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The best indoor greenhouses

You may think you need a big yard, balcony, or patio to enjoy the pleasure of homegrown plants and vegetables? Think again! Thanks to an indoor greenhouse, you can still grow plants, vegetables, and flowers within the confines of your home or even bedroom. We’ve selected the 5 best indoor greenhouses money can buy. Read on.

Why an indoor greenhouse?

Indoor greenhouses offer you loads of benefits and you’ll find there’s a suitable option for everyone. Whether you’re going for a miniature greenhouse to start growing herbs in your apartment or you want a full-blown model to grow vegetables and flowers, we’ll help you find exactly what you need!

The benefits of an indoor greenhouse:

  • It’s easy to move. When you’re planning on moving out of your house or apartment in the next few months or even years, your hard work will be protected as it’s easy to move an indoor greenhouse to your new place.
  • You don’t need a yard, balcony or patio to enjoy fresh homegrown vegetables. Maybe you do have outside space but the climate in your region is not ideal for growing plants or the amount of sunshine in your yard is too low to benefit from a greenhouse. Enter the indoor greenhouse…
  • Your crops are well protected. When you buy an indoor greenhouse, your herbs and veggies won’t suffer from outside elements, such as rain, wind, and snow.
  • It’s easier to monitor the temperature and conditions in your greenhouse when it’s so close to you.

Where should you place your indoor greenhouse?

Ideally, your greenhouse is placed in a sunny spot, so your plants can benefit from direct sunlight. If that’s not an option for you, you can add lighting to your greenhouse. Take into account though that natural light is always better for plants to grow than artificial light, so ideally you will at least go for a combination of both and won’t completely rely on the added lighting.

Which crops should you plant indoor?

This strongly depends on how much room you have in your indoor greenhouse. If you only have a mini greenhouse, you should probably start with growing some beautiful fresh herbs to spice up your food. If you have a big greenhouse, you can even grow a lemon tree. We’ll give you some examples of herbs, vegetables, and fruits that will grow indoors!

Herbs and spices:

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Mint (be careful as this plant tends to grow quickly and might smother your other plants)
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Chives

Lots of vegetables are suited for indoor growing:

  • Carrots
  • Hot peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

What about some homegrown fruit?

Try growing these fruits inside:

  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Lemons

Other tips to enjoy your indoor greenhouse to the fullest

As your plants won’t benefit from natural soil, it’s important to make sure that the soil you use has plenty of nutrients. Especially when your plants have just started growing it’s a good idea to use extra fertilizer about once a month.

The temperature in your greenhouse should be around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The easiest way to make sure the temperature doesn’t get too high is by placing a thermometer inside your greenhouse. When the temperature gets too high you can either move your greenhouse away from the sun for a little while or open up the top or sides to let some air in.

Make sure you water your plants sufficiently, as plants need both sun and water to grow. Depending on which crop you are growing, check how much water it needs and pay attention to how dry the soil is. During summer your plants might need more water when your house is warmer, so check the greenhouse temperature to give your plants the best chance of survival!

Don't have a large backyard? Enjoy the pleasures of a greenhouse with one of these 5 best indoor greenhouse picks and start growing your own veggies today!

Every Single Thing You Need to Know About an Indoor Greenhouse

Legend has it that a physician told Emperor Tiberius that he should eat one cucumber a day to stay healthy. The ancient Roman engineers and scholars then had to solve a problem: how do you manage to grow plants all year round?

And that’s when the first known greenhouse was made.

Greenhouses have been popular ever since, especially now when people are more than ever eager to do some gardening and grow sustainable food in their own homes.

Here’s everything you wanted to know about indoor greenhouses.

Why Get An Indoor Greenhouse?

Having an indoor greenhouse gives you a ton of benefits, whether you just want to pluck an occasional basil leaf for your manicotti and a bunch of arugula for your salad, or want a splendid indoor garden for you to grow vegetables and flowers all year long.

Not everyone is blessed with a backyard though, and for people in apartments, an indoor greenhouse offers all the benefits of true gardening.

An indoor greenhouse is great because:

It’s Easy To Move

If you need to move house, you can easily take your indoor greenhouse apart and relocate it together with your plants.

It Can Be Built Anywhere

Maybe the climate where you live isn’t ideal for vegetables, or your growing season is too short, or your backyard sees too little sunshine. Maybe the soil is not suitable for greens. Having the greenhouse inside solves all these problems.

Protects Your Plants

Not even heavy rain, wind, or snow can harm your herbs and greens in an indoor greenhouse.

It’s Easier To Monitor

You can regulate the temperature, humidity, as well as easily check your plants for diseases and pests when the greenhouse is close at hand.

Starting a garden is a good bonding time. The things that you can learn from it by just slowing down, watching how nature grows and works and learning the responsibilities of being out there to tend to the garden.

Jessica Jasnoch, Retail Manager at Earl May Garden Center

Where To Place Your Indoor Greenhouse

You should place your greenhouse where your plants could get plenty of sunlight, like next to a south-facing window or a patio door. [1]

You can also add lighting from a grow light to your greenhouse instead, but keep in mind that sunlight is always best for plants. If you can, at least make a combination of the two, so your plants don’t grow on artificial lighting alone.

The ideal spot also needs to be humid and warm.

You also have to consider the size. Once you know what plants you want to grow, you’ll know the size you need, and eventually where to put your greenhouse.

Best Plants For An Indoor Greenhouse

Indoor greenhouses really let you broaden the variety of plants you can grow inside. If you plan ahead and prepare the right conditions, only the ceiling’s the limit. [2]

Herbs

Herbs are definitely the most popular variety for growing inside. They don’t need much care and don’t take long to grow. If you’re just starting to grow indoors consider getting a few shots of:

This is a great time to start a herb garden on a sunny windowsill. Hardier herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage can do well outside this time of year but will work equally well indoors. I’d also recommend basil, parsley, or cilantro for indoors. Herbs are basically a triple threat: You get a nice-looking plant that grows quickly, they smell terrific, especially when you blend multiple types of herb plants, and you can use them.

Joe Ferrari, Founder of Tend Greenpoint

Vegetables

Your indoor garden can also save you money at the grocery store. A minute ago they were in the garden, and now they’re on your chopping board. Vegetables to consider include:

Fruits

You’ll have the best chances with fruit plants that don’t take up much space such as strawberries, and other shrubs from the berry family. These can easily give you a healthy snack all year long:

Flowers

With indoor greenhouses, even growing orchids may become an easy thing. Just keep enough space for each plant, and you can also grow beautiful ones like:

Determining The Size Of Your Greenhouse

The size of your indoor greenhouse depends on several factors, like the available space, location, and the kind of plants you want to grow.

If it’s just a few herbs and a couple of cherry tomato stalks, a mini-greenhouse made with 5” x 5” grow trays would be enough.

On the other hand, if you want leafy greens, large flowering plants, or even small trees like avocados, you’ll need to take their size into account and do more planning.

If you’re short on space, you can even go vertical, with a five-foot-tall, tiered greenhouse.

How To Build Your Own DIY Indoor Greenhouse

Materials

Frame

For the frame, you need something sturdy to support the weight of the whole structure. [3]

Wood — A great option for indoor greenhouses because it can look great in your home. You can cut it and shape it relatively easily and make the frame you want. This “warm” material is also a great insulator. However, keep in mind to use treated wood, as too much humidity can make it rot.

PVC Pipes — Another material that make building a DIY greenhouse indoors a breeze. With plastic, you don’t have to worry about humidity and warping. Still, PVC pipes aren’t as sturdy as steel, so if you plan for a tiered house, you may want to use something stronger.

Galvanized Steel — Strong and won’t break the bank. Galvanized means coated with zinc, so you don’t need to paint or treat it against rust. Steel, however, isn’t as easy to cut as wood or PVC pipes. Also, keep in mind that it’s much heavier than the other two options.

Glazing/Covering

When you’ve chosen the frame, you need to find the covering which will allow for plenty of sunlight to get through.

Glass — A go-to material for indoor greenhouses covers. It definitely has a lot of perks — it’s easy to maintain, doesn’t wear out easily, gives a nice appearance, and lets plenty of light to pass through.

On the other hand, glass can be expensive, and hard to install if you do it yourself. Finally, if you have playful kids or “hyperactive” pets, you’re probably reading the other options now.

Fiberglass — Has all the benefits of glass plus it’s durable. It’s lightweight so you can install it much easier and allows a lot of light inside. However, after about ten years, it can turn yellow unless you give it with a new coat of UV protection resin.

You should place your greenhouse where your plants could get plenty of sunlight, like next to a south-facing window or a patio door.

Film Plastic — Often used to make indoor greenhouses. There are many types of plastics, and the amount of light they let through depends on the type you choose. This is by far the cheapest option but needs much more maintenance and replacement, as it damages more easily.

Environmental Factors

Sunlight or Grow Light — Sunlight is essential for growing plants, so you should place the greenhouse somewhere it gets the most sunlight throughout the day. Grow lights can help, but can’t replace natural light.

Grow lights are great for winter but keep in mind that they can add up a lot of heat. Make sure you use them with a timer so you don’t pop the corn while still on the stalk.

Temperature — Growing plants generally need a temperature range between 65-75°F (18-23°C). [4] Your home probably falls into this scope, but it’s good to have an easy option to control the cooling or heating in indoor greenhouses.

To make it warmer indoors, you can use tea lights or a small electrical heater. Most plants grow best when nighttime temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees lower than daytime temperatures, so make sure to lower the temperature at night with a small fan, which can also make for air circulation.

Humidity — It’s hard to escape the change of seasons, and even inside your home, plants “feel” that something’s happening outside. To prevent them from losing leaves or turning brown due to low humidity, you should get a humidifier. If not, just make sure to mist the plants at least once a day.

Water and Nutrients — For your plants to flourish, the soil should best be moist but not soggy. As your indoor greenhouse will probably be within your reach, it’ll be easier for you to check the moisture. Unlike outdoors, the amount of nutrients your plants can draw is limited indoor, so you’ll need to make a bit of compost or add organic fertilizer all year round.

Supplies

The frame and covering apart, you’ll need a few supplies to get your indoor greenhouse up and running. Once you’ve chosen pots or trays, decided on the type of soil and fertilizer, you need to get:

1. Grow Lights — These can be of great help in winter months when there’s little sun, especially inside. They also help if you plant flowers that like high-intensity light.

Get practical tips about an indoor greenhouse such as where to place it, which plants to get for it, and how to DIY one, all in this complete guide.