Can You Put Any Plant In A Greenhouse?

If you’ve ever wondered whether you can grow any type of plant in a greenhouse, then you’re in for an exciting journey of discovery. Greenhouses provide a controlled environment that allows plants to thrive, but not all plants are suited for this unique setting. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of greenhouse gardening and uncover the key factors to consider when choosing which plants to grow. So grab your gardening gloves and let’s find out if your favorite plants are a perfect fit for the greenhouse!

Can You Put Any Plant In A Greenhouse?

Factors to Consider

Temperature requirements

When considering which plants to grow in a greenhouse, temperature requirements are crucial. Certain plants thrive in warmer temperatures, while others prefer cooler conditions. It’s essential to choose plants that can withstand the temperature range inside your greenhouse. Some plants, like tomatoes and peppers, enjoy the heat and require a consistent temperature of around 70-85°F (21-29°C). On the other hand, cold-hardy vegetables such as kale and broccoli can tolerate temperatures as low as 45°F (7°C).

Light requirements

Light is a vital factor for plant growth, as it provides the energy needed for photosynthesis. Different plants have varying light requirements, and it’s essential to consider the amount of natural light your greenhouse receives. Some plants, like sunflowers and tomatoes, thrive in full sun and require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. In contrast, lettuce and spinach are among the plants that prefer partial shade and can tolerate less sunlight.

Humidity requirements

Humidity levels play a significant role in a plant’s ability to thrive. Tropical plants, orchids, and ferns, for example, thrive in high humidity environments. These plants require a relative humidity level of around 60-80%. On the other hand, cacti, succulents, and Mediterranean herbs prefer low humidity environments. These plants can tolerate humidity levels below 50%.

Space requirements

Different plants have different space requirements, and it’s essential to consider how much room they need to grow properly. Some plants, like sunflowers, can grow quite tall and may require extra clearance in your greenhouse to accommodate their height. Other plants, like lettuce and spinach, have a more compact growth habit and can be grown closer together.

Ventilation requirements

Proper ventilation is crucial to maintaining a healthy greenhouse environment. Adequate airflow helps regulate temperature, prevent the buildup of excess moisture, and reduce the risk of disease. Some plants, like delicate seedlings, require gentle airflow, while others, like exotic plants, benefit from more consistent and controlled air circulation.

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Choosing the Right Plants

Annuals and Perennials

Annuals are plants that complete their entire life cycle within one year. They sprout, produce flowers or fruits, and then die within a short period. Perennials, on the other hand, live for multiple years, and some even become more robust and more beautiful with each passing season. When selecting plants for your greenhouse, consider both annuals and perennials to enjoy a variety of blooms and harvests throughout the year.

Vegetables and Herbs

Growing your vegetables and herbs in a greenhouse allows you to have a fresh and abundant supply year-round. Consider which vegetables and herbs you and your family enjoy the most and choose accordingly. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and cilantro are popular choices for greenhouse cultivation, as they thrive in the controlled environment and can provide a steady harvest.

Tropical Plants

If you’re looking to create a lush, tropical oasis in your greenhouse, consider growing tropical plants. With their large, vibrant leaves and exotic blooms, these plants can add a touch of the tropics to any space. Orchids, with their stunning array of colors and delicate flowers, are a popular choice among greenhouse enthusiasts. Other tropical plants, like ferns and tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples, can also thrive in the warm and humid environment provided by a greenhouse.

Cacti and Succulents

For those who appreciate plants that require minimal maintenance, cacti and succulents are ideal choices. These plants are known for their ability to store water in their leaves and stems, making them incredibly drought-tolerant. Cacti and succulents come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, making them versatile and visually appealing additions to any greenhouse.

Types of Greenhouses

Glass Greenhouses

Glass greenhouses are the classic option for greenhouse enthusiasts due to their aesthetic appeal and light transmittance. They provide excellent insulation, allowing for efficient temperature control and heat retention. Glass greenhouses also tend to have a longer lifespan than other types of greenhouses, making them a durable choice.

Polycarbonate Greenhouses

Polycarbonate greenhouses offer an excellent alternative to glass greenhouse panels. These panels are lightweight, durable, and highly resistant to impact, making them a great choice for areas prone to extreme weather conditions. Polycarbonate panels also provide good insulation and light diffusion, ensuring that plants receive adequate sunlight without excessive heat buildup.

Plastic Film Greenhouses

Plastic film greenhouses are the most economical option and are often used by beginner greenhouse gardeners. The plastic film allows for good light transmission and is easy to install and replace. While plastic film greenhouses may not have the same level of insulation as glass or polycarbonate, they still provide a controlled environment for plants to thrive.

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Cold-Hardy Plants

Cold-Hardy Vegetables

If you live in a region with cold winters, you can still enjoy fresh vegetables from your greenhouse. Cold-hardy vegetables like kale, broccoli, carrots, and radishes can withstand freezing temperatures and continue to grow. These sturdy vegetables can endure the cooler seasons and provide you with a bountiful harvest.

Cold-Hardy Flowers

While many flowers are delicate and susceptible to cold temperatures, some varieties are hardy enough to blossom even in chilly conditions. Pansies, for example, can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F (-7°C) and add vibrant colors to your greenhouse during the winter months. Other cold-hardy flowers include snapdragons, calendula, and dusty miller.

Cold-Hardy Herbs

Herbs are a fantastic addition to any greenhouse garden. Even in colder climates, you can grow herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary throughout the year. These herbs are cold-hardy and can withstand lower temperatures, ensuring a fresh supply of flavorful greens during the winter months.

Can You Put Any Plant In A Greenhouse?

Plants That Thrive in High Humidity


Known for their stunning blooms and delicate beauty, orchids thrive in high humidity environments. These elegant plants require humidity levels of around 60-80% to flourish. Orchids are a popular choice for greenhouse enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors, unique shapes, and exotic appeal.


Ferns are excellent options for greenhouses with higher humidity levels. With their lacy fronds and lush foliage, ferns add a touch of elegance and natural beauty to any greenhouse. They thrive in the moist environment provided by a greenhouse and can tolerate humidity levels of up to 80%.

Tropical Fruits

Greenhouses provide the perfect environment for growing tropical fruits that require high humidity. Fruits like bananas, pineapples, and papayas thrive in warm and humid conditions. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy the delicious taste and aroma of these tropical treats, even if you live in a cooler climate.

Plants That Prefer Low Humidity


Cacti are known for their ability to survive in arid desert climates, making them ideal for low humidity environments. These unique plants store water in their fleshy stems and can tolerate humidity levels below 50%. Cacti come in various shapes and sizes, and their striking forms make them an interesting addition to any greenhouse.


Similar to cacti, succulents are adapted to dry environments and can thrive in low humidity conditions. With their thick, fleshy leaves and ability to retain water, succulents can tolerate humidity levels below 50%. From the popular jade plant to the colorful echeverias, succulents come in a vast array of shapes and sizes, making them versatile and easy to care for.

Mediterranean Herbs

Herbs native to the Mediterranean region, such as lavender, rosemary, and thyme, prefer low humidity conditions. These herbs thrive in drier environments, making them suitable for greenhouses with lower humidity levels. Mediterranean herbs not only add aromatic scents but also offer a culinary delight, enhancing the flavors of your dishes.

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Can You Put Any Plant In A Greenhouse?

Plants That Require Full Sun


Tomatoes are sun-loving plants that require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Greenhouses provide an excellent opportunity to grow tomatoes year-round, given their high light requirements. By providing the necessary amount of full sun, you can cultivate a variety of tomato varieties and enjoy fresh, juicy tomatoes throughout the year.


Peppers, whether sweet or spicy, are another crop that benefits from full sun exposure. These heat-loving plants require ample sunlight to produce a bountiful harvest. By providing your peppers with the necessary sunlight in a greenhouse, you can grow vibrant bell peppers and fiery chili peppers to spice up your culinary creations.


As the name suggests, sunflowers thrive in full sun and are known for their impressive height and vibrant blooms. Growing sunflowers in a greenhouse allows you to control their growing conditions and provide the maximum amount of sunlight they need. Watching these cheerful flowers follow the sun’s path throughout the day can bring joy and beauty to your greenhouse.

Plants That Prefer Partial Shade


Lettuce is a popular choice for greenhouse cultivation, especially for those who prefer a more temperate environment. These leafy greens thrive in partial shade, making them an ideal option for greenhouses that receive less direct sunlight. Lettuce can tolerate lower light conditions and still produce a crisp and delicious harvest.


Similar to lettuce, spinach prefers partial shade and can tolerate lower light conditions. These leafy greens are nutrient-dense and provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Growing spinach in a greenhouse allows you to enjoy fresh and nutritious greens year-round, even in environments with limited sunlight.


Cilantro is an aromatic herb commonly used in various cuisines worldwide. It thrives in partial shade and prefers cooler temperatures, making it an excellent choice for greenhouse cultivation. By growing cilantro in your greenhouse, you can have a fresh and abundant supply of this flavorful herb year-round.

Can You Put Any Plant In A Greenhouse?

Plants That Benefit from Greenhouse Protection

Delicate Seedlings

Greenhouses provide a protected environment that is ideal for nurturing delicate seedlings. Young plants can be more vulnerable to harsh weather, pests, and diseases. By starting your seedlings in a greenhouse, you can provide them with the warmth, moisture, and protection they need to establish strong roots and grow into healthy plants.

Rare or Exotic Plants

If you have a particular interest in rare or exotic plants, a greenhouse offers the perfect setting to grow these unique specimens. Greenhouses provide a controlled environment that mimics the ideal growing conditions for these plants, ensuring their health and maximizing their chances of thriving.

Sensitive Native Species

For those passionate about preserving local flora, a greenhouse can be an invaluable tool. By growing sensitive native species in a greenhouse, you can protect them from environmental threats like habitat loss and climate change. This allows you to maintain their genetic diversity, cultivate them for conservation purposes, and potentially reintroduce them to their natural habitats.


Choosing the right plants for your greenhouse involves considering various factors such as temperature requirements, light requirements, humidity requirements, space requirements, and ventilation requirements. Understanding the needs of different plants and their preferred growing conditions will help you create a thriving and diverse greenhouse ecosystem. By selecting the right plants, you can enjoy a year-round harvest, create a tropical retreat, or cultivate delicate and rare species. Whether you’re a seasoned greenhouse gardener or a beginner, with the right choices, your greenhouse can become a vibrant and flourishing paradise.

Can You Put Any Plant In A Greenhouse?