How to Make Your Own Indoor Greenhouse


Get a head start on spring by starting your flower and vegetables seeds in your own indoor greenhouse. Light, moisture and warmth get the seeds off to a good start. These three elements are easy to control in a contained environment like a greenhouse. Before planting the seedling in the garden, get them used to the outside by spending an hour or so the first day in the sun and gradually increasing the time.


Step 1

Scrub out the aquarium with a solution of 1 tsp. bleach to 1 qt. of water. Rinse with plain water and wipe dry. If you see water marks, spray with window cleaner. Dry with paper towels. If the water marks remain, rub them with white vinegar and dry.

Step 2

Replace the aquarium lights with plant grow lights of the same wattage. Or buy aquarium lights rated to grow plants. Or if the top of the aquarium is missing, use grow lights on their own stand and cover the top of the aquarium with a piece of heavy plastic to trap heat and moisture.

Step 3

Spread a 2-inch layer of gravel on the bottom of the aquarium. Add water to increase humidity. Add seedlings and plants.

Greenhouse From Shelves

Step 1

Cut a piece of plastic that is long enough to go over the shelves from one side on the floor over the top of the shelves to the floor on the other side, plus 6 inches. For example if the shelves are 30 inches high and 30 inches wide, the plastic would be 96 inches long.

Step 2

Cut another piece of plastic long enough to go from the back of the shelves over the top and down the front of the shelves, plus 6 inches.

Step 3

Attach grow lights to the underside of each shelf. How exactly you do that depends on the brand of lights and the type of shelving.

Step 4

Put a tray that is as wide as the shelf and as long. You many have to use more than one tray. Fill the tray with gravel. Put the seedlings in their pots on the gravel under the lights on each shelf.

Step 5

Tuck the 3 inches of plastic in the back and on the sides under the feet of the shelves. Don't worry about doing that to the piece of plastic that hangs over the front.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check the temperature in the greenhouse so it doesn't get too hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium
  • Bleach
  • Window cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Grow lights
  • Gravel
  • Shelves with wire-mesh shelving
  • Clear heavy plastic
  • Trays


  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden"; Courtier et al; 2003
Keywords: indoor greenhouse construction, aquarium into greenhouse, inside greenhouse

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.