Do Pop Up Greenhouses Work?

If you’re a plant lover with limited space or a desire to start gardening indoors, you may be intrigued by the idea of pop up greenhouses. These compact structures offer a convenient solution for cultivating plants in urban settings or during colder months. But do they truly deliver on their promises? Let’s explore the effectiveness and benefits of pop up greenhouses, uncovering the secrets to their success and discovering whether they are truly worth investing in for your gardening endeavors.

What are pop up greenhouses?


Pop up greenhouses are portable and temporary structures designed to create a controlled environment for plants. These greenhouses are made from lightweight materials, such as PVC or polyethylene, and can be easily assembled and disassembled. They are typically used by gardeners and plant enthusiasts to extend the growing season, protect delicate plants from harsh weather conditions, and provide an ideal environment for seedlings and young plants.


Pop up greenhouses offer several features that make them a convenient option for gardening:

  1. Lightweight and portable: These greenhouses are made from lightweight materials, allowing users to easily transport them to different locations in their gardens or even take them on camping trips.

  2. Easy assembly: Pop up greenhouses are designed to be assembled quickly and without the need for special tools. Most models come with a user-friendly instruction manual that guides you through the assembly process.

  3. Affordable: Compared to traditional permanent greenhouses, pop up greenhouses are much more affordable. They offer a cost-effective solution for gardeners who want to protect their plants without breaking the bank.

Benefits of pop up greenhouses


One of the major advantages of pop up greenhouses is their portability. Being lightweight and collapsible, these greenhouses can be easily moved around your garden to take advantage of the best sunlight or to protect plants from extreme weather conditions. Additionally, their portability allows you to disassemble and store the greenhouse during the off-season, saving valuable space in your garden.


Unlike permanent greenhouses, pop up greenhouses are significantly more affordable. They offer a budget-friendly option for gardeners who want to extend their growing season or protect their plants from adverse weather conditions. The lower cost of these greenhouses makes them accessible to a wider range of gardeners, including those on a tight budget or beginners who want to experiment with greenhouse gardening without a substantial investment.

Ease of assembly

Another benefit of pop up greenhouses is their ease of assembly. Unlike traditional greenhouses, which often require professional installation and specialized tools, pop up greenhouses can be assembled by anyone, even without prior experience. Most models come with pre-fabricated frames that easily snap into place, and the transparent cover can be securely attached without any complex procedures. This simplicity and ease of assembly ensure that anyone can start using a pop-up greenhouse with minimal effort or technical knowledge.

Types of pop up greenhouses

Temporary pop up greenhouses

Temporary pop up greenhouses are designed to be set up for a specific period, such as the growing season or a particular project. They are typically made with lightweight materials and are not built to withstand heavy snowfall or strong winds. These temporary structures offer flexibility and convenience, allowing gardeners to adapt to changing needs and experiment with different gardening techniques.

Permanent pop up greenhouses

Permanent pop up greenhouses, as the name suggests, are intended to be used year-round. Constructed with sturdier materials and stronger frames, these greenhouses can withstand more extreme weather conditions. While they still offer the convenience of being portable and easy to assemble, permanent pop up greenhouses provide a more long-term solution for avid gardeners who want a dedicated space for their plants throughout the year.

Factors to consider before purchasing a pop up greenhouse


When choosing a pop up greenhouse, it is important to consider the size that will best suit your needs. Determine the number and size of plants you intend to grow and select a greenhouse that will provide enough space for their growth. Consider both the footprint and the height of the greenhouse to ensure your plants have enough room to thrive.


The material of the pop up greenhouse plays a crucial role in its durability and performance. Common materials used for pop up greenhouses include PVC, polyethylene, and metal frames. PVC and polyethylene are lightweight and affordable options, ideal for temporary use, while metal frames offer increased sturdiness and are suitable for permanent installations. Choose a material that aligns with your budget and the specific needs of your plants.

Weather resistance

Consider the weather conditions in your area when selecting a pop up greenhouse. Temporary greenhouses may be suitable for mild climates, but if you live in an area with heavy snowfall or strong winds, a more durable and weather-resistant option is recommended. Look for features such as reinforced frames, velcro straps, and tie-downs to ensure the greenhouse can withstand the elements and protect your plants effectively.

Climate suitability for pop up greenhouses

Ideal conditions

Pop up greenhouses thrive in temperate climates with mild winters and moderate sunlight. They are most effective in areas where the temperature and humidity levels can be regulated for optimal plant growth. In such climates, pop up greenhouses can significantly extend the growing season and protect plants from sudden temperature changes or pests.

Challenges in extreme climates

Pop up greenhouses may face challenges in extreme climates, such as regions with extremely hot summers or bitterly cold winters. Without proper insulation and ventilation, the greenhouse may become too hot or too cold, adversely affecting plant health. In these climates, additional measures such as adding insulation or using shade cloth during summer months may be necessary to maintain a suitable environment for your plants.

Setting up a pop up greenhouse

Planning the location

Before setting up your pop-up greenhouse, carefully choose the location. Select a spot that receives ample sunlight throughout the day, as most plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight for proper growth. Ensure that the area is relatively flat and free from obstructions or overhanging branches.

Preparation and groundwork

Prepare the ground by removing any weeds or debris and leveling the area if necessary. It is recommended to lay down a weed barrier or gardening fabric to prevent weed growth inside the greenhouse. Additionally, consider adding a layer of gravel or sand on the base to improve drainage and create a stable foundation for your greenhouse.

Assembly process

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the pop up greenhouse. Begin by connecting the frame pieces, ensuring they are securely locked together. Once the frame is assembled, unfold the transparent cover and drape it over the frame, making sure it is taut and smooth. Secure the cover to the frame using the provided fasteners or ties, ensuring a snug fit.

Securing the structure

To ensure the stability of your pop up greenhouse, it is important to secure it properly. Use the provided stakes or anchors to secure the greenhouse to the ground, preventing it from being blown away by strong winds. If additional stability is required, consider using sandbags or tying the structure to nearby structures for added support.

Maintenance and care of pop up greenhouses


Regular cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy environment inside the greenhouse. Remove any dirt, debris, or fallen leaves from the greenhouse structure and the surrounding area. Clean the transparent cover using a mild detergent or soap and water solution, rinsing thoroughly to remove any residue. This will prevent the buildup of algae, mold, or pests, ensuring optimal growing conditions for your plants.


Proper ventilation is crucial for controlling temperature and humidity levels inside the greenhouse. Most pop up greenhouses come with vents or windows that can be opened and closed as needed. During warm weather, ensure proper airflow by opening vents or windows to prevent excessive heat buildup. In colder months, partially close the vents to retain heat while still allowing fresh air circulation.

Temperature regulation

Monitoring and regulating the temperature inside the greenhouse is vital for plant health. Use a thermometer to track the temperature and adjust it accordingly. If temperatures inside the greenhouse become too high during the day, consider providing shade using shade cloth or applying a reflective coating to the transparent cover. In colder months, consider using a small heater or insulation to maintain a suitable temperature for your plants.

Inspecting for damage

Regularly inspect your pop up greenhouse for any signs of damage or wear. Check the frame, cover, and fasteners for any cracks, tears, or looseness. Repair or replace any damaged components promptly to prevent further deterioration and ensure the greenhouse’s effectiveness. Performing routine inspections will help identify issues early on and allow for timely repairs.

Seasonal maintenance

Adjust your maintenance routine based on the changing seasons. Before winter, thoroughly clean the greenhouse and remove any plants or debris that may attract pests or cause damage. Consider applying a weather-resistant sealant to the frame or any vulnerable areas to protect against moisture. In spring, prepare the greenhouse for the growing season by checking the ventilation system, refreshing the soil, and ensuring all components are in good working order.

Tips for maximizing the effectiveness of a pop-up greenhouse

Choosing the right location

Select a location that offers maximum sunlight exposure and is sheltered from strong winds. Ensure there is enough space for the greenhouse to expand, and nearby structures or plants won’t obstruct proper ventilation or sunlight penetration.

Using proper insulation

In colder climates, insulating your greenhouse can help maintain a stable temperature and protect plants from freezing. Consider using bubble wrap, thermal blankets, or a layer of straw on the ground to provide insulation and retain heat during colder months.

Optimizing ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential for optimal plant growth. Monitor and adjust the vents or windows regularly to ensure a balance between fresh air circulation and temperature control. Consider installing thermostatic vents or an automated ventilation system for more precise control.

Monitoring temperature and humidity levels

Invest in a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity inside the greenhouse. This information will help you adjust ventilation, watering, and heating strategies accordingly, ensuring the ideal conditions for your plants.

Choosing suitable plants

Select plants that are well-suited to the growing conditions inside your pop up greenhouse. Consider factors such as temperature requirements, light intensity, and humidity levels. Choose plants that will thrive in the controlled environment and provide you with a successful and rewarding gardening experience.

Common problems and solutions with pop up greenhouses

Structural instability

If your pop up greenhouse is experiencing structural instability, reinforce it by adding additional stakes or anchors to secure it more firmly to the ground. Consider placing heavy objects inside the greenhouse to provide extra stability during strong winds.

Condensation and mold

To prevent condensation and mold growth inside the greenhouse, ensure proper ventilation and airflow. Open the vents or windows during the day to allow moisture to escape and close them during cooler nights to trap heat. Regularly clean and inspect the greenhouse for any signs of mold or mildew, wiping them away with a mild bleach solution if necessary.

Pest infestation

Pest infestations can be a common issue in pop up greenhouses. Implement preventive measures such as installing insect screens on vents and windows, regularly removing debris and fallen leaves, and practicing good hygiene and cleanliness. If pests persist, consider using organic pest control methods or consulting with a professional.

Temperature fluctuations

Sudden temperature fluctuations can be detrimental to plant health. Insulate the greenhouse properly during colder months, closing windows and sealing any drafts. In warmer weather, provide sufficient shade and improve ventilation to prevent excessive heat buildup.

Lack of durability

While pop up greenhouses are designed to be lightweight and portable, some models may lack durability. To overcome this, choose a high-quality greenhouse made from sturdy materials that can withstand the elements. Reinforce weak spots, regularly inspect for damage, and promptly address any issues that arise.

Alternative options to pop-up greenhouses

Traditional permanent greenhouses

Traditional permanent greenhouses offer a more long-term solution for gardening enthusiasts. Built with durable materials and a solid foundation, these structures provide greater stability and insulation. They offer more space for larger plants and allow for more extensive customization and year-round use.

Cold frames and mini greenhouses

Cold frames and mini greenhouses are compact alternatives to pop up greenhouses. These structures are typically made using traditional greenhouse materials or even repurposed materials such as old windows. While they offer limited space, they provide protection for smaller plants and can be easily moved around the garden.

Cloches and row covers

Cloches and row covers are protective covers often made from plastic or fabric that can be placed over individual plants or rows of plants. They offer a cost-effective and space-saving option for gardeners looking to protect specific plants without the need for a full greenhouse. Cloches and row covers can be easily removed or repositioned as needed.

In conclusion, pop up greenhouses are a versatile and affordable option for gardeners who want to extend their growing season, protect their plants, and create an ideal environment for seedlings. Their portability and ease of assembly make them suitable for gardeners of all skill levels, and their range of sizes and materials ensure there is an option for every need. By considering factors such as size, material, and weather resistance, gardeners can find the perfect pop-up greenhouse to suit their gardening goals. With proper maintenance, care, and attention to the specific needs of their plants, gardeners can maximize the effectiveness of their pop up greenhouse and enjoy successful gardening year-round.

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About the Author: Jake Scott