Greenhouse & Indoor PlantsOrnamental Plants

The Best Plants to Grow in a Greenhouse

It’s common knowledge that an entire cornucopia of fruits and vegetables thrive in greenhouses. A healthy percentage of small greenhouses are built because their owners want immediate and continuous access to fresh produce. But greenhouses can be much more than a stepping stone to selling produce at a farmer’s market. They can also serve as miniature oasis, a place for their owners to detach from the world and smell the roses—or whichever variety of flower strikes the gardener’s fancy.

Below are 5 examples of easy to raise plants that thrive in greenhouse environments.


Marigolds are hardy, warmth-loving flowers that can dapple your greenhouse in sunset hues. There are two main varieties, the French and African marigold. If space is a concern for you, the French variety is typically the smaller of the two. The marigold enjoys heat, and after being planted in wet soil, the flower is perfectly content with a weekly watering. When watering marigolds, always water at the root, as watering from the top can damage the flower’s fiery color.

Ferns thrive in a greenhouse and can take advantage of the frequently underutilized ceiling space.

A diverse line-up of ferns can add a distinctly forest-like flair to your greenhouse, even being able to capitalize on underutilized ceiling space if you invest in hanging baskets. While ferns are known for thriving on shady forest floors, it is important to remember that they still need sunlight to thrive. Indirect sunlight is best, preferably from morning sunlight. Ferns love humidity and and should be misted regularly.

Coleus comes in a wide variety of colors and leaf patterns.

A truly customizable plant, Coleus comes in a near-rainbow of colors, a spectrum of sizes, and even a variety of leaf patterns. The plant roots incredibly easily, and continued care is equally as simple. Soil should be well-draining. Compost or peat moss can be added to the soil to achieve this. If the Coleus is growing in a container, it will need semi-frequent watering, while Coleus growing in the ground can be watered less. Coleus plants need warmth, as while they are prepared to thrive in sun or partial shade, the first bout of frost will most likely kill the plant.


Also known as the African daisy, this beautiful flower is hardy to a fault, with some stubbornly wild strains actually being classified as weeds in parts of Australia due to its resilience. It blossoms in reds, oranges, yellows, and pinks, with white and multi-colored blooms also available. While the gazania can tolerate heat and has innate drought-resistance, the flower will bloom more beautifully when you give it water on a biweekly basis.

Snake Plant

A special inclusion due to its resilience and adaptability, Dracaena laurentii (Previously known under the label Sansevieria) is a breed of plant that can withstand even the blackest of thumbs. Its rippling leaves alternate between shades of green, providing a simple backdrop to highlight the feature flowers of your greenhouse. In terms of growth and care, there’s not much to say. The snake plant will grow almost anywhere and it can tolerate varying degrees of light. The only care note is to not overwater the plant. Watering once every 2 weeks is the floor for snake plant care, and the soil should always be completely dry before watering.

Joshua Nichols is the associate editor.

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