You don’t need to have a huge homestead with acres of land to grow plants in a greenhouse. In fact, you don’t need any land at all. Miniature greenhouses are the perfect solution for growing humidity-loving plants indoors. Plus, they’re cute!
Whether you’re looking for DIY solutions for a small apartment or you want to grow stuff indoors during the colder months, this article will give you what you need to know to use an indoor greenhouse.
What Is a Mini Indoor Greenhouse?
Similar to a regular greenhouse, a mini indoor greenhouse is designed to protect and promote the healthy growth of your plants in an enclosed environment that you can more easily regulate than out in the open environment.
If you live in drafty house in a region that experiences cold temperatures, this could be a literal plant lifesaver. Even if you don’t, it allows you to grow species that might not otherwise survive in your area.
Depending on your design, a mini indoor greenhouse will also add a stylish touch to your home decor while keeping your plants happy. Plus, most designs allow you to move them indoors and outside when you feel like it.
Indoor greenhouses come in various sizes, so there’s one suitable for your space.
Benefits of Mini Indoor Greenhouses
Besides the aesthetic benefits of mini indoor greenhouses, they also help you produce organic food. People are increasingly concerned about the pesticides used in the food industry, so there’s a demand for chemical-free produce.
That’s why people in both homesteads and urban areas are searching for ways to grow organic food without the risk of pesticides. The best way to ensure your food is free from chemicals is to grow it yourself.
Indoor greenhouses are also perfect for houseplants that need extra humidity and heat.
You can experiment with more exotic, sensitive plants like orchids in a mini indoor greenhouse and develop your gardening skills!
Mini indoor greenhouses extend the growing season of your plants and vegetables. Although, indoor greenhouses are not just for the cold season. You can continue growing plants and vegetables indoors for the entire year.
Before using a miniature indoor greenhouse, you must decide on the types of plants you want to keep in it. If you want to grow a few herbs or tiny houseplants, pretty much any option will do.
If you plan on growing some larger fruits and veggies like strawberries and lettuce, you’ll need something a bit larger.
Then, decide on the design. For example, do you want a mainly functional greenhouse? Or are you looking to use it as a decorative element? If so, you could repurpose a pretty glass cabinet if you need lots of growing space.
Or you can find affordable options that let you grow lots of plants if the style isn’t the most important element.
When it comes to tiny tabletop greenhouses, many of them are designed with style in mind. Keep an eye out at antique stores for some unique options.
Once you decide on the size and style of greenhouse, you need a few supplies:
- Seeds or seedlings
- Mats to protect the floor or table
- Potting soil
Of course, the type of soil and pots will vary based on the variety of plants, so you should do your research beforehand to ensure you have the right resources.
Then, you might need some additional tools depending on what you’re growing and where your greenhouse will be. You might need:
- Grow lights
- Heat pads
Consider ventilation, drainage, and sunlight when planning where your greenhouse will be located. Choosing an area with sufficient sunlight and the right amount of humidity. If you don’t have the right conditions, get some grow lights and a small humidifier.
You really aren’t limited by anything but your imagination when it comes to making a miniature indoor greenhouse. You can buy pre-made options, or you can repurpose anything clear and enclosed.
Greenhouses differ from terrariums in that they’re freestanding structures that can hold potted plants. Terrariums are tiny and you typically plant directly in them.
1. Pre-Made Greenhouses
Head to any garden store, and you’ll probably find many different pre-made miniature greenhouse options. There are decorative, house-shaped ones and simple ones with plastic covers.
There are also raised options that make it easy to access your plants.
Some come with built-in lighting, drainage trays, or humidifiers. Others are simply basic clear plastic on a wire frame.
2. Picture Frame Greenhouse
This option is for people looking for an eye-catching design for their miniature greenhouse. You can’t miss this impressive design when looking for inspiration, as it’s attractive and easy to make.
The greenhouse frame is made by attaching several photo frames together and leaving space for the pots in the middle. The result looks like a mini house with your plants or vegetables on full display.
It’s also a good way to reuse and recycle.
3. Glass Cabinet
We’ve all seen people keep a glass cabinet filled with knick-knacks, craft materials, or other display items, so why not place your plants inside a glass cabinet? Not only do you get a pretty display, but it’s good for the plants, too.
The glass is great for allowing light to reach your plants, and it allows you to look at your gorgeous plants. The glass also lets you control the temperature and humidity better, and spot problems quickly.
This option also prevents pets from messing with your plants.
4. Plastic Container Greenhouse
Many of us have a pile of plastic containers from milk, soda, or take-out. As long as the container is totally clear, you can use it as an extremely miniature greenhouse indoors or out.
Just cut the circumference of the container. You can either place the mouth on top or use the bottom. The mouth is handy for letting a little extra air in the container, while the bottom half without a mouth is good if you want to trap moisture and heat.
This is an excellent option to experiment with an indoor greenhouse before investing lots of money into the design. It’s also the perfect option if you have little money and want to use a material you already have.
All you have to do is lay down a mat, tray, or plastic sheet and provide a light source such as grow lights or a sunny window. Place the container over the plant like a cloche.
5. Plant Shelf
Another popular choice for mini indoor greenhouses is to repurpose a bookshelf. Once you have the frame, put some sort of plastic or metal tray on each shelf to protect the wood underneath. Then, place a plastic covering over the shelf to trap heat and moisture.
You can also buy pre-made shelves with a plastic cover.
6. Fish Tank Greenhouse
You can use fish tanks to create indoor greenhouses if you want to grow herbs, small plants, or small vegetable crops. This is ideal for beginners new to keeping greenhouses or children who want to experiment.
You don’t need to start from scratch with this design, as you can buy secondhand fish tanks or new ones online.
Fill it with several inches of soil, depending on the type of plant, and plant away. Cover the top with a piece of perforated material and suspend a light over it if it isn’t near a window.
How to Use Your Indoor Greenhouse
Growing in an indoor greenhouse isn’t much different than growing in an outdoor one. They generally stay warmer and more humid than the surrounding environment, enabling you to grow a wider range of plants.
Hang lights to provide supplemental lighting for plants that need full sun conditions.
If you use supplemental lighting, you can place your greenhouse anywhere. If not, place the greenhouse near a window but not where it will be blasted with direct, bright afternoon sun. That could burn most plants and will get too hot.
Remember that because the greenhouse is more humid, you need to watch for fungal issues, and you’ll probably want to water less often.