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1 October 2020

How to choose the best mini greenhouse for you

Portable or fixed? Glass or polycarbonate? We guide you through the main things to consider when choosing a mini greenhouse.
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A decent mini greenhouse will be sturdy and provide easy access to your plants, but a bad model will be easily damaged by the weather and awkward to use. 

Mini greenhouses offer a useful place to raise new plants and provide protection for tender veg such as tomatoes and sweet peppers. They are compact enough to fit under windows or against house walls, so they're perfect if space is limited.

Keep reading to discover the whether wood or metal is best for you, where to position your mini greenhouse and whether you should choose glass or polycarbonate.

If you already know what you're looking for, go straight to our Best Buy mini greenhouses.

Wood vs metal frames

Wooden-framed mini greenhouses tend to be more attractive and easier to assemble than metal-framed ones, but cost considerably more for the same amount of growing space – especially if made from rot-resistant oak or Western red cedar.

Glass vs polycarbonate

Horticultural glass is cheapest, but toughened glass or polycarbonate is a must if there are children around. Toughened glass and polycarbonate cost about the same, but the former looks more attractive and is more durable.

Portable vs fixed

If you don’t intend to use your mini greenhouse all year round, you may prefer one that can be moved out of the way easily when not in use.


Sometimes shelves are an optional extra, allowing you to tailor your mini greenhouse to suit your needs. Shelves that are easily removable to accommodate taller plants are best.

Optional base

With some larger glass mini greenhouses, there’s the option of buying a metal base-frame to stand it on. It makes assembly easier and the frame more rigid – especially when standing it on soil rather than a hard surface.


The larger glass mini greenhouses especially are often discounted in price, so it pays to shop around.


Ideally, a mini greenhouse should face east or west. South-facing ones overheat in spring or summer unless shaded, and north-facing ones suit only shade-loving plants. All need a firm, level surface to stand on. Fixing it to a wall rather than a fence will provide more frost protection, as walls absorb more of the sun’s warmth.

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