6 Best Small Greenhouses and How to Choose the Best One For You

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If you’re looking for the best small greenhouses, we have you covered. A small greenhouse is a great way to maximize your growing space, prolong your growing season, protect your plants in the winter and create the perfect, controlled environment for sensitive plants.

Whether you live in an apartment or have a huge yard, are into collecting rare exotic plants, organic gardening or growing your own herbs at home, there is a small greenhouse for you!

There are hundreds of small greenhouses and greenhouse kits to choose from, ranging from tiny ones that resemble a cloche to large, walk-in greenhouses suitable for a wide range of plants.

With so many choices, it can be a little overwhelming to compare and choose the best one. To make it simple, we have chosen and researched 6 of the best small greenhouses available and reviewed them here:

What Are Greenhouses Used For

In the simplest terms, a greenhouse is an enclosure that allows sunlight in, traps the heat generated by sun-warmed earth and plants, and prevents the heat from escaping. It also prevents moisture from evaporating in hot conditions. This creates a ‘hothouse’ that mimics the warmth and light conditions we have in the summer when most plants grow the most.

Some greenhouses are completely natural, and temperature and humidity are controlled only through passive ventilation. Others are fitted with heaters and fans for more precise control. In dry climates, many are fitted with misting or irrigation systems to keep the humidity high enough.

Greenhouses vary in size and construction from huge growing tunnels for agricultural use to tiny, indoor containers for one or two plants.

Some greenhouses are fixed structures and others are portable. Portable ones often resemble a tent, with a metal structure and clear, waterproof cover that fits snugly over the frame to keep heat and moisture trapped inside.

Check out this short video by GrowOrganic Peaceful Valley on YouTube for a quick introduction to greenhouses:

Benefits of a Small Greenhouse

There are many benefits to using a greenhouse for your plants and the benefits of a small greenhouse include:

  • Ability to create, control and maintain optimum growing conditions for the plants you want to grow. Some plants just need more heat or moisture than your growing zone provides, so a greenhouse is a great way to give them the right conditions. Other plants, like Orchids or tropical exotics, need very specific growing conditions, where the heat and humidity are very high and also very consistent.
  • Overwintering plants that cannot stay out all winter. Many plants cannot withstand freezing conditions and need to be moved into a sheltered place for the winter. A greenhouse is a perfect place to keep them safe and out of the way until the spring.
  • Extending the growing season for seasonal fruit and vegetables allows you to enjoy fresh food for longer, each year. Salad greens, herbs, vegetables and fruits that do not grow all year can grow for a few months longer, or even all year, in a greenhouse with the right temperature, light and humidity.
  • If you have a larger greenhouse that is big enough for you to spend some time in it, the warmth and bright light can combat seasonal blues associated with cold weather and shorter, darker days. Combine that with some peace and quiet, surrounded by happy, healthy, plants and you are guaranteed to feel better for being in there!  

How to Select the Best Small Greenhouse for You

There are hundreds of small greenhouses on the market, so comparing them and choosing the best one for your needs can get a little complicated. To make it simple, consider what you want to grow in it; if you need it to be indoors, outdoors or both; and how much space you have for it:

Size and Shape

Choosing the right size greenhouse for your space is an important step. If you have a space that is tall and narrow, you need your greenhouse to fit in that space and that makes the most of the height available to you. Similarly, if your space is wide and low, choose one that will make the most of the width available.

If you only have a little window ledge or a space with narrow depth, make sure you choose one that is narrow enough to be stable on that ledge but is still big enough to grow the plants you need to grow.

Another thing to consider, along with the shape and size, is the aspect. In the northern hemisphere, a south facing greenhouse will get the most sunlight (north-facing in the southern hemisphere).

Indoor vs. Outdoors

All of the small greenhouses we have listed here are portable and can be used indoors and outdoors if you have enough room for them.

However, some will fare better than others when exposed to the elements. Wind and snow are particularly tricky for portable greenhouses which can tip over in the wind and often will not be able to withstand the weight of snow.

The Plants it is Best Suited To

Think about what you want to grow in your small greenhouse and how much room those plants need. Some plants will need more vertical space and others more horizontal space.

If you are going to grow a variety of plants, look for something you can adjust by taking shelves out or adjusting the height of the shelves.

If you will be growing plants that need precise and consistently controlled conditions, look for an option that seals well and can accommodate a heater, fan and misting system.

Our Selection Criteria

Our selection is based on the considerations we discussed above, namely:

  • Dimensions
  • Indoor or Outdoor
  • Best For

Based on these factors and user reviews, we have compiled a list of the six best small greenhouses:

The 6 Best Small Greenhouses

1.Pure Garden 3-Tier Outdoor Greenhouse

Dimensions: 27.5 W x 19 D x 50 H inches

Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor (and indoor, if you have enough space)

Best For: Flowers, vegetables, herbs, seedlings.  

Description:

  • Powder-coated iron tubing frame
  • Three removable wire mesh shelves
  • Clear, zip through Polyvinyl cover
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant parts
  • Small footprint but height allows for plenty of growing space
  • Can accommodate a grow light

Screenshot of the Pure Garden Small Greenhouse

Price it on Amazon: Pure Garden 3-Tier Outdoor Greenhouse

What the Amazon Reviews Say (4.4/5):

Pros:

  • Lightweight materials, quick and easy to assemble.
  • Shelves are removable so you can take one out if you want to put taller plants into it.
  • Shelves are wire mesh so light filters through them and a grow light can be installed if needed.

Cons:

  • Floor of the greenhouse is not covered, which hinders temperature control.
  • Individual shelf height is not adjustable (unless you remove one completely)
  • Might not be suitable for outdoor use in very cold/snow conditions.

2.Home Complete Mini 4 Tier Indoor Outdoor Greenhouse

Dimensions: 27.1 W x 19.3 D x 63.3 H inches (shelves are 14” apart)

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor and Outdoor

Best For: Taller flowers, vegetables, herbs, seedlings.  

Description:

  • Tubular steel frame
  • Four, removable, wire mesh shelves
  • Clear, zip through Polyvinyl cover
  • Can accommodate a grow light
  • Detachable wheels/castors
  • Roof is pitched in the centre, allowing for taller plants on the top shelf

Screenshot of the Home Complete Small Greenhouse

Price it on Amazon: Home Complete Mini 4 Tier Indoor Outdoor Greenhouse

What the Amazon Reviews (4.2/5):

Pros:

  • Cover fits nicely
  • Shelves are removable to give more vertical space if needed
  • Castors for easy movement

Cons:

  • Blows over easily and might not withstand the weight of snow
  • Bars supporting shelves are not removable so you can take shelves out but the support bars are still there.
  • Frame tends to come apart when moving it around (zip ties solved that problem though)

3.Ikea Socker Indoor/Outdoor Greenhouse

Dimensions: 17 ¾ W x 8 ¾ D x 13 ¾ H

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor (outdoor on a patio or balcony)

Best For: Small plants – flowers, succulents, veggies, herbs and seedlings

Description:

  • White, polyester powder coated, steel frame.
  • Polystyrene sheets on the sides and top
  • Attractive design and small size make it ideal for indoor use
  • Bottom is closed so temperature and humidity are easier to control
  • Single compartment, no shelves
  • Top opens for ventilation
  • Can also be used as a ventilated terrarium

Screenshot of the Ikea Socker Tiny Greenhouse - Best Small Greenhouses

Price it on Amazon: Ikea Socker, Indoor/Outdoor, Greenhouse

What the Amazon Reviews Say (4.1/5):

Pros:

  • Very attractive design
  • Ideal for indoor projects with small, decorative plants
  • Ideal for protecting plants from ‘devil cats’

Cons:

  • Not very sturdy and needs to be picked up from the bottom
  • Only deep enough for one ‘row’ of plant pots
  • Siding scratches easily

4.Quictent Portable Cloche Mini Greenhouse

Dimensions: 71 W x 36 D x 36 H inches

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor and Outdoor

Best For: Medium to large plants, herbs, flowers, vegetables and seedlings

Description:

  • Powder-coated steel framework
  • Reinforced, green Polyethene cover with zips to open
  • Cover extends below the frame, so it can be tucked in or buried to make it more airtight
  • The two doors can be opened completely making it easier to access and easier to ventilate
  • Big enough to work for medium to large plant pots and seedbeds

Screenshot of the Quictent Portable Cloche Mini-Greenhouse

Price it on Amazon: Quictent Portable Cloche Mini Greenhouse

What the Amazon Reviews Say (4.2/5):

Pros:

  • Sturdy frame and reinforced cover
  • Big enough to keep several medium-large plants
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Covers tend to deteriorate in very hot sun conditions and tear away from the zippers
  • Not airtight enough to accurately manage the temperature
  • Plastic connectors broke easily

5.Educational Insights GreenThumb Greenhouse

Dimensions: 36 W x 19 D x 38 H inches

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor (and outdoor on a patio or balcony)

Best For: Small plants – flowers, herbs, vegetables and seedlings

Description:

  • Metal frame
  • Clear, zip through, Polyvinyl cover
  • Two removable shelves
  • Ideal for starting seeds and growing seedlings
  • Small enough to use indoors, in a classroom or at home, for demonstration purposes

Best Small Greenhouses - Screenshot of the Educational-Insights Mini Greenhouse

Price it on Amazon: Educational Insights GreenThumb Greenhouse

What the Amazon Reviews Say (4/5):

Pros:

  • Small, light and very easy to assemble
  • Front opens up completely for access
  • Shelves are wire mesh, allowing light to filter through to the lower shelf

Cons:

  • Not very sturdy or durable
  • Expensive for the size
  • Rusted in wet conditions

6.Worth Garden Walk-in Greenhouse

Dimensions: 67 W x 47 D x 76 H inches

Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor (indoor if you have a big enough space)

Best For: Large plants, young trees, flowers, herbs, vegetables and seedlings

Description:

  • Steel frame
  • Clear, zip through Polyvinyl cover with windows for ventilation
  • 12 shelves (3 tiers)
  • Four anchors to anchor it to the ground so it doesn’t blow over
  • Automatic Irrigation System – comes with an optional hose and misting/sprinkling system
  • Three-year guarantee from the manufacturer
  • Large enough to walk into and ideal for larger plants and small trees

Screenshot of the Worth Garden Walk-in Best Small Greenhouse

Price it on Amazon: Worth Garden Walk-in Greenhouse

What the Amazon Reviews Say (4.1/5):

Pros:

  • Very easy to assemble and is portable
  • Shelves are sturdy
  • Has stakes to keep it stable in the wind

Cons:

  • Zipper quality not the best
  • Covering may tear along the seams
  • Will need extra support to withstand storms and heavy winds

Conclusion and our Top Picks

In conclusion, there is a huge selection of small greenhouses available for you to choose from. They range from tiny, single compartment cloches to large, walk-in greenhouses that can accommodate a very wide variety of plants.

Whether you’re looking for something small to protect your indoor plants and improve their growing conditions or looking for something bigger to protect your plants in the winter or prolong the growing season for fruits and vegetables… There is something to suit your needs!

Of the six small greenhouses we compared here, two stood out as our top picks:

Top Pick #1 – Worth Garden Walk-in Greenhouse

The Worth Garden walk-in greenhouse stood out for its size and durability, as well as its great price. The size means you can use it for a wide variety of plants, from small flowers, herbs and vegetables to large exotic plants, small fruit trees and shrubs.

It comes with an automatic misting/irrigation system to keep your moisture and humidity levels up if needed and has small windows you can open for added ventilation.

Portable greenhouses are prone to blowing over in the wind if they are outdoors but this one comes with stakes to secure it to the ground and several Amazon reviewers mentioned that theirs has withstood storms and wind.

All in all, this seems like a great option and we love that you can do so much with so little, while not spending a huge amount on the initial investment.

Top Pick #2 – Home Complete Mini 4 Tier Indoor Outdoor Greenhouse

We love the Home Complete Mini 4 Tier Indoor Outdoor Greenhouse because it is small enough to use indoors, on a patio or a large balcony while still offering plenty of space for your plants.

It is very reasonably priced and is a versatile option, as you can remove shelves to make more vertical space if you’re growing taller plants. It is on wheels so moving it around is much easier too.

This one is ideal for herbs, vegetables and medium-sized plants like flowers, shrubs or exotic plants. We love that you can easily add a grow light or humidifier to create exactly the right conditions for your particular plants!

Useful Resources

Greenhouse Product News: Measuring Greenhouse Temperature

Gothic Arch Greenhouses: Summer Greenhouse Maintenance Checklist

Gardening Know How: Grow Light Terminology: Basic Grow Light Information For Newbies

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a small greenhouse used for?

Small greenhouses are used to create and maintain ideal growing conditions, year round. They keep the temperature and humidity at the right levels, to protect plants in winter and extend the growing season for seasonal plants.

How to choose the best small greenhouse?

Consider the size and shape of the greenhouse, the area you need to place it in, the durability of the materials if it will be outdoors and the shape, size ideal conditions of the plants you want to grow in your small greenhouse.

Are greenhouses for outdoors only?

No. You can use a small, portable greenhouse outdoors, indoors or on a patio or balcony if you have enough room.

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