You can buy a mini greenhouse at your local garden shop or even at an IKEA store, but if you just want to start some seeds or grow small but delicate container plants, choose one of these DIY mini greenhouses that you can make yourself.
The best part about these greenhouses? They’re completely recycled and absolutely free!
1. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse. Plastic bottle greenhouses can range from one bottle covering a seedling to create humid conditions to complete buildings made of stacked plastic bottles. You can make your greenhouse as large or as small as you need. For a greenhouse made of just one bottle, cut the bottom off of the plastic bottle and gently push it into the potting soil around your small plant. Take the lid off and mist the plant through the opening when needed. For a large greenhouse, cut the bottoms off of many plastic bottles and stack them on top of one another (use regular plastic water bottles or 2-liter soda bottles). Attach the bottles with string or wooden dowels, which you can find from a craft store. To learn more, watch the video below to see the Blue Rock Station’s full-scale plastic bottle greenhouse in Ohio.
2. CD Case Greenhouse. A greenhouse made of CD cases can also be as large or as small as you need it to be. You’ll need plastic glue to glue the plastic pieces together. Just place the greenhouse over your pots and watch your container plants grow!
3. Take-Out Container Greenhouse. The easiest greenhouse to “make” is the take-out container greenhouse. Just make sure to save your next take-out container that has a snap-on plastic lid. Many of these containers are shallow and not very tall, so they work for growing seedlings that need a humid environment for initial growth. Don’t expect to grow plants for a long time in these greenhouses! With these, you can place about an inch of soil on the bottom part of the container and grow the plants directly in the take-out container.
Remember that if you are propagating ferns, which need sterile conditions so that the spores do not become contaminated, many DIY containers won’t suffice because of small air holes. Use an old clear plastic shoebox and sterilize it with bleach (or wash it in the dishwasher) to create an air-tight container that will keep contaminants out.