Limited Space? A Tabletop Greenhouse Could Be the Answer

How To Make a Tabletop Greenhouse


Gardening has always been my passion, but when I lived in a small apartment my opportunity to cultivate plants was limited. That’s when I discovered the wonders of tabletop greenhouses. I firmly believe that a tabletop greenhouse is a fantastic way to bring gardening into your home. Not only does it offer a convenient and accessible solution for those who live in apartments or other homes with limited space, but it also allows you to put your green thumb to use regardless of the weather outside.  These compact, miniature gardens provide a perfect environment for growing a variety of plants while fitting seamlessly into any living space. In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making and maintaining your own tabletop greenhouse.


Why Choose a Tabletop Greenhouse


You might wonder why you should invest your time and effort in creating a tabletop greenhouse when you can simply place your plants on the windowsill. Well, there are several good reasons:


  1. Year-Round Gardening: With a tabletop greenhouse, you can enjoy gardening all year long, irrespective of the external climate.


  1. Protecting Your Plants: These mini greenhouses shield your plants from harsh weather conditions, pests, and pollutants, ensuring their optimal growth.


  1. Space Efficiency: Perfect for small apartments or houses with limited garden space, tabletop greenhouses utilize vertical space effectively.


  1. Controlled Environment: You have full control over the growing conditions, allowing you to tailor the environment to the specific needs of your plants.


Getting Started: What You’ll Need


Before you start building your tabletop greenhouse, plan where to put your tabletop greenhouse and gather the necessary supplies:


3.1 Choosing the Right Location


Select a location that receives sufficient sunlight throughout the day. South-facing windows are generally the best choice, as they provide the most sunlight exposure.


3.2 Selecting the Perfect Plants


Consider the types of plants you want to grow. Choose plants with similar light and water requirements to make maintenance easier.


DIY vs. Pre-made Tabletop Greenhouses


Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to decide between building your own greenhouse or purchasing a pre-made one.


4.1 Building Your Own Tabletop Greenhouse


Building a DIY greenhouse gives you the freedom to customize it according to your needs and preferences. You can use various materials such as PVC pipes, wooden frames, or recycled materials. Here is great video that I found that shows you how to make one out of PVC pipe:

How to Build a PVC Cold Frame | Miniature PVC Greenhouse Frame


4.2 Exploring Pre-made Options


If you prefer not to make your own tabletop greenhouse, there are many pre-made ones available for purchase. Pre-made tabletop greenhouses come in various designs and sizes, providing a hassle-free setup for those who prefer convenience.


Essential Components of a Tabletop Greenhouse


Regardless of whether you opt for DIY or pre-made, all tabletop greenhouses should have these essential components:


5.1 The Frame: Materials and Design


The frame serves as the backbone of your greenhouse. Choose sturdy materials like wood or metal, and consider a design that allows easy access to your plants.


5.2 Glazing: Glass vs. Acrylic


Select glazing material based on your budget and needs. Glass provides better clarity but is heavier and more expensive than acrylic.


5.3 Ventilation and Airflow


Proper ventilation is vital for preventing heat buildup and controlling humidity levels within the greenhouse.


5.4 Temperature and Humidity Control


Maintaining the ideal temperature and humidity levels ensures the healthy growth of your plants.


Setting Up Your Tabletop Greenhouse


Now that you have everything assembled, it’s time to set up your tabletop greenhouse.


6.1 Assembling the Greenhouse


There are many plans for building a tabletop greenhouse available online or from books at your local library. Consider the appropriate size needed and follow the instructions carefully to assemble your DIY greenhouse or simply unpack and position your pre-made one.


6.2 Arranging Your Plants


Be strategic in placing your plants, considering their height and light requirements.


6.3 Watering and Fertilizing


Water your plants adequately, ensuring they get the right nutrients from fertilizers.


6.4 Providing Adequate Lighting


Supplement natural light with grow lights to ensure your plants thrive even in low-light conditions.


Caring for Your Indoor Garden


Caring for your tabletop garden is essential to ensure its continued success.


7.1 Monitoring Growth and Progress


It’s always important to keep an eye on your plants’ growth and address any issues promptly.


7.2 Pests and Disease Management


Implement preventive measures to protect your plants from pests and diseases. The most important way to manage pests and diseases is to avoid bringing home infested plants by inspecting them prior to buying them. Here is a great resource that talks about a variety of pests and diseases to look for in your plants.


7.3 Pruning and Training


Prune your plants regularly to encourage healthy growth and train them to grow in desired shapes.


7.4 Seasonal Considerations


Adjust your care routine based on seasonal changes and your plants’ natural growth patterns.


Troubleshooting Common Issues


Despite your best efforts, you may encounter some common issues with your tabletop greenhouse.


8.1 Yellowing Leaves


Yellowing leaves can signal various problems, such as overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

8.2 Leggy Seedlings


Leggy seedlings are seedlings with a very long stem in proportion to the leaves. This indicates insufficient light and may require adjustments in their placement.


8.3 Mold and Mildew


High humidity levels can lead to mold and mildew growth, which should be addressed promptly.


8.4 Temperature Fluctuations


Fluctuating temperatures can stress your plants and impact their growth. Having a thermometer inside the tabletop greenhouse can allow you to see if there are any temperature deviations from what your plants need for optimal growth.


Expanding Your Tabletop Greenhouse


Once you’ve mastered the art of tabletop gardening, you might consider expanding your setup.


9.1 Scaling Up: Larger Greenhouse Options


If your collection outgrows your current greenhouse, consider upgrading to a larger one or even a small walk-in greenhouse.


9.2 Supplementing with Grow Lights


For avid gardeners, supplementing your tabletop greenhouse with additional grow lights allows for more diverse plant options. 


Benefits of Indoor Gardening


Indoor gardening, particularly with tabletop greenhouses, offers numerous benefits.


10.1 Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being


Gardening has been shown to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.


10.2 Year-Round Gardening


With a tabletop greenhouse, you can garden throughout the year without worrying about seasonal limitations.


10.3 Eco-Friendly Benefits


Growing your own produce reduces your carbon footprint and reliance on commercially grown goods.



By creating your own tabletop greenhouse, the hobby of indoor gardening is accessible to practically anyone, regardless of how much space is available. It not only allows you to indulge in your passion for plants but also brings the beauty of nature right into your home. So, gather your materials, choose your plants wisely, and watch your indoor garden thrive!




12.1 Can I grow vegetables in a tabletop greenhouse?


Certainly! Many vegetables, such as herbs, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes, can thrive in tabletop greenhouses.


12.2 How do I prevent overwatering my plants?


Allow the topsoil to dry out slightly between waterings and ensure proper drainage in your pots.


12.3 Are grow lights necessary for indoor gardening?


Grow lights are beneficial, especially in spaces with limited natural light or during the darker winter months.


12.4 What are some low-maintenance plant options?


Succulents, spider plants, and peace lilies are excellent choices for low-maintenance indoor plants.


12.5 Can I keep my tabletop greenhouse on the balcony?


Yes, as long as your balcony receives enough sunlight, it can be an ideal location for your tabletop greenhouse. Just ensure it’s protected from extreme weather conditions.

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James Fedor

I want to share knowledge and tips to make you a greenhouse expert, so you can reap the rewards of being able to grow your own herbs, flowers , fruits, or vegetables for fun or profit.

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