The first greenhouses were made to solve an obvious problem; growing any plant all year round. Most plants are seasonal growers and generally do better and produce fruits in a particular season, such as Spring, while resting and living off stored food in the plant itself during winter. Creating an indoor greenhouse can provide you with the benefits of plants year-round.
What Is an Indoor Greenhouse?
Greenhouses, either indoor or outdoor, are constructed to protect plants from excessive heat and cold. They are developed out of various materials, majorly glass but transparent polyethylene and fiberglass plastics can also be used. In contrast, wood, aluminum, and steel are used to create the frame of the indoor greenhouse.
Greenhouses also allow plants out of season to grow while protecting them from excessive sunlight, rainfall, and snow. With an indoor greenhouse, you get to enjoy good gardening all year long with your favorite plants by bringing the gardening experience right into your home. Indoor greenhouses also offer the added advantage of space for people who can’t have an entire greenhouse outside.
Greenhouses usually get heat from direct sunlight or through artificial means and can be grouped into warm greenhouses or cool greenhouses, depending on the plants’ heat requirements. Several plants grow well in greenhouses like Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Succulents, Mint, and so many more.
If you already own a greenhouse or plan on getting one, there are a few things you need to do to ensure you have a thriving indoor greenhouse all year round.
1. Choose Plants That Thrive Indoors
With an indoor greenhouse, especially if you are new to having one, it would be better to start with plants or herbs that do well indoors. Pick out plants that require low light and do not need to be watered that often. Such plants include Aloe Vera, Pothos, Jade plant, Spider plant, Dracena, and much more.
2. Cleaning Indoor Greenhouses
Since your indoor greenhouse would be up and running all year round, keeping the greenhouse enclosure clean would help the plants inside grow and stay healthy. Remove weeds from the greenhouse and clean up spilled soil or water in and around it.
If you want to thoroughly clean out the indoor greenhouse, remove all the plants in it, then wash the insides and outsides of the indoor greenhouse enclosure. After washing, sanitize the greenhouse with a solution of 70% alcohol or bleach diluted with water. After proper sanitization is completed, allow the chamber to air out, then place all the plants back into the greenhouse.
3. Choose Healthy Plants
When gardening with an indoor greenhouse, you essentially pull the plant out of its natural growing conditions; if the plant is diseased or struggling to grow before being put into the greenhouse, it might have a more challenging time surviving there all year round.
As a rule, pick out only healthy plants and put them into your greenhouse. Look out for dead, brown, or drying leaves on plants. An unhealthy plant may end up spreading a disease or infestation to the other plants in your home.
4. Choose the Correct Container Size
To have a thriving indoor greenhouse, you need to stick to the gardening fundamentals. One of those rules involves picking out a pot that is the right size for the plant and the greenhouse it goes in. A plant pot that is too big may not fit well into your indoor greenhouse, especially if you have multiple plants to fit in. To avoid your greenhouse from looking cluttered, try fitting in plant pots of the correct size.
5. Monitor Temperature and Sunlight Regularly
Plants also thrive better under certain temperatures, and if you can control the temperature in your indoor greenhouse, try grouping and growing plants with similar temperature needs together.
Plants that enjoy cool temperatures include Snake Plant, Ponytail Palm, Christmas Cactus, Clivia, and Jade. In contrast, plants that thrive in hotter temps include Meyer Lemon, Spider Plant, Tropical Hibiscus, Umbrella Tree, Fishtail Palm, Kalanchoe, and Crown of Thorns.
Plants need sunlight, either direct or indirect, to survive and make their food through photosynthesis. When designing your greenhouse and placing it around your living space, consider how much sunlight it would be getting. Direct hot afternoon sunlight may not be ideal for some plants, while during winter, you would need to ensure as much natural sunlight can get to your plants in your indoor greenhouse. Research plants you want to add to your greenhouse to discover how much sun is required for them to thrive.
6. Persistently Check Water and Moisture Levels
Watering is probably the most well-known way to take care of your plants, but often people water too much or too little. As a rule, only water when needed, such as when you can tell that the soil is dry. Plants usually draw up more water in the morning, so try watering in the morning. Water slowly and add water about 10% of the volume of the container holding the plants. For sensitive plants, try distilled water; some plants grow better on distilled water than regular tap water since tap water can be a bit harsher on the minerals and Lyme build-up.
7. Take Care of Plant Soil
With suitable soil, any plant in an indoor greenhouse would grow properly. Since the earth in an indoor greenhouse works all year round, you will need to pay close attention to the quality of the soil to ensure your plants thrive. Try to ensure that the soil drains properly and that it is fertilized well but not excessively. Fertilizers give plants the nutritional boost to grow correctly, irrespective of where they are kept. If possible, monitor the soil pH and keep it aerated, uncompacted, and do not overwater.
8. Consider Companion Planting
Companion planting may be the trick you need to have a thriving indoor greenhouse. Companion planting involves growing different plants together in the same garden or enclosure. This can help because certain plants have pest repellent abilities that could protect other plants in the garden. Several plants have different nutrient requirements meaning they can be in the same soil without struggling for nutrients. Companion planting in an indoor greenhouse also aids pollination, improves crop yield, and can provide physical support for plants close together.
9. Keep Gardening Tools on Hand
Every musician needs an instrument, and every gardener needs a complete set of gardening tools. With the right tools, you get to have everything necessary to take care of the plants in your indoor greenhouse. Essential gardening tools would include a watering can, a digital gardening thermometer, pruning shears, gloves, a hand trowel, and just for fun glow lights.
10. Take Care of Your Plants, Literally!
To ensure that your indoor greenhouse is a success, and you get to enjoy your herbs and vegetation all year long, monitor and care for your plants closely. Plant care would involve pruning your houseplants, monitoring the temperature of the greenhouse, and controlling as required, adjusting soil pH and the amount of sunlight that goes through, and of course, watering correctly and anything else that comes to mind.
Create An Indoor Greenhouse
Now that you have all the tips for a thriving indoor greenhouse, it is time to work on creating a space that is all your own.
No, it will not if proper care is taken to control the problem. If a plant dies in your greenhouse, you want to discover why. If it was due to less-than-optimal conditions, you could try revival, but the main thing you want to rule out is potential diseases, fungi, mealy bugs, and other pests that could spread to other plants indoors.
The best part of an indoor greenhouse is the ability to grow anything inside. Many gardeners choose to grow herbs, vegetables, fruits, and brilliant foliage.
Building a greenhouse can be done with almost any material if the final product is well insulated to regulate temperature and moisture. Excessive amounts of windows are ideal since sunlight is a necessity among all plants. Transparent polyethylene and fiberglass plastics are common glass alternatives.
A greenhouse is to assist optimal plant growth year-round. Drastic weather changes can significantly impact plants, and some go dormant in their off-seasons. Having a greenhouse can regulate optimal conditions to trick plants into growing even in their off-seasons.
The top 10 tips for a thriving greenhouse is to choose plants that thrive indoors, keep clean, only bring in healthy plants, pick proper container size, monitor sun and temperature, check water and moisture levels regularly, carefully care for plant soil, try companion planting, store gardening tools, and simply give your plants the tender love and care they desire.