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Finding the Best Greenhouse or Glasshouse for Plants

Both indoors and out, I love having plants around our properties. I even have my own personal greenhouse in my backyard garden in San Francisco. I’d say that having a greenhouse or glasshouse for plants can be essential, especially if you live in a colder climate.

Glasshouse for Plants

Placing faux plants is a painless way to enjoy “flora” year-round, but it’s just not as nice as the real thing. Trouble is, maintaining the right growing conditions all year can pose quite a challenge and is impossible in most situations. Fortunately, picking up a greenhouse is one of the easiest ways to maintain optimal growing conditions all year long.

Zoltan Tasi IgULa1x0zkA Unsplash

With that in mind, you’re in the right place if you’re in the market for a greenhouse. Whether you’re after a small greenhouse, a ​large greenhouse, or something in the middle, I’m pretty sure you’ll find what you’re looking for in the list below – after all, I have spent years looking and testing the best ones. I can’t tell you how many I have tried. It sure does pay to have friends in the landscaping and garden business. Want to know the very best and affordable options for a glasshouse for plants? Of course, you do. Read on.

What is a Greenhouse or Glasshouse for Plants?

small greenhouse for plants

If you’re reading this article, chances are, most of you already know what a greenhouse is. That said, you might not know what a glasshouse for plants is. Well, essentially, they’re the same thing. Whereas one can feature transparent panels made from polyethylene film, fiberglass, plastic, or other artificial materials, the other option only uses glass panels to allow enough light to pass through.

Greenhouses are suitable for all different types of plants, depending on the size and features of the greenhouse in question. They have models with temperature control features—such as a shade cloth—that help protect your plants from the outside temperature. 

Some models rely entirely on large windows and sunlight to protect your plants and many feature ventilation for maintaining optimal temperatures.

How Greenhouses Work – A Glasshouse for Plants Overview

greenhouse temperatures

The way a greenhouse or glasshouse for plants works is quite simple. Essentially, the transparent material allows sunlight to enter the greenhouse, raising the greenhouse temperatures and providing stable temperatures for your plants. Some models can also help protect them from harmful UV rays.

These controlled temperatures are helpful at any time of the year, but they’re especially beneficial during the colder months. By maintaining higher temperatures, your tender plants can be protected from frosts and frigid temperatures, allowing them to continue growing all year long.

However, overheating can also become an issue, even for tropical plants. For this reason, most more advanced greenhouses will feature ventilation systems that allow excess heat and humidity to escape.

The Two Main Types of Greenhouses

walk-in greenhouse Glasshouse for Plants

Before we get into my favorite greenhouse and glasshouse picks, I thought it would be a good idea to quickly cover the two main styles of hobby greenhouses you’ll find. Standard sizes for these can vary quite a bit, especially when you’re looking at the mini models. However, designs tend to stay quite consistent.

Attached Greenhouses

Greenhouse - vidaXL

As the name implies, this type of greenhouse is attached to a larger structure. At least one side of the greenhouse will be covered by the existing structure, which could be a house, garage, or other larger structure.

These models generally fall into one of three styles: lean-to, even-span, or window-mounted. A lean-to leans up against a building, while an even-span looks like your typical greenhouse (just with one end attached to the building).

Window-mounted models are a great way to maximize minimal space, allowing for optimal plant growth year-round without requiring much heat or cooling.

Glasshouse for Plants – Freestanding Greenhouses

span-type greenhouse

A freestanding greenhouse or glasshouse for plants is a structure that stands on its own, unsupported by any other structure. Like the attached models, you can also get a freestanding even-span greenhouse. However, if the span-type greenhouse isn’t your style, there are a number of other freestanding styles offered, including:

  • Dome
  • Gothic Arch
  • Semi-Pit
  • Slant-Leg
  • Tri-Penta, and
  • Quonset models

My Favorite Greenhouse & Glasshouse for Plants Picks

glasshouse for plants

Alright, we’ve covered all the basics that you’ll need to know while shopping for a greenhouse or glasshouse for plants. Below, I’ve listed a number of different models, from small greenhouse kits to a full-size walk-in greenhouse.

Temperature control, transparency, and humidity control are some of the most important features to keep an eye out for, but that’s not the only thing to think about. Pricing, durability, built-in shelving, and space constraints are also things to keep in mind.

There’s a lot to think about so I recommend reading all the way through before making a selection. When shopping, remember to keep an eye out for any specific features you might want, such as a sturdy powder-coated steel frame or the addition of a roof vent. This will help save you from the headache of returns later on!

Ohuhu Mini Tent Greenhouse

Ohuhu Mini Tent Greenhouse Glasshouse for Plants
Size36″ x 36″ x 42″
MaterialsPVC, PE, metal

If you are working with a small space and small plants Glasshouse for Plants then this tiny greenhouse might be the one for you. Perfect for herbs, short plants, and seedlings, this small greenhouse for plants excels in narrow spaces and low-wind areas.

You could also use it as an indoor greenhouse, though it might be a tad big for that. It is, however, a very portable option and makes a great alternative to cold frames. The only real downside is a lack of stakes.

As such, I can’t really recommend this for windy areas since you’ll need to figure out a way to secure it. Still, it’s a great option for housing a few plants. Plus, it’s cheap!

Ohuhu Mini 4-Tier Rack Stand Greenhouse A non Glasshouse for Plants

Ohuhu Mini 4-Tier Rack Stand Greenhouse
Size2.5’ x 1.6’ x 5.2’
MaterialsPE, metal, plastic
ShelvingFour shelves

If you liked the price on the previous model but found the lack of space disappointing then I have good news for you: Ohuhu has this slightly larger alternative!

While this doesn’t give you quite as much space as the larger models, you can still fit quite a few house plants in this compact greenhouse. You have easy access thanks to the zippered roll-up door, four shelves to fill, and a clip system for easy shelf detachment, all for less than $50.

Just like the previous small greenhouse for plants, though, this model doesn’t come with stakes to help secure it to the ground. If you fill it with plants then you should be alright, but I wouldn’t leave it out and empty on a windy day.

Hartley Botanical Patio Glasshouse

Hartley Botanical Patio Glasshouse Glasshouse for Plants
PriceUnlisted, call for pricing
Size2’5″ x 4′ 2″ x 4′ 6.5″
MaterialsMetal, BS6206 toughened safety glass
ShelvingTwo shelves

If you like expensive, imported items and want a glasshouse for plants—rather than a greenhouse—then the Hartley Botanical Patio Glasshouse is what you need. 

Offered in fifteen different colors and made from BS6206 toughened safety glass, this glasshouse is an excellent way to keep your plants nice and healthy throughout the year. It does require a bit of assembly, but fortunately, instructions are provided to make the process quick and painless.

Notable features include the double sliding front doors and a hinged top pane, as both of these make it easy to access your plants.

Nova Microdermabrasion Mini Walk-in Greenhouse

Nova Microdermabrasion Mini Walk-in Greenhouse
Size55.9” x 28.3” x 75.59”
MaterialsMetal, PE
ShelvingSix (three per side)

Alright, back to the budget-friendly options. Next up is the Nova Microdermabrasion Mini Walk-in Greenhouse, a small greenhouse for plants that’s large enough to stand inside.

This is a great option if your greenhouse garden has outgrown your mini greenhouse and you’re looking for something larger on a budget. While the roll-up toy likely isn’t enough for precise carbon dioxide control, it still gives your plants plenty of ventilation and protection from the elements.

I really like the layout of this greenhouse. It gives you space for young plants on the sides, with larger plants placed in the middle. Even better? This one has stakes, making it more secure when placed outside. That said, it’s still not exactly sturdy, so you may want to lean it up against something.

Giantex Walk-in Greenhouse

Giantex Walk-in Greenhouse
Size6″ x 29″ x 77″
MaterialsPowder-coated steel, PVC
ShelvingSix (three per side)

Like the previous model, this small greenhouse for plants has enough space to walk inside, giving you plenty of space to try out new greenhouse ideas. The PVC cover works great at letting the light energy heat your plants while simultaneously protecting them from unnecessary UV exposure.

This makes it a great option for very sunny areas, but it’s still not well-equipped to handle the wind. As such, I’d recommend placing the larger plants down low to help keep the greenhouse in place.

Like previous models, it also features a roll-up, zippered cover, making it easy to keep your plants safe & protected from critters.

Outsunny Aluminum Lean-to Greenhouse

Outsunny Aluminum Lean-to Greenhouse
Size6.3’ x 4.2’ x 7’
MaterialsAluminium alloy, Polycarbonate

If your small garden is outgrowing your current area and you want to maximize your outdoor space then this might be a good option. It’s not the most affordable greenhouse kit around, but it’s still fairly cheap compared to the more premium models.

You get an all-metal frame with this greenhouse, which will be extra sturdy against the wind. The tilted roof—complete with gutter—makes rain management simple, the sliding door provides convenient access, and the adjustable window allows for adjustable airflow.

Being a lean-to, this model is inherently sturdier than the other models we’ve looked at so far (and it comes complete with stakes). The polycarbonate panels are also a step up from the cheaper options, making this an excellent side-of-house option.

EAGLE PEAK Portable Walk-in Greenhouse

EAGLE PEAK Portable Walk-in Greenhouse
Size96″ x 72″ x 91.8″
MaterialsPE, steel

If a lean-to feels a bit too permanent then this next portable greenhouse could be a suitable alternative. It doesn’t offer any shelving, but it does have ample space for your larger plants. Of course, you can always place shelves inside if desired.

Aside from space, the big appeal of this model is that it can be assembled by a single person. If you live alone, this is a major bonus. With 14 stakes, it’s well-equipped for moderate winds, and the greenhouse even allows you to hang plants from the top of the frame.

All in all, if you only have big plants or already have shelving, this is a great buy.

WORKPRO Instant Pop-up Canopy Greenhouse

WORKPRO Instant Pop-up Canopy Greenhouse
Size47.05” x 9.25” x 11.02”
MaterialsAlloy steel, Polyethylene

This is another small greenhouse for plants that uses a pop-up design. This one is a bit more heavy-duty, though, making it ideal for surviving heavy rains, intense sunlight, and cold winters. Like many others, it is somewhat susceptible to wind, so you’ll want to secure it as necessary.

As from surviving harsh weather conditions, this greenhouse also excels at convenience and portability. Assembly takes less than half an hour, it fits inside of a travel bag, the door can be rolled up, and the color is fairly neutral, making it fit in nearly any scene.

While it’s not a great option for windy areas, I think those in areas with little wind will be more than happy with this one.

Solexx Garden Master Greenhouse

Solexx Garden Master Greenhouse
Size8’ x 8’
MaterialsWhite composite, PVC, steel, Polyethylene
ShelvingTwo (upgrades available)

Offered in multiple sizes as well as a “Deluxe” edition, the price of this greenhouse is a great indicator of the level of quality it provides. Whereas most of the other options I’ve shown you have been temporary solutions, the Solexx Garden Master Greenhouse is a bit more permanent.

The size of the greenhouse offers more than enough space for your favorite indoor plants, and the built-in bench frames can support up to 500 lbs. It also features hanging rods with a 200 lb. limit and offers a variety of optional upgrades.

Most importantly, this greenhouse comes with a ten-year warranty. While the price tag might seem a bit daunting at first, I think you more than get your money’s worth with this premium steel frame option.

Exaco Riga German Hobby Greenhouse

Exaco Riga German Hobby Greenhouse
Size9’8” c 17’2”
MaterialsStainless steel, aluminum, Polycarbonate

Most of you won’t need something this big, but it’s hard to beat the Exaco Riga German Hobby Greenhouse for premium larger greenhouses. You’ll have more than enough space for your raised garden bed inside. You’ll have enough space to get ready for harvest season with this ​freestanding greenhouse!

There are a few downsides to something this large, though. While it does come with all of the amenities you might want (like roof vents and thick panels), you’ll have added heating costs. Pest control might also pose an issue, as the stable temperatures promote pest growth year-round.

There may also be construction costs to consider. Nonetheless, if you have the space and want more than a small glasshouse for plants, the Exaco Riga German Hobby Greenhouse is a near-professional level worth considering.

A Bonus Option: The Broody XL Mini Greenhouse with Grow Light

Broody XL Mini Greenhouse with Grow Light
Size25.19″ x 13.38″ x 56.88″
MaterialsPlastic, PVC, Aluminum

Ten just didn’t seem like enough so I figured I’d throw one more small greenhouse for plants on the list. This one is a bit different, though, as it’s intended specifically for indoor use.

The Broody XL Mini Greenhouse with Grow Light is the perfect way to continue the growing season throughout the winter months as its LED diodes—paired with humidity and temperature sensors—allow you to ensure your plants have the right conditions for maximum growth at all times.

The cover itself can be removed, meaning this greenhouse can double as a display shelf if humidity control isn’t needed. While I don’t think this is the right choice for everyone, I think it’s an excellent option for nearly anyone living in an apartment.

There Are Plenty of Options When Looking for a Small Greenhouse for Plants

type of greenhouse

Whether you only have a little space to work in or an entire yard to place your glasshouse for plants, it’s definitely nice to know you have plenty of options. While I definitely haven’t covered all of your options in this simple article, I have shown you a few of my favorites.

I hope this was helpful! Cold temperatures, a lack of humidity, and heat loss don’t have to be problems. With the right small greenhouse for plants, they certainly won’t be so you can enjoy growing your favorite plants all year long.

As always, feel free to share your tips, tricks, and experiences in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you guys. Thanks for reading!

Would you like to make your yard a bit more colorful? Check out these wildflower seeds for a more natural look!

FAQs About Greenhouse & Glasshouse for Plants

natural light

What is the difference between a greenhouse and a glasshouse?

Truly, a glasshouse is just a type of greenhouse that’s made using glass panes specifically. If glass greenhouses aren’t your thing, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives available, such as plastic greenhouses.

What is the best glass for growing plants?

Double-pane glass is considered the best glass for growing plants. That said, these do command a higher price, which might pose an issue for amateur gardeners with smaller budgets.

Do plants grow faster under glass?

Plants don’t necessarily grow faster under glass, but getting a greenhouse is a good option nonetheless as it helps ensure the plants’ lighting, heating, and humidity needs are met.

Is it worth getting a mini greenhouse?

If you have limited space, only need to house a few plants, and want to grow more plants throughout the year then a mini greenhouse is a great idea. However, the best mini greenhouse depends entirely on your specific situation, so shop accordingly!

What is a cheaper alternative to a greenhouse?

For the home gardener on a budget, making your makeshift greenhouse is a great alternative to buying a greenhouse. If projects aren’t your thing then you may want to consider buying a cheap mini greenhouse instead.

Will a small greenhouse keep plants from freezing?

Using a combination of natural light and heating solutions, greenhouses can definitely give your plants to warm temperatures they need to protect them from cold weather. However, how effective this will be depends on a number of different factors, including the greenhouse in question and the outside temperatures. Generally, it would be unwise to consider greenhouses universally impervious to freezing.

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