May 16, 2023

Best mini greenhouses of 2023 for your garden tried and tested

Proof that you don't need acres of land to embrace your inner Alan Titchmarsh

hether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to grow your repertoire or are just scattering the first seeds in your horticultural journey, a miniature greenhouse provides the perfect way to enjoy the pleasures of nature in an inner London-postcode scale.

Regardless of the space you have at your disposal, mini greenhouses are also a means of protecting your prized plant babies when the weather is not on side, or to extend the growing season of fruit, veg, herbs or spices that wouldn't make it if left exposed to the elements.

But with choices almost as far-reaching as the crops you can grow (well, maybe not quite…) how does one decide on the best miniature greenhouse for their planting needs? Sorting the wildflowers from the weeds, our guide considers options for all budgets, spaces and gardening ambition.

While miniature greenhouses offer many benefits to gardening novices, scale should by no means be linked to inexperience. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to invest:

While their size may limit the types and quantities of what you can grow relative to larger structures, there are myriad planting options when it comes to miniature greenhouses. These are some of the most popular choices:

Raring to go? Scroll on to see the best mini greenhouses.

Green thumbs at the ready

Best for: country house aesthetics

A delightful greenhouse for garden enthusiasts looking to broaden their horizons without compromising the look of their outdoor space, this charming option draws inspiration from the kinds of greenhouses you’ll find in stately homes across the country.

Coming in four parts – stand, tray, sides and lid – its steel frame has been powder coated for a chalky white finish that nicely slots into the flora of surrounding trees and shrubs.

Practically speaking, toughened glass makes for warm and humid conditions that promote plant growth, with the option to rotate the snug-fitting lid to control the temperature and easily water its contents when needed.

The petite dimensions make it a great choice for small gardens or even balconies.

Best for: organised storage

The structure of this GroZone greenhouse is typical among miniature greenhouses, featuring three shelves, two central doors and a hinged lid at the top for easy access to all your plants. It also means they can be conveniently positioned against a garden wall or fence without looking out of place.

Crafted from timber and finished in a neutral colour, this model from Dunelm is especially easy on the eye while providing a sanctuary for your plants thanks to its toughened glass which ensures optimal light transmission and full protection. We’re especially fond of how its shelves give it multiple usages, for instance, fruit on one, veg on the other and those more ornamental, tropical plants on top.

One shelf could even be used as a space for tools like garden trowels and secateurs. Big green thumbs up from us.

Best for: small budgets

Controversial opinion: IKEA's garden department is the best of the bunch.

Aside from a healthy selection of plants and trusty tools, this miniature greenhouse is a sleek addition to any trolley at only £25. Elegant and contemporary, beyond its typically modern, Scandi aesthetic, the ÅKERBÄR greenhouse is a clever choice for homes short on outdoor space, comfortably fitting around four plants that could do with the extra help its transparent acrylic panels afford.

Equally, however, it can be placed atop a sideboard or dresser and used much like a terrarium, serving as a decorative focal point and giving tropical plants like cacti and succulents a better shot of making it through the winter.

Best for: easy adjustments

Classic and sturdy, Plantpak's dove grey wooden greenhouse is crafted from quality FSC-certified timber that’ll stand the test of time.

Two shelves and a spacious base provide ample room to realise your horticultural dreams, easily accessed and tended to via two central doors and two locking stay doors on top that can be tilted into different positions for optimal ventilation.

Adding to its secure build, its polycarbonate glazing is shatterproof, but also UV-treated, meaning seedlings and salad greens will only absorb the good stuff.

Best for: easy set-up

For a simple solution to your cultivation wishlist, this mini greenhouse by VonHaus is a no-frills addition to your garden that allows for ample space to grow.

Standing 158cm high and featuring three shelves, there's room for much of the supermarket salad aisle in this greenhouse, which makes use of a transparent PVC cover to provide protection from the elements while still allowing the sunshine in.

It's worth noting that while this is a much more cost-effective and portable choice, you will compromise on some of the warm and humid conditions of glass or polycarbonate, which could limit the types of plants you can successfully grow. That said, if it's cost-per-square centimetre you’re looking for, you’ll struggle to find better.

Best for: balconies

Acting a bit like a cloche that would otherwise protect your banana bread from sugar-hungry flies or your scented candle from losing its scent, McGregor Garden's mini balcony greenhouse is designed to be placed atop plants in need of added protection.

Perfect for apartment balconies, small patios or window sills, it takes the form of a sturdy steel frame covered in transparent PVC, protecting from harmful weather conditions and amplifying the sunlight reaching your plants inside. Successfully propagated seedlings are served.

Best for: easy gardening

Is it a greenhouse, is it a planter? Well, actually, it's both, combining the easy functionality of a raised garden planter with its 80cm high wood frame with a connecting structure that has multiple covers and zip openings. In merging the two, VegTrug removes the need for constant crouching and back-bending so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labour without hassle.

As well as being easier for less mobile gardeners, the V-shaped design supports plant growth of varying root depths while a biodegradable liner provides suitable aeration of said root systems and ensures proper drainage.

Meanwhile, the mesh cover of the greenhouse frame is responsible for enviable insulation, solid protection and plenty of light.

Frame and cover set sold separately, £99.99.

Best for: serious cultivators

The home sauna you always dreamed of, only - it's for your plants. With its sturdy steel frame and durable cover, Costway's greenhouse tents aren't exactly going to get you on the cover of Gardens Illustrated, but they’re definitely a good choice if you’re looking to extend seasons or speedily cultivate seedlings.

Its inner lining is made of highly reflective mylar – a type of polyester film known for maximising artificial light and thus accelerating photosynthesis – which works a bit like a sunbed but without the leathery aftermath. To keep plants healthy, several air vents ensure flowing circulation, and there's even a viewing window that lets you observe your gardening progress.

Illustrated here is the 4ft by 4ft option, but there are several other sizes available to better suit your space, inside or out.

Best for: magazine-worthy garden design

A poster child for form and function, this Stockholm Design House option is as much a greenhouse as it is a modernist garden sculpture. A slick, minimalist design object that’ll inject a touch of elegance whether used indoors or outside, it mixes green powder-coated steel with high-quality tempered glass for ultimate stability and durability as well as optimal sunlight penetration.

Adding plants to the equation only bolsters the aesthetic, so we’d recommend filling it to the brim with eye-catching tropical plants that could use the extra heat and protection.

Best for: indoors

Short of outdoor and indoor space to erect a mini greenhouse? All is not lost.

Click & Grow's indoor herb gardens are an excellent solution for horticulturalists currently residing in smaller flats or houseshares, easily perched on shelves or countertops. While it won't offer quite the same cover as an actual greenhouse, an energy-efficient LED grow light ensures plants can survive and thrive no matter the weather, even boasting the smarts to adapt to the environment of your plant to optimise growth.

Great for gardening novices, an in-built water reservoir means you’ll be safe from over-watering, while monitoring levels and alerting you when it's time to rehydrate your plants with a flashing light.

This particular kit comes with space for three different plants and includes three basil pods to get you started.

That said, larger options are available and there are over 50 pre-seeded Click & Grow plant pods to choose from, including everything from thyme and lavender to wild strawberries.

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