IKEA greenhouse cabinets may look magnificent, but making your own doesn’t have to be hard. Simply snag an IKEA cabinet you love looking at, fill it with plants, and give those plants everything they need to thrive. That may mean adding a few grow lights, installing a humidity sensor, and sealing any cracks on your cabinet. But none of that is very hard to do.
Because your bases are so easy to cover, there’s lots of room to get creative, and plenty of enterprising plant parents have already paved the way. The online world is full of IKEA greenhouse cabinet hacks that you can turn to for inspiration as you make an IKEA greenhouse cabinet of your own.
Naturally, these hacks range from straightforward to surprising—and there’s something worth learning from every single one.
Trade Glass Shelves for Wire Shelves
When deciding which IKEA cabinet to turn into a greenhouse, you’ll have lots of options to sift through. Most choose a metal cabinet lined with glass shelves. (These materials can hold up to intense humidity, which is a must inside a greenhouse.)
These glass shelves are great. They’re sturdy—and stylish—enough for any greenhouse cabinet. But if you want to level up your greenhouse, consider replacing them with wire shelves. Why? Wire shelves let air and humidity flow more freely, keeping the conditions inside your greenhouse more even from top to bottom.
Turn Your Grow Lights Into Décor
Unless your space is flooded with natural light, you’ll probably need grow lights inside your greenhouse. And these grow lights don’t have to look ugly or obtrusive. By hanging a grow light bulb above each shelf in your cabinet, you can add light in a way that feels decorative rather than purely functional.
Mix and Match Different Cabinets
Depending on your plant selection, one greenhouse cabinet may not be enough. So consider mixing and matching a few. IKEA has all kinds of suitable cabinets to choose from. Pair a tall, skinny cabinet with a short, wide one, or stock up on matching cabinets, and line your walls with them.
Install Lattice Behind Your Cabinet
One easy way to decorate the space around your cabinet? Install lattice behind it. This decorative touch will double as a functional one—giving you space to hang plants that don’t need as much humidity as your greenhouse cabinet offers.
Adjust the Height of Each Shelf
The shelves in your IKEA cabinet are probably adjustable, so don’t be afraid to move them around. Save space by lowering the shelves above your shortest plants, and raise shelves to make room for your tallest plants. Remove and add shelves as you see fit. And be sure to check your shelf set-up periodically: as your plants grow, you’ll need to move things around.
Keep Your Plants in Clear Containers
There are lots of cute planters in this world. But keeping your plants in clear containers is a no-fail option. Why? A see-through planter lets you look at your plant’s root system—which is always an interesting sight.
Hang Your Necessities From Wire Grid Panels
Greenhouse cabinet staples—like grow lights, fans, and humidity sensors—need somewhere to go. And with a few wire grid panels, you can give them a home. Simply line the back of your cabinet with wire grid panels, then attach your necessities using clips or hooks.
If you feel like having a little fun, you can hang tiny planters from the panels to make space for even more plants.
Stock Up on Pretty Planters
In a greenhouse cabinet, your plants aren’t the only thing on display—your planters are, too, so be sure to choose them with care. Pick a go-to style, or mix and match a few favorites to add color and texture to your cabinet.
Seal Cracks to Trap Humidity
Keeping your greenhouse humid may not require a humidifier. With a little weather stripping, you can seal the cracks on your greenhouse cabinet, keeping plenty of humidity trapped inside.
Pair Your Cabinet With a Set of Shelves
Greenhouses are ideal for plants that need humidity, but they’re not great for plants that like dry air. Supplement your humid greenhouse cabinet with a set of open-air shelves. That variety should make it easy to diversify your plant selection without having to remember too many care routines.
Mount Your Smallest Plants on a Pegboard
One easy way to upgrade your greenhouse cabinet? Add a pegboard along the back wall. By hanging hooks from this pegboard, you can make space for essentials and small planters.
Just be sure keep an eye out for mold, especially if your pegboard is made of wood or fiberboard.
Trade Grow Lights for Natural Light
Grow lights make a classic addition to any greenhouse cabinet, but they’re not always a necessity. If your greenhouse cabinet is see-through and your windows let in lots of light, you may not need grow lights to help your plants thrive.
Install a Slanted Shelf
If one extremely tall plant is throwing off your greenhouse cabinet, consider trading one of your classic shelves for a triangular shelf. The triangular shelf will sit on one side of your cabinet, giving your tall plant the room it needs while providing shelf space for smaller plants.
Let Your Plants Expand Beyond Your Cabinet
If you’re doing your job right, your plants won’t fit neatly inside your greenhouse cabinet—at least, not for long. Make space for plants on and around your cabinet. You can even add a few external grow lights to keep your plants thriving, no matter where they’re placed.
Mix in Lots of Other Décor
Plants and décor aren’t mutually exclusive. Surround your greenhouse cabinet with decorative accents, like mirrors, shelves, and plants. If you want to take things to the next level, you can even add some decor to your greenhouse cabinet shelves. (Just make sure that décor is humidity-friendly.)
Keep Your Plants in Leca
Many expert plant parents don’t keep their plants in soil. Instead, they keep their plants in leca (lightweight expanded clay aggregate). These baked clay balls look striking. And they retain moisture, allowing your plants to “drink water” whenever they want it. This cuts down on pesky pests and root rot, and it makes caring for your plants even easier.
Put Your Greenhouse Cabinet on Wheels
Up close, this greenhouse cabinet may look like a jungle. But from far away, it actually looks like a rolling cart. That’s because this enterprising plant parent decided to put their greenhouse cabinet on caster wheels—a decision that made it easier to move the otherwise-heavy cabinet around the house.
Keep a Propagation Station Nearby
Instead of buying all the plants for your greenhouse cabinet, consider growing a few of your own. By setting up a propagation station near your greenhouse cabinet, you can grow entire plants from cuttings—and make sure your cabinet shelves are always well-stocked.
Decorate the Top of Your Cabinet
Look for ways to make your greenhouse cabinet feel like part of your space. You can line the top of it with decor, gardening tools, or propagating cuttings. You can adorn the space around it with plant-friendly décor. And you can even turn your plants into an art installation by pinning trailing vines onto your walls.
Space Out Your Plants
IKEA greenhouse cabinets often look like straight-up jungles, but they certainly don’t have to. If your aesthetic leans minimalist, stock up on fewer plants, and space them out inside your cabinet. The breathing room will make your collection look neat and tidy, rather than cluttered.
Build a Full-Blown Plant Corner
Your indoor garden doesn’t have to stop at your greenhouse cabinet. You can line your cabinet with plants, build shelves above it, and surround the cabinet with plant stands, hanging plants, or other tiny greenhouses. Tackling an IKEA greenhouse hack is a great place to start. But as your plant collection grows, your plant corner can grow with it.