Gardening Tips

How To Transform a Simple IKEA Cabinet Into Your Tiny Personal Greenhouse

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Getty Images/Oscar Wong
TikTok and a love for indoor gardening thrived alongside each other during pandemic. Chances are you got into at least one of them between last March and this March. And while I find both phenomenons belonging to entirely different generations (pre-pandemic getting really into plants was a major “I’m entering my 30s” personality trait), apparently they intersect. In fact, TikTok user theplantyedit recently shared how to make a cute DIY home greenhouse, and all you need is an IKEA cabinet and a dream.

Okay, so you need a cabinet, a dream, and “a little bit of patience if you’re not used to building.” A two part tutorial outlines that you want to start with IKEA’s RUDSTA Cabinet ($139) for the greenhouse itself. She recommends small fan for air circulation that prevents mold build-up (this $20 Vornado Flippi fits the bill). You might want to invest in Silicone Door Slips ($10) to keep the humidity in and a smart Humidity Meter ($12) to track it. Magnetic Spice Racks ($30) can also add a fun dimension and different levels to put potted plants.

@theplantyeditReply to @ronniepizzle Part 1 of building my Ikea Greenhouse Cabinet!##PepsiApplePieChallenge ##ikea ##ikeagreenhouse ##ikeagreenhousecabinet ##houseplants♬ LULLABY WALTZ – Marcel Coulomb

But on the “must-have” list, you’ll need Clear Enamel Spray Paint ($9), Two Inch Grommets, and (perhaps most importantly) Grow Lights ($150) of some kind in order to keep those plants blossoming. The result? A little home jungle for you to love.

@theplantyeditReply to @ronniepizzle Second half of my Ikea greenhouse build ##ikea ##ikeamusthaves ##ikeagreenhousecabinet ##greenhouse ##plantsoftictok ##houseplanttips♬ LULLABY WALTZ – Marcel Coulomb

Before you get to drilling, let’s be clear about what to put in there. While we want something that’ll look #aesthetic, all that effort will go to waste if you create a not-sustainable ecosystem. When it comes to plant selection, investigate the lighting needs of your current and prospective plants first.

“Depending on where you are placing your greenhouse in your home, or if you are adding a grow light to the interior, I recommend picking plant varieties that do well in similar light conditions,” says Erin Marino, director of brand marketing at The Sill. “That way you’re not giving some plants not enough light, or give others too much light, depending on how much light they require to thrive. “

You also want to be strategic about selecting plants that thirst at the same rate, especially if you’re looking to keep your plants very contained. “It would also be helpful for the plants that share the greenhouse space to have similar watering schedules,” Marino says. “For example, if you plan to keep the doors to your greenhouse shut to help increase humidity levels, you’ll want to opt for moisture-loving tropical plants—instead of desert dwelling cacti and succulents.”

Basically, you want to be mindful of greenery that can cohabitate harmoniously, otherwise your cute DIY home greenhouse will become a plant graveyard. But if you can select your blossoms wisely and can be diligent about monitoring, the beautiful results will be there…and ready to post on social media for all to see.

Consider adding these plants to your greenhouse:

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