Portable greenhouses for gardeners
If you don’t have a lot of yard space or want a smaller version of a traditional greenhouse, portable greenhouses are the perfect solution. Also called miniature greenhouses, they’re perfect for gardeners who want to grow plants in a safe, controlled environment.
There are several types of portable greenhouses, ranging in size, materials and shelving options available. You can narrow down your choices based on the plants you want to grow and how much room you have.
Portable greenhouse benefits
Portable greenhouses have the following benefits:
- Extended harvest: Many plants grown in a greenhouse have a longer harvest season than those planted outdoors.
- Pest prevention: Outdoor plants are subject to pests such as insects and squirrels that can chew through the leaves, stems and produce. By growing plants in a greenhouse, you can protect them without using insecticides.
- Climate and environmental control: Since greenhouses help control the growing environment, you can begin planting several months earlier than usual. You can also protect the plants from extreme weather conditions, such as rainstorms or severe heat.
- Grow non-native plants: If you want to grow flowers, herbs, fruits or vegetables that aren’t native to your region, a greenhouse can make this possible. They allow you to adjust the indoor environment so non-native plants can grow and thrive.
- Grow sensitive plants: Some plants, such as orchids, are notoriously difficult to grow. By putting them in a greenhouse, you can give them the best chance of survival.
Portable greenhouses are usually more lightweight and portable than traditional models. This means you can easily move them around on your property if needed. If you have a small enough one, you can also take it with you if you relocate.
Where you install the portable greenhouse depends on its size, shape and how much sun your plants may need. Common areas include a balcony, patio, yard or garden.
There are several types of portable greenhouses.
- Miniature greenhouses are lightweight, and you can usually pick them up with ease. Horizontal ones can go directly over plants in raised garden beds or on the ground. Vertical ones usually have shelves for your pots and are good for taller plants.
- Compact greenhouses are a bit heavier and larger than miniature greenhouses, but you can still move them around the yard. They’re harder to transport large distances, though. Most are sturdy and resistant to extreme weather changes.
- Large or walk-in greenhouses are large enough for an adult to walk inside and tend their plants. They usually go outside, and you can use them to store gardening tools and grow sensitive crops. Some have a bottom, while others go directly over whatever plants or bushes you’re growing. Certain models come with stakes, similar to a tent, that keep them in place.
- Wheeled greenhouses are just greenhouses with wheels, making them easy to transport as needed. They usually have a solid base.
Most greenhouses have metal frames, such as aluminum or steel. Some use wood, but this is less common. Greenhouses have covers to protect plants, which are usually made out of polyvinyl chloride, plastic, polycarbonate or glass.
Most covers, such as polycarbonate ones, provide extra ultraviolet protection to plants. They also provide optimal protection for plants and make it easier to grow them.
Shape and design
Most greenhouses are square or rectangular. Some have a base, while others go directly onto a concrete, wood or dirt surface.
Many vertical greenhouses have multiple shelves, some of which you can adjust and remove as needed. This feature makes it easy to grow different types and sizes of plants at once.
Another common design feature is doors. Some open from the top, while others open from the side. A few use a zipper and a flap instead of a solid door.
Size and weight
Portable greenhouses are usually under 6 feet tall. Many are even smaller and more compact. Generally, vertical models are taller and narrower, while horizontal ones are the opposite. Depending on the size and construction material, most weigh between 10 to 80 pounds.
If you’re new to gardening or want to grow a few plants, start with a smaller greenhouse. But if you’re an avid gardener or are interested in growing a lot of produce, choose a larger one.
8 best portable greenhouses
Gardman R687 Four-Tier Mini Greenhouse
This small alloy steel-framed miniature greenhouse is ideal for those who want to grow taller plants. It’s 63 inches tall and has four shelves. It also comes with a clear polyethylene cover and zippered doors. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Outsunny Polyethylene Portable Greenhouse
This larger model is relatively lightweight and has a sturdy steel frame. The cover blocks out ultraviolet light and keeps humidity levels consistent, providing a controlled growing environment that’s great for sensitive plants. It’s an exact square of 7 feet tall by 7 feet wide and has a zippered door. Sold by Home Depot
Convenient for growing a couple of smaller plants, this pop-up greenhouse works well inside and outside. It has a durable polyvinyl chloride cover that helps block out the sun and controls the humidity inside. It also has an open bottom, making it great for covering small garden beds or seedlings. Sold by Amazon
This walk-in greenhouse comes in two sizes and is perfect for gardeners with more space to grow plants. It has four heavy-duty shelves that can hold up to 50 pounds each, a roll-up zipper door that provides excellent ventilation and an eco-friendly cover. It’s well-constructed and is resistant to strong winds and rain. Sold by Amazon
Mcombo Two-Tier Wooden Cold Frame Garden Greenhouse
This wood-framed greenhouse comes with an adjustable layer height and a slanted roof with grooves that help with water drainage. It also has double shelves for growing small plants and flowers. Plus, it has a foldable cover for when you want to expose the plants to direct sunshine. It’s available in orange and gray. Sold by Amazon
Zenport D Cold Frame Greenhouse
With a raised metal bed and removable waterproof cover, this greenhouse provides an optimal growing environment for sensitive plants. It has two roll-up zippered panels you can use to access plants on either side. Sold by Wayfair
Giantex Garden Portable Wooden Cold Frame
Available in three sizes, this model has a solid frame consisting of heavy-duty wood and double-walled polycarbonate. It has a foldable top that’s also removable. It’s a great option for gardeners who want to grow multiple small or medium-sized plants. Sold by Amazon
Best Choice Products Greenhouse
This 40-inch-by-19-inch greenhouse stands 63 inches tall and has four levels. It has a zippered door and a reliable plastic cover that helps with humidity and temperature control. It’s large enough to hold several plants. Sold by Home Depot
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