Mini Greenhouse DIY: 4 Budget-Friendly Ideas to Try

by Five College Realtors® 08/23/2021

If you’re looking for simple and inexpensive ways to grow plants from seedlings, there are plenty of DIY solutions to consider. You can convert everyday household items into seed starter containers and create microclimates with mini-greenhouses. Here are some ideas for DIY seed starter greenhouses to help your seedlings thrive.

Plastic Bottles

For single seedlings, try making mini greenhouses out of empty plastic bottles. Water bottles are great but any type of bottle will work as long as it’s made of clear plastic. To make a mini greenhouse, cut the bottle in half and fill the bottom half with soil or moss to plant the seedling. Then you can gently place the top of the bottle over it to keep in the moisture while letting in the sunshine.

Clear Storage Bins

Clear storage bins are useful for many gardening purposes including creating mini-greenhouses. By adding ventilation holes into the bottom of the bin and flipping it upside down, you create an instant protective container for seed starts and other delicate plants. Storage bins are typically made of thick plastic which also helps control the temperature. If you clip the lid of the storage bin closed, you can create a “floor” for your mini greenhouse and make it completely portable. This means you can take the whole thing outside in the morning and back inside at night to protect against colder temperatures.

Takeout Containers

Keep your plastic takeout containers and your plants will thank you. Empty plastic containers with hinge-style lids are perfect for seed propagation and protecting tiny seedlings from the elements. Simply fill with soil, plant and mist occasionally. Poke some holes in the lid's top to promote air flow and you’ll have a healthy micro-climate that fits on your shelf, counter or windowsill.

Plastic Bags

When in doubt, plastic bags are an easy greenhouse solution. This option is especially helpful for larger plants or containers with unusual shapes. Simply take an open plastic bag and place it loosely upside down over the top of the container to seal in moisture and heat. Depending on how tightly the bag fits around the container, you might not even need to add extra ventilation. However, poking a few holes in the bag is a great idea as long as you don’t intend to use it for anything else.

These options make great use of items you might already have. Consider trying a DIY greenhouse for your next seed starts and get a head start on the growing season while recycling at the same time.