11 Plants You’d Grow More Successfully with A Greenhouse
by Adrian White
20 December, 2021 by
11 Plants You’d Grow More Successfully with A Greenhouse
Lucija Johum

When you get into a growing hobby or business, the world is really your oyster.

There are so many options for what you can grow commercially or for pleasure, such as vegetables, herbs, and flowers. There are even ornamentals, trees, shrubs, and succulents you can try your hand at.

The list goes on and on. But one of the most likely challenges you’ll encounter when choosing what you want to grow: knowing how to grow it in the very best, successful way possible. This is an especially important question for commercial growers to answer before they set up their operations. 

So if you’re desiring to make money off what you grow, it’s a vital part of your business method to ensure that you’re growing it right!

GREENHOUSES BOOST YOUR PROFITS AND YIELDS

Here’s a likely question you’ll ask when considering what’s best for your operation: “will my plants do better with or without a greenhouse?”

Whether it’s vegetables, flowers, or other crops, these covered structures may provide much better benefits to specific botanical choices than if they weren’t used. But how to know?

Will your plants want a little extra heat and sunlight when it’s not the peak season of summer? What about humidity?

Inversely, will your they benefit from protection throughout the winter from frost and low temperatures? Would season extension be a smart way to go, something greenhouses provide?

In truth, there are quite a few plants associated with greenhouse growing. In fact, some of them have become almost synonymous with greenhouses among the most successful professional growers.

But what may those be? Are there ways to determine whether or not your plants could use the extra enhancements a greenhouse provides?

Let’s find out.

TOMATOES

Drawing from my own personal experience, if there’s a vegetable I immediately picture when I think of greenhouses: it’s tomatoes.

These summer favorites are intense lovers of sunlight, humidity, and heat. So why not plant them in your greenhouse? They’re known to really ramp up yields and profits.

The magnification of sunlight and heat really stimulates tomato growth and ripening, though do make sure that they’re getting enough water to fruit properly! Some greenhouses and high tunnels even provide perfect infrastructure to set up or build indoor trellises for indeterminate, vining tomato varieties – something useful to think about.

Planting tomatoes in your greenhouse can also give you some season extension, protecting them from the first frosts and cool air of fall and early winter, times when your crops would have died off otherwise.

BASIL

Basil is another heat-lover associated with greenhouse growing.

This herb is famously challenging to get started early enough in cool climates because of the risk for surprise late frosts, which hurt the plant. Pop them in your greenhouse, however, and you need not worry at all.

Throughout the season and no matter how hot it gets, these herbs will literally jump in response to intense heat, putting out plenty of side shoots and sprigs for a plentiful harvest!

And here’s a great idea: companion plant basil and tomatoes together in your greenhouse. Apparently, the nearby basil will enhance the flavors of your tomato fruits!

PEPPERS

Relatives of tomatoes, peppers – both sweet and hot varieties – are absolute lovers of heat. Try them in your greenhouse, too.

While sweet peppers need a bit more water, hot breeds like chili and cayenne will practically flourish with little help, since they need very little moisture.

EGGPLANTS

Some may not realize it, but eggplants are close relatives to peppers and tomatoes too. Just like them, also love the heat!

Plant them in your greenhouse at about the same time you would with your tomatoes, peppers, and basil, if you have them – and watch them spread and grow in ways you’ve never thought possible.

SUMMER SQUASH

While you’ll need more space to grow these veggies to success, making the room could be totally worth it.

Squashes like crookneck, zucchini, and your typical yellow summer varieties absolutely love the heat. Plant a few seeds under your covering next season and see for yourself how successful they are. They don’t need too much watering or care, either.

MELONS

Melons are yet another variety of heat-loving vegetable (or fruit, as we know them more intimately). 

If you get them in at the right time, they can really thrive far beyond their limits otherwise – bringing you ripe melons full up until fall, maybe even early winter!

With so much sunlight, it will take no time for fruits to ripen up and set. As with indeterminate tomatoes, their proclivity to “vine up” could make indoor greenhouse structures the perfect base structures for a trellis.

CUCUMBERS

Similar to melons, cucumbers are another vining plant that would go perfectly in a greenhouse. All your needs for a simple trellis have a basic setup within the infrastructure itself, if you so choose.

Also lovers of heat, you may see these vines producing far beyond your wildest dreams, and growing to greater sizes than you’ve ever seen before.

SALAD GREENS

Changing pace a little bit, you may be surprised by how successful your season’s salad greens will be in a covered structure.

For such success, you won’t want to plant them at the same time you do your hot weather crops, however. In fact, you’d want to plant them at very different times of year: early spring, or the end of summer.

Since salad greens tend to be cooler weather crops, the addition of greenhouse protection will give them a boost of warmth so you can plant them earlier in spring, or later into the fall and winter for season extension.

Cool salad greens you could grow include spinach, lettuce, arugula, kale, Asian greens, and more. Not only will this extend your season for how long (and how much) greens you can grow, greenhouses will provide additional pest protection from bugs, rabbits, deer, and more!

FLOWERING PLANTS

Did you know that growing flowers – including both annuals and perennials – can be amazingly successful in a greenhouse?

It’s not exactly about the enhancement of light or heat that’s involved, nor is it season extension. In fact, it has more to do with the type of greenhouse you buy.

Blackout systems, or light deprivation greenhouses, are amazing for growing operations that want to specialize in flowering plants – all the way from azaleas to zinnias. 

These structures function by limiting light for long periods during the day in order to simulate the short daylight periods characteristic of winter, which has a photo-triggering effect on plants to flower more profusely.

So if you’re considering flower growing, give blackout greenhouses some serious consideration!

TROPICAL OR NICHE PLANTS

Obviously, plants from the tropics will absolutely love greenhouses – both during summer or any time of year. Keep in mind, however, that many of them might need specific climate and temperature controls to thrive.

Tropical varieties may be more ideal for the hobby grower who has a taste for the exotic: such as growing bananas, palm trees, or even tropical herbs like ginger, turmeric, and more. 

Still, commercial growers could create businesses out of selling tropical herbs, since they are unavailable but niche in temperate regions.

You can also create an excellent environment for succulent plants all year round: such as aloe, cactuses, and more.

CITRUS

Ever wanted your very own lemons, limes, oranges, or even grapefruits?

Well, greenhouses could make the perfect homes for your very own potted citrus trees!

Tropical trees by definition, citrus trees require heat and humidity to truly thrive: elements that could easily be simulated and controlled in a greenhouse in any climate.

They do demand plenty of water, but once you have them started you could be sourcing your very own citrus fruits for yourself – and perhaps even commercially.

RULES OF THUMB

Whether you just want to protect your lettuce in winter for a bit longer, or grow your own tropical plant paradise, there are a few rules of thumb beyond specific options that can help you determine if you should be in the market for a greenhouse:

  • Would your heat-loving plants benefit from extra heat in summer?

  • Would plants benefit from heat during fall/winter for season extension?

  • Would your plants benefit from extra humidity?

  • Would your plants benefit from extra sunlight?

  • Would your plants benefit from frost protection?

  • Would your plants benefit from less light for optimal flowering conditions?

  • Do your plants need year-round protection from the elements?

If you answer “yes” to any of the above, greenhouses may be for you!

Even if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of acquiring and implementing one, don’t be intimidated: there are some excellent incentives for your business or hobby to get one, as well as ways to start greenhouse growing smoothly and successfully, even if it’s your first time.

Long story short: if you’ve got the plants, you’ve just got to get the greenhouse to go with it. When you see the results, you won’t regret it.

11 Plants You’d Grow More Successfully with A Greenhouse
Lucija Johum 20 December, 2021
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