Taking orchid growing to the next level?
You need a greenhouse!
A greenhouse is a structure that provides a controlled environment to plants.
It allows plants to grow in optimal conditions, even if they’re not in season.
This makes it perfect for growing your collection.
When you have the right materials, taking care of orchids won’t be hard at all.
Even when you’re on a shoestring budget, you can still benefit from buying a cheap greenhouse.
Dive in for information overload regarding choosing the perfect greenhouse for you!
Types of Cheap Greenhouse To Grow Awesome Orchids
One way of categorizing greenhouses is by its function.
When growing orchids, you have to know in which kind of environment they will thrive.
Cold frames are small greenhouses that you set directly on the garden bed.
Gardeners use it for seed germination and the sprouting stage.
This also protects orchids from frosting during colder days.
Starter greenhouses are where you usually propagate the seeds and starter plants.
Most people also often use it as a shed that stores their garden supplies and even harvested crops.
Grower greenhouses are for growing crops indoors.
You can also use these for propagating seeds and curing harvested crops.
If you’re serious about growing orchids, you’ll need this type.
This usually has adjustable shelving to accommodate your growing collection.
Another way of differentiating greenhouses is by temperature.
Hothouses maintain a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
This is ideal for growing tropical plants.
A warm greenhouse has a slightly lower temperature at 50 to 55 degrees.
You’ll likely have to use grow lights and heating systems to maintain this level of heat.
Lastly, a cool greenhouse has a stable temperature of 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
This one is the typical choice for germinating seeds and raising starter plants.
For orchids, you want a cheap greenhouse that can maintain 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at daytime and 45 to 65 degrees at nighttime.
Depending on your area, you might need a heating system to achieve these temperatures.
What to Look for in a Cheap Greenhouse
When looking for the best cheap greenhouse, you shouldn’t choose the cheapest materials.
The materials vary not only because of costs but also to serve different functions.
Greenhouse Frame Material
PVC is the cheapest and easiest to set up.
It does a great job in maintaining the environment inside the greenhouse.
However, harsh conditions can damage it in no time.
Another popular low-cost option is aluminum, which is lightweight and more durable.
Maintenance shouldn’t be much of a problem, as it won’t rust or rot.
However, it might not fare well in windy regions.
The resin material is plastic, and so it doesn’t conduct heat like aluminum or steal.
It also looks good and comes in a cheaper price tag.
Still, it’s flimsy so we don’t recommend it for big greenhouses.
If you really want durability, use wood or Solexx frame materials.
The latter is the same material on bridges.
Wood is the most aesthetic among these options.
Not to mention, they’re durable and strong as well.
This is perfect for orchids as it prevents frost by distributing heat efficiently.
Greenhouse Window Glazing
Greenhouse window glazing or outer covering material determines how much light penetrates the greenhouse.
A cheap greenhouse often has polyethylene films that can provide ample protection.
But you’ll have to replace it in a few years as it doesn’t hold its own well.
The glass is the oldest and most beautiful option, and that’s why it comes with a high price tag.
Still, its not-so-great thermal efficiency doesn’t justify the costs.
If you’re looking for longevity and durability, you’ll want multi-wall polycarbonate glazing.
It has excellent energy efficiency and it doesn’t break under the force of a hammer.
It’s also great at diffusing light and it offers a natural UV protection.
Overall, it’s the most cost-efficient material even if it’s not the cheapest option.
Without proper ventilation, your greenhouse is consistently at risk of overheating.
The material you choose might depend on their ability to trap heat in the winter.
But your greenhouse should also have a way to release hot air during the hotter months.
Even a cheap greenhouse should have sufficient airflow.
There should be vents on the top and at the base of the greenhouse that you can open to allow heat to escape.
At the same time, they allow the cooler air to enter.
You may also look into installing fans.
They draw outside air into the greenhouse, and exhaust fans at the other end usher it back out.
There are also solar-powered louvers that have automatic functions.
They open and close depending on the changes in the temperature.
These allow you to make sure that your orchids won’t overheat even when you’re away.
They also protect your plants against sudden temperature changes.
Panel Clarity for your Greenhouse
The panel clarity regulates the distribution of light to your plants.
Clear panels offer plants direct sunlight, which is great if you’re germinating seeds.
But if you’re looking to grow plants, you don’t want direct sunlight at all.
Your orchids are better off with diffused/opaque panels that distribute light evenly.
When light hits your plants from many angles, you prevent them from reaching out to a direct source of light.
This is often the cause of plants appearing stretched out.
If your orchids are not getting enough sunlight, you can always install grow lights.
Another option is to get semi-diffused panels, which offer the benefits of both worlds.
You can then use your greenhouse as an all-purpose structure.
You’re not done yet!
After weighing your options in building a cheap greenhouse, you still have some more things to consider.
Considerations When Placing a Greenhouse
After choosing the best cheap greenhouse materials, it’s now time to build it or place it.
When doing so, consider these things to make sure that your orchids will grow healthy:
Keep in mind that there are many kinds of orchids.
You’ll need to design your greenhouse with each one in mind to make sure they get the space they need.
If you’re a beginner, a 14-foot wide and 14 to 20-foot long greenhouse should be enough.
Even if you have a small collection of orchids still, it’s beneficial to have extra room for when it grows.
It doesn’t only save you from having to think where to put your new plants, it’s also more cost effective that way.
It’s cheaper to build a bigger greenhouse now than to add an extension or build a new one altogether.
Sun Exposure for Orchids
Orchids are not a fan of direct sunlight.
Leaving it in the way of harsh light conditions can cause sunburns, and this can happen in only a matter of hours.
The south often offers the brightest light exposure, while north might be too shady.
The location also matters for greenhouses.
Greenhouses with too much exposure can result in higher cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter.
In windier regions, greenhouses also need protection against wind, especially a cheap greenhouse.
Consider putting it in a location with trees or next to a structure such as your house.
Be careful, though, as you don’t want it to have too much shelter as it may block the natural light.
Best Greenhouse Foundation
If you’re growing orchids, you’ll likely need a greenhouse larger than 6 feet x 8 feet.
If so, it needs a foundation.
The foundation must be secure so that the greenhouse can stand against harsh winds.
You may choose wood as the material for your foundation, but concrete is the most popular choice.
Concrete is also great in colder climates as it can trap heat more efficiently.
When choosing a location for it, choose a level area without standing water.
You may position the concrete slab in a sloping angle to act as a drainage and to prevent stagnant water.
For additional drainage, you may also consider installing French drains around the perimeter.
Also, we recommend you to pick a good time to build the greenhouse foundation.
A frozen and wet ground will be harder to work with.
It also costs more to have contractors thaw and move snow.
Greenhouse Placement For the Best Orchids
Putting your greenhouse near or beside your house can offer protection from wind, but it also enables you to connect water, electricity, and gas easier.
It also keeps your greenhouse within your sight, which will help you remember to water the plants.
Furthermore, make sure that the area in front your greenhouse is open.
It should also have a path that’s hard enough for wheelbarrows to pass through.
After careful consideration of these things, you’re now ready to own a greenhouse!
Keep Your Orchids Healthy for Better Business
After building your cheap greenhouse, you can now add benches to showcase your orchids.
Remember to take care of them by providing their needs, which might differ from type to type.
Whether you’re growing them as a hobby or for selling on eBay, you must have the dedication to keep them healthy.
Orchid care is commonly thought to be a difficult affair.
However with a little know how it is an engrossing hobby that will reward your time with beautiful and fragrant blooms.
The important factors in successfully cultivating orchids are the pot, the soil, the environment, and watering.
If you pay proper attention to these factors and read the signs your orchid gives you, it will flower for you indefinitely.
The first thing to consider when preparing to grow orchids is the potting you will use.
Generally speaking orchids should be re-potted no more than once a year, and in some cases only once every two or three years.
Orchids require pots with excellent drainage; if the soil is not allowed to dry out your orchid will develop root rot.
It is recommended that you use a plastic or clay pot, do not permanently keep orchids in decorative pots as they almost never provide the drainage necessary.
Once you have your pot, the next item to consider is soil. Differing species of orchids thrive on different soils, and depending on the one you choose, you may need anything from bark to peat soil to lava rocks.
It is also important to keep in mind that different soils will dry at different rates.
Lava rock for example dries much more quickly than peat soil.
With your plant, soil, and pot in hand you can now pot your orchid. Orchids prefer smaller pots to larger ones.
When potting, trim dead growth both from the roots and stems of the plant.
Keep from over packing the dirt around the plant, if it is packed too tightly it will not allow the water to drain.
Orchids thrive on indirect light.
Direct light will cause them to overheat however, so it is important to check the leaves once you have the plant placed.
If the leaves feel hot to the touch, the plant is getting too much direct light and would benefit from a shadier location.
On the flip side, if the leaves are an extremely dark green the plant is not getting enough light and should be moved to a less dark location.
The right balance of light is a key factor in your orchid’s care.
It is natural to want to water your orchid frequently, but over watering is a top mistake many new growers make.
Plastic pots dry faster than clay ones; and the type of soil you plant your orchid in will also affect the watering schedule.
The climate, especially humidity is another determining factor in your watering schedule.
Proper orchid care guidelines say that you should only water when the soil is completely drained.
An easy way to check this is to keep the plant identification stick that most store bought plants come with.
Keep the stick in the soil, and remove it and check for dampness.
If it is still damp your orchid does not need additional watering yet.
When you do water, you should give the plant at least 30% of the volume of its pot in water.
Plant problems don’t stem from the amount of water you give your orchid, but from giving your orchid water too often.
The best time to water your orchid is in the morning, to give it plenty of time to begin drying before night slows the process.
Fertilizer can be added to your watering at your discretion.
Be sure to check the mixing strength of the particular fertilizer you choose to ensure a healthy mix.
If you follow these easy steps you will find that orchid care is not only a fun hobby.
You will see the fruits of your labor in the beautiful blossoms of your plants and the delightful aromas they exude.