The Best Greenhouse Plants That Will Thrive

A greenhouse is a gardener's best friend. Unless you are living in an area with a constant climate and weather, the seasons can really cramp your style. However, by using a greenhouse, you are able to grow whatever you want, whenever you want, all year long. There are tons of benefits to using a greenhouse. But while you can grow just about anything in a greenhouse, which plants grow best in them? We'll go through the best greenhouse plants to try out and even some exotic ones as well. 

What Is a Greenhouse?

So if you just stumbled across this article and have no idea what a greenhouse is, I'll help you out with that. A greenhouse is a structure with walls and a roof made mainly of a transparent material, most of the time that is glass. In this greenhouse, all types of plants are able to be grown year round, regardless of the temperature it is outside the greenhouse. Greenhouse plants can consist of anything from vegetables, to bamboo. It all depends on what you want to grow. You can even throw a pond with algae and lily pads in there if you really wanted to. A modern greenhouse operates as a system, so it is also referred to as a controlled environment agriculture (CEA), controlled environment plant production system (CEPPS), or a phytomation system. 

Greenhouses are very important as they allow farmers and gardeners to grow crops all year long. Or if you are just a recreational gardener, a greenhouse can be a fun addition to your hobby. In a greenhouse, you can experiment with different kinds of plants and the like, that you maybe couldn't with a regular garden. You can even grow crops that do not grow in your region. Tropical fruits like pineapple, passionfruit. You can grow watermelons in the winter and corn whenever you want. Greenhouses and greenhouse plants are awesome and give you a whole lot of freedom to do whatever you want with your garden or farm.  

Best Greenhouse Plants

While you can virtually grow anything in a greenhouse, there are certain plants that will grow better than others, or are at least easier to care for. These greenhouse plants will require less care, are more hardy, and will produce more when in a greenhouse with a controlled environment. 

  • Leafy Greens and Lettuce- These greenhouse plants, when grown in a greenhouse, have very few issues with pests. Meaning that you will have a more bountiful harvest than you would if you grew them outside in your garden. Plus everyone eats lettuce and the like. Great leafy green options might include spinach or kale.
  • Tomatoes- These are very easy to grow, but often have issues with bugs and rabbits when growing them in a standard garden. These greenhouse plants will be plentiful whether you grow them in a planter, or in the ground. Another great idea to save some space is to suspend the planters, especially if you have a smaller greenhouse. 
  • Beans- Very space savvy, string beans are one of many perfect greenhouse plants. While they do require some assistance in the direction in which they grow, they are small enough that you can grow many of them in the same planter. 
  • Eggplants and Peppers- These guys are a great addition to your greenhouse. Since they are easily influenced by the temperature and weather, having a controlled environment inside your greenhouse will suit these greenhouse plants very well. 
  • Herbs- A must have for any greenhouse. These guys are one of the easiest greenhouse plants to grow and you can get a whole lot from them, thanks to the controlled environment. Plus, if you are struggling with space management, you can hang these in planters from your ceiling. 
  • Microgreens- Easy to grow, do not take up a whole lot of space, have great health benefits and can be thrown onto any meal. What's not to love? 
  • Lemons- Yup, citrus fruits can also be grown in a greenhouse. Plus, the lemon trees typically do not grow that large, so they are a great addition to your hobby. 
  • Strawberries- This greenhouse plant is crazy easy to grow, especially because the greenhouse provides the controlled, warm environment, which is perfect for them. 
  • Raspberries- Here is another fruit that does not require a whole lot of room to grow. Raspberries, given the right conditions, can be plentiful and fun to grow. 
  • Chilies- If you like spicy foods, what is better than growing chilies in your greenhouse? They love warm climates, so they should grow very well in a greenhouse. 
  • Pansies- If you are interested in growing just to grow and enjoy, instead of harvesting, these flowers are perfect. They are small and do not need a lot of space to grow. In fact, you can plant a whole lot of them right next to eachother. They don't mind being crowded. 
  • Gazanias- If you are looking to add a bit of color in your greenhouse, look no further. This greenhouse plant blooms in various colors and are fairly hardy. 
greenhouse plants

Growing Exotic Greenhouse Plants

Have you ever craved a fresh pineapple in the middle of winter? Believe it or not, tropical plants do not have to be grown in the tropics. Given the right conditions, they can grow in your own backyard. Well, that is, if your backyard has a greenhouse in it. Tropical plants require tropical climates and temperatures to grow properly and do not function as well when you take them out of their climate. However, if you are able to match that climate, you might find yourself in luck. The biggest issue with tropical plants is that not two of them require the same conditions. If you want to start out easy, here are some easy growers that you can try out in your greenhouse. Just be sure you do your research and know just what these plants require. 

  • Pineapple- This is one of the few tropical fruits that actually grows fairly well when planted in a pot and can easily be grown indoors. They do not need much water since they have tough leaves and do not lose a lot through evaporation. This greenhouse plant is very versatile and does not have an extensive root system, so they do not require a lot of room to grow. However, they'll still need a decent amount of space, but it will not take up your entire greenhouse. About 3 feet across, and 3 feet high. 
  • Papaya- Here is one of the least expensive tropical plants you can test out. It is a fairly fast growing plant and produces fruit year round. However, the plant will get very tall, up to 15 feet to be exact, so you will need a high roof in your greenhouse. You can grow a papaya just from the black seeds that you can find inside any papaya. Just dry them out for about a week, peel off the coverings and you are ready to plant. In addition, they like a lot of sun and water, as well as warm weather up to 80 degrees F. 
  • Avocados- Want avocado toast in the middle of December but can't get out to the store to buy avocados? Grow them yourself. They are easy to prune and can be a great addition to your greenhouse plants, as long as you give them enough sun. Avocado plants do great with moderate water and plenty of sun. 
  • Pomegranates and Figs- Two of the easiest tropical plants to grow in a greenhouse. You can get dwarf pomegranate trees which will only reach between 2 and 4 feet, compared to a full grown 30 foot pomegranate tree, and they will still produce fruit. Both figs and pomegranates need as much sun as possible and you should keep the soil moist as well. 
  • Guava- Since it is produced by small trees, they can do very well in a greenhouse and will not require a ton of space to be fruitful. However, they are very susceptible to cold, so be sure that they are kept in a climate controlled environment. In addition, they will take about 4 to 5 years of growing before they begin to produce fruit, much like a coffee plant. So if you take good care of it and be patient, it can be a great addition to your greenhouse plants. 
Greenhouse plants

Where Use a Greenhouse?

There are several benefits to using a greenhouse. These benefits are especially important for farmers or gardeners who are constantly growing their own produce and struggle during the off seasons. But with a greenhouse, you can cultivate and grow all year long, which will prolong your harvest seasons. Greenhouses can hold up against droughts, blizzards, and other types of weather, minus a tornado or a flood. In addition, a greenhouse can house many different types of plants in a small area, unlike a garden where you will need to space out your crops. This is because they are not planted directly in the ground, but instead in planters, which can be modified in size and depth depending on their use.

One of the best benefits of a greenhouse is that you can save money. Instead of having to buy your produce from a store, you can just go to your backyard and pick whatever you need, when you need it. Groceries can cost a lot of money, especially if you are trying to buy something that is out of season. Just grow it yourself and save some cash. Not to mention the quality of the food you grow will most likely be better than what you buy in a store. You will not have to worry about whether something is or is not organic, as you would have grown it yourself. Plus, greenhouses are a natural protector from insects and other pests that may otherwise eat and destroy your plants. 

Conclusion

Greenhouse plants are great and can be easy to grow, given the right conditions. It is best to choose plants that grow quickly and easily. Ones that do not require a whole lot of care and attention. But if you run out of space, remember that certain greenhouse plants can grow great in planters and be hung from the roof. For more information on how to stay happy, healthy, and green, check out the rest of Green and Growing. 

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Patrick Sands
 

Hey, I'm Pat. I am a Millersville grad with a Bachelors of Arts in English. I love to write, play video games, watch movies and TV, basically be a total nerd whenever I can. Green and Growing is important to me because it allows me to help others be as green and eco-friendly as possible. With Climate Change being what it is, it is even more important for people to get educated about their environment. This website allows me to do my part in that. Also, I'm a huge goof who tries to add some humor into anything I write. Stay Excellent out there!

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