are built sturdy and work both on bigger and smaller plants, so you don’t need to have multiple pruning shears.
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