Plants for the Beginning Greenhouse Gardener

Posted by AcreageLife on Mar 1, 2021 6:40:00 AM

What plants should you choose for your new greenhouse?


This can be a tough decision for beginning greenhouse gardeners because of the great diversity of options available. 

So why not embrace that diversity? Pick one or two varieties from major categories of plants, including vines, trees, herbs, vegetables, and flowers.


Vines—Because of the potential height to which they grow, vines can add much interest to a greenhouse. Many of the vines that you can choose from produce edible fruit. Consider a grape vine, with the wonderful fragrance of ripening fruit. Or a passionfruit vine to get both very showy flowers and fruit. 


You also have options for flowering vines. Some possibilities are mandevilla, cardinal creeper, and jade vine, which has beautiful hanging bloom clusters. All these will give you lots of showy color, but take care that they don’t overwhelm your greenhouse.


Trees and shrubs—Many greenhouse owners like to grow citrus trees, which are generally purchased as small plants and left to grow quite large. If your greenhouse is small, it’s best to buy dwarf trees to reduce the chances of them getting too large. Other options include fig, avocado, kumquat, papaya, banana, coffee, and tea plants.


Herbs—When you have a greenhouse your options increase greatly. You can now grow some fairly exotic tropical herbs that are difficult or impossible to grow outdoors in temperate zones. You can grow bay, lemongrass, turmeric, tarragon, ginger, or the ginger-like galangal, all of which can be cultivated in pots. 


Vegetables—With a greenhouse, you can now grow many vegetables year-round. Kale and chard are two remarkably cold-tolerant vegetables that can survive most winters even in an unheated greenhouse. Carrots, leeks, collards, and other root vegetables are among your other cold-hardy options. If your greenhouse is heated, the possibilities expand significantly. 

In most cases, you’ll need to start the seeds for these plants sometime in late August up to mid-September in the northeast.


There are so many more things you can grow in a greenhouse, flowers, exotic orchids, tropical plants. The opportunities are endless! Try a few and enjoy!


For information to help you choose your perfect Hartley Botanic Greenhouse visit or call 781-933-1993