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greenhouse cabinet by @rachplants

DIY greenhouse using Ikea cabinets

Style meets function meets houseplants

Think you might like to build yourself an indoor greenhouse? Have you heard of the DIY greenhouse with Ikea cabinets trend? Yes — it’s a thing!

Remarkably popular, relatively inexpensive and in some cases, already set up for (grow) lights, Ikea greenhouses have been all over Instagram for a couple of years now, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. (Check out @ikeagreenhousecabinet for proof, if you’re curious.)

The cabinet shown here (the Milsbo) is just one of the Ikea cabinets that’s been found to be the perfect greenhouse for indoor plants — and not only that, it’s also a great-looking option for a set-up in which you can control the indoor temperature and humidity for your much-loved houseplants.

greenhouse cabinet by @rachplants
Milsbo cabinet greenhouse, via @Rachplants

So let’s dig in to this rather interesting plant care/home décor trend, shall we?

Why start an indoor greenhouse?

Greenhouses are a great way to grow difficult or high-maintenance houseplants that require temperatures in a particular range or need extra humidity. What’s more, in a greenhouse, you can can monitor and control all of the growing conditions — right down to how much air flow is present — in a greenhouse, which makes them ideal for growing a variety of houseplants.

Secondary bonus? They make your already-beautiful plants look even more beautiful, by giving them a front-and-centre spot in which to be showcased.

Learn how to build a greenhouse

A quick search online for greenhouse DIY help was endlessly fruitful for free plans. A LOT of people are into this trend, and it seems like an equal number of people want to help others get into it.

If you’re looking for step by step instructions on how to hack your Ikea cabinet, there are articles and YouTube videos aplenty to help you achieve your goals.

Two good ones we found:

  1. A great Fabrikör tutorial with a three step plan
  2. This Milsbo plan includes a complete cost breakdown of materials required (in addition to the cabinet), plus some friendly instruction. A useful guide.

Great for tropical plants

Finding the perfect greenhouse for tropical plants can be difficult (and often expensive). Ikea cabinets have been shown to be perfect alternative to a purpose-built option — install a humidity gauge, some grow lights, perhaps some mini fans to help with air flow — and ta-da! You have yourself a year long home for your lovely indoor plants. Plus, Ikea cabinets look sleek, showcase your houseplants beautifully, and they’re relatively affordable.

For a little inspiration, @Rachplants on Instagram shares a number of posts of how stylish these cabinets can look filled with all kinds of popular houseplants.

Four plants that love indoor greenhouses

Anthuriums love their daytime temperatures to be consistently in the 18-27˚C (65-80˚F) range, and not lower than 17˚C (60˚F) overnight. They also prefer soil that doesn’t dry out completely, but which stays moist rather than wet. Perfect greenhouse residents, in other words.

Philodendrons are tropical plants that love their indoor environment to be similar to their native environment (the tropics). Lots of warmth and consistent moisture, plenty of humidity, and bright indirect light. Philodendrons are also toxic to pets, so keeping them in an indoor greenhouse could be a safer option for people with curious pets.

Alocasias are another plant that prefer temperatures in the 18-27˚C (65-80˚F), plus moist but not wet soil and plenty of humidity. They’re also toxic to pets, and don’t like drafts from heat vents or air conditioning. A closed environment like an indoor greenhouse for these plants might be a great option to help them truly thrive.

What are the best cabinets to use to create an indoor greenhouse?

  • Fabrikör: A smaller cabinet option that could be perfect for anyone who’s looking to accommodate only a few plants. Feeling ambitious? You can also turn your Fabrikör into a terrarium, as impressively demonstrated here by @camiplants.
  • Rudsta: A double-door glass cabinet, the Rudsta is a good midrange size for an indoor greenhouse. You’ll be able to fit a goodly number of plants in this handsome cabinet.
  • Detolf: Tall and sleek, the Detolf is a great option if those who don’t have a lot of space to spare in their home. It’s a particularly useful option for apartment dwellers.
  • Milsbo: If you have quite a few plants, the Milsbo is the cabinet for you. It’s large enough to fit a lot of plants, and it is one of the larger options offered at Ikea. One note: a lot of folks have swapped out its glass shelves for wire shelves for better air flow. Something to consider.
ikea cabinet double
ikea cabinet single

All four of these cabinets are great options. Which one you choose depends on how many plants you want to put into your greenhouse, how much space you have, and how much you want to spend. The cabinets come in both white and black (among other colours), which gives them the perfect minimalist look — they’ll look great in anyone’s home.

If you’re looking for inspiration, explore #ikeagreenhousecabinet on Instagram. 

yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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