Best Portable Greenhouse Kits to Grow Your Home Garden

Updated: May 24, 2024

Purchasing one of the best greenhouse kits is an easy alternative to building one from scratch. From large to small, portable to permanent, here are some of Family Handyman's favorites.

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Gettyimages 1251808254 Man Building Greenhouse In Yard During Sunny Day Courtesy Westend61WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

Hotter, drier summers and snowier winters make outdoor growing challenging in all parts of the country. That, in turn, makes greenhouses more popular. Even without changing weather patterns, the stable environment in a greenhouse extends the growing season and allows for a wider variety of food and flowers than would otherwise be possible.

“Greenhouses are undoubtedly one of the most valuable tools in a gardener’s arsenal,” says Instagram and TikTok gardening influencer Joe of @joesgarden. “I should know, as personally I am lucky enough to have six; ranging from very small seed starting greenhouses and cold frames which are only large enough to poke your head into, to quite large spaces to grow larger crops that benefit from a little bit of help with my rather unpredictable British weather.”

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Veikous Greenhouse via merchant

Best Overall Greenhouse Kit

Veikous Greenhouse

When it comes to the best greenhouse kits, budget and customization are a major concern. No matter the size or style of your yard, you’re bound to find a size and color configuration when you snag the Veikous Greenhouse. Not only is it incredibly simple to assemble, but it’s available in a whopping five different sizes. Plus, each size offers a choice between a sturdy gray or silver aluminum structure that never rusts.

It’s solid enough to withstand the winter with a few modifications like ground anchors and clear caulking the panels. For extra security, some reviewers recommend adding slide bolts to the door and ventilation panels. For the price, it’s well worth the extra DIY!

Dimensions: Multiple Available | Frame Material: Aluminium | Panel Material: Polycarbonate | Roof Load: 0.1 lb. | Warranty: 30 Days

Pros

  • Four-position air vent
  • Lockable door
  • Rust-resistant aluminum frame
  • Easy sliding panel assembly

Cons

  • Requires extra modifications for year-round stability

2 / 10
Chalet Greenhouse Ecomm Via Wayfair.com via merchant

Best Polycarbonate Greenhouse Kit

Chalet Greenhouse

The Chalet Greenhouse is one of the best greenhouse kits if you have significant yard space. The 10-foot-by-12-foot footprint is large enough for plenty of plants, tools and irrigation equipment. Additionally, the structure is made of weather-resistant polycarbonate and features a rain gutter and high vaulted ceilings for trellising plants.

The semi-transparent roof protects plants from harmful UV radiation. The unit requires assembly, but it can remain a year-round fixture once it is in place. And better yet? You don’t even need to lay a foundation down ahead of time thanks to the galvanized steel base.

Dimensions: 8′ 9 9/10” H X 11′ 11 7/10” W X 10′ 1/2” D | Frame Material: Aluminium | Panel Material: Polycarbonate | Roof Load: 15 lbs. | Warranty: 5 years

Pros

  • Built-in gutter system
  • Internal and external ground anchoring system
  • Panels block harmful UV rays
  • Spacious cathedral ceiling

Cons

  • Anchors and foundation base not included

3 / 10
Meridian Greenhouse via merchant

Best Wood Greenhouse Kit

Meridian Greenhouse

Maintaining humidity in a greenhouse is one of the more difficult learning curves when it comes to gardening. Yardistry takes this concept into account with the 6.7-foot-by-7.8-foot cedar Meridian Greenhouse. It includes a heat-sensitive, automatic roof vent opener that makes all-season outdoor growing productive and satisfying.

Tongue and groove-style pieces make it incredibly simple to assemble. A handy quick-hold feature keeps the door open when you’re moving in and out with plants.

Dimensions: 7′ 8 2/5” H X 6′ 8 2/5” W X 7′ 9 3/5” D | Frame Material: Solid wood | Panel Material: Polycarbonate | Roof Load: 36 lbs./sq. ft. | Warranty: 5 years

Pros

  • 100% certified cedar lumber
  • Heat-sensitive, automatic roof vent opener
  • Louvered base wall vent
  • Simple tongue and groove style construction

Cons

  • Takes four people to assemble

4 / 10
Haxnicks Greenhouse via merchant

Best Dome-Style Greenhouse Kit

Tierra Garden Haxnicks Greenhouse

Nothing brings you back to the future quite like a geodesic dome. The inexpensive Tierra Garden Haxnicks Greenhouse lacks the traditional geodesic structure with modular triangular panels but has a dome shape. It’s easy to set up and take down, so you can move it anywhere.

The frame is made from plastic, and the cover, which unfolds to fit snugly over it, is semi-transparent PVC. With a maximum height of seven feet, three inches and a floor area of 415 square feet, there’s lots of room for all gardening activities.

Dimensions: 7′ 2 3/5” H X 11′ 5 4/5” W X 11′ 5 4/5” D | Frame Material: Plastic | Cover Material: PVC/Vinyl | Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Mounting/anchor kit included
  • 12 adjustable vents
  • Storage bag included
  • Surface stays at 90° to the direction of the sun all day long

Cons

  • Not the best pick for areas with heavy snow

5 / 10
Jocisland Learn To Greenhouse via merchant

Best All-Weather Greenhouse Kit

Jocisland Learn-To Greenhouse

The Jocisland Learn-To Greenhouse features twin-wall translucent polycarbonate PC panels and a heavy-duty and rust-resistant aluminum frame. It’s easy to assemble, and the purpose-built plastic drainage systems assist with excess rain and snow.

The transparent polyethylene allows the sun’s energy to pass through while blocking 99.99% of ultraviolet rays that can burn plants. The spear-like top sheds snow in winter and prevents birds from roosting. Detailed step-by-step instructions make this looming greenhouse easier than you’d expect to assemble.

Dimensions: 9′ 2 4/25” H X 13′ 9 3/5” W X 9′ 4 1/5” D | Frame Material: Aluminium | Panel Material: Polycarbonate | Roof Load: 60 lbs. | Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • 1,000-pound roof hanging capacity
  • Exterior gutter drainage system
  • Corner posts and ground stakes included
  • Mildew-resistant materials

Cons

  • Takes three people and 10 hours to assemble

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Colonial Gable Greenhouse via merchant

Most Stylish Greenhouse Kit

Colonial Gable Greenhouse

If you aren’t on a budget and want a greenhouse that functions as a mystical backyard greenhouse hideaway, the Colonial Gable Greenhouse might be for you. Besides an enchanted look, the greenhouse style provides plenty of usable space inside.

The white wood framework is large and robust, and the polycarbonate glass is mold- and mildew-resistant. Beautiful sun sky roofing provides additional glamour. Plus, the entire thing comes primed and ready to paint. Choose your favorite shade for the ultimate dreamy sanctuary.

Dimensions: 10′ 4” H X 8′ W X 12′ D | Frame Material: Solid wood | Panel Material: Polycarbonate| Roof Load: 35 lbs. | Warranty: Yes

Pros

  • Includes 2 x 4 sub-floor framing
  • Pre-cut and labeled parts
  • Rods for hanging baskets
  • Made in the USA with Amish craftsmanship

Cons

  • Primed, but needs to be painted

7 / 10
Sunroom 2 Greenhouse via merchant

Best Lean-To Greenhouse Kit

Sunroom 2 Greenhouse

The Sunroom lean-to greenhouse upgrades the south-facing wall of any home while providing plenty of space for year-round growing. It’s one of the best greenhouse kits for those without significant yard space. The white resin frame abuts the side of the house and can sit directly on the ground or brick or concrete footing.

The unit comes with clear polycarbonate top panels and sturdy acrylic side panels to provide maximum sunlight and warmth for starting seeds and winter growing. Additionally, there is one ventilation panel on the roof.

Dimensions: Multiple options | Frame Material: Aluminium | Panel Material: Acrylic; polycarbonate | Roof Load: 11 lbs. | Warranty: 7 years

Pros

  • Allows over 80% light transmission
  • Roof vent provides air circulation
  • Sturdy, wall-mounted installation
  • Lockable door

Cons

  • Reviewers mention that assembly takes significant time

8 / 10
Porayhut Pop Up Greenhouse Ecomm Via Amazon.com via merchant

Best Pop-Up Greenhouse Kit

Porayhut Pop-Up Greenhouse

Sometimes you need instant protection for your prized plants against a late frost, birds or a pest infestation. The Porayhut Pop-Up Greenhouse is set up like a pop-up tent to provide a three-foot-square working area that’s four feet high. When the growing season ends, it collapses into an 18-inch-by-18-inch-by-2.36-inch bundle that weighs about six pounds.

This greenhouse features a reinforced polyethylene mesh cover with a roll-up door and windows on either side. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s there when you need it and an effortless greenhouse idea for spring.

Dimensions: 37″ L x 37″ W x 48″ H | Frame Material: Steel wire | Cover Material: Polyethylene | Warranty: No

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Folds down for travel
  • 12 7-shape ground stakes included
  • Arched roof prevents rain and snow from accumulating

Cons

  • Lightweight cover may be too thin for some uses

9 / 10
Portable Walk In Greenhouse via merchant

Best Small Greenhouse Kit

Eagle Peak Portable Walk-In Greenhouse

The four-foot-by-six-foot Eagle Peak Portable Walk-In Greenhouse fits on a small patio but has plenty of room for flowers, sprouts and vegetables. Unlike most similar types of greenhouses with multiple parts that require assembly, the collapsible frame can be set up in seconds.

The green polyethylene cover blocks harmful UV radiation, and the doors and windows roll up and down for ventilation and temperature control for optimal greenhouse temperatures. The company provides a one-year warranty for the frame and a cover for the portable greenhouse. What more could you ask for?

Dimensions: 72 x 48 x 88.8 in. | Frame Material: Steel | Cover Material: Reinforced PE film | Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • No assembly or tools required
  • 18 anchors and four guy ropes included
  • Folds up for winter storage
  • Only 22.3 pounds

Cons

  • Not meant for year-round use

10 / 10
Worth Garden Four Tier Mini Greenhouse via merchant

Best Budget Greenhouse Kit

Worth Garden Four-Tier Mini Greenhouse

The Worth Garden Four-Tier Mini Greenhouse only has a 27-inch-by-19-inch footprint, so it’s easy to tuck away in the corner of the kitchen or on a balcony garden. And at 63 inches, it’s tall enough to accommodate up to four shelves for plants, flowers and gardening supplies.

The easy-to-assemble frame is steel, and the cover is clear PVC. The front cover can be rolled down to create a temperature-controlled environment for all-season growing, and the unit is sturdy enough to withstand winter’s ravages.

Dimensions: 27 x 19 x 63 in. | Frame Material: Steel | Cover Material: Clear polyethylene | Warranty: 12 years

Pros

  • Easily folds up for storage
  • 23.4-pound weight capacity per tier
  • Tie-up door with zippers
  • Takes only 10 minutes to assemble

Cons

  • Requires a drip catch tray when indoors

Young woman tends to her garden in a backyard greenhouseEast Road/Getty Images

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Greenhouse Kit

“While there is no doubt the vast majority of people consider purchasing a greenhouse for the main purpose of providing a little bit of extra warmth and protection for their crops, if you take a little time to select the right one for you, it can offer so much more,” says Joe.

A rudimentary greenhouse isn’t that difficult to build from scratch. I built mine from pressure-treated wood and recycled sliding glass door panels. But there are definite advantages to purchasing a ready-made kit:

  • Choose the size and style that best suits your available land and growing needs
  • Everything is included; simply assemble
  • Depending on its size, your greenhouse may be portable

Here are some more things to consider as you shop for the best greenhouse kits:

Square Footage

Sizes range from cold frames, simple boxes you can move around the garden, to 16-foot-by 20-foot walk-in greenhouses suitable for commercial production. It’s wise to buy the largest greenhouse your budget and space allow because once you start growing, there’s a good chance you’ll want more space.

“Greenhouses really do come in all shapes and sizes. I believe it is important to get the largest one possible for your available space and budget,” notes Joe. “It is surprising how fast you can fill up that valuable real estate inside your greenhouse, especially if you wish to add in furnishings such as shelves, potting benches and the like. Remember it is far cheaper to purchase one 100-square-foot greenhouse than to buy two 50-square-foot greenhouses.”

Height

“When thinking about the size of your greenhouse, there is one dimension that is the most crucial, and that is the height,” notes Joe. “From experience, there is nothing more uncomfortable than not being able to fully stand up inside your greenhouse. A lot of the smaller greenhouses often have roof heights under six feet, which for someone who is on the taller side can make prolonged periods inside very uncomfortable. There are also a few obvious safety concerns with bumping your head against glass panels.”

“Having said that, you do not want your greenhouse to be too tall. Not only does this subject it to a higher chance of wind damage, but may also mean you need planning permission to erect it (depending on local laws). The perfect height in my experience is between six and eight feet,” he says.

Frame Material

According to Joe, there is not a right or wrong choice when it comes to the frame.

“I have four aluminum frame greenhouses, one steel and one wooden and they are all fantastic,” he says. “In theory, aluminum is more at risk when it comes to storm damage, but two of mine are over thirty years old and still standing. Wooden frames are slightly more maintenance, but I believe they look the best, and steel frames are very strong but do tend to get quite hot in the summer sun.”

Panel Material

There are a few different materials to consider when looking at greenhouse panels. For the most part, folks choose between either glass, fiberglass or polycarbonate, which each have their own benefits and disadvantages. While glass is more likely to break, plastic and polycarbonate panels often run the risk of sun damage, which means they’re also not immune from replacements.

“When it comes to glass versus plastic, I would recommend glass virtually every time,” says Joe.”Over the years I’ve replaced the odd broken panel, but the vast majority are still the originals. My experience with plastic has not been great. After a few years of being exposed to the elements, mainly the sun, it often starts to discolor, which blocks out that all-important sunlight, as well as becoming quite brittle.”

Light Diffusion

Transparent material is best for starting seeds. But if you’re growing plants to maturity, diffuse or semi-diffuse is better. It distributes light more evenly and prevents plants from getting “leggy” as they reach upwards toward a more focused light source.

Durability

You need a rigid, well-insulating material like glass or multiple-walled polycarbonate sheets if you have cold winters with a lot of snow. You also need a rigid material if you experience frequent high winds. Metal and wood framing work better than plastic in these conditions.

Style

A greenhouse impacts the appearance of your property and the neighborhood. The right design can add appeal and utility, whether a lean-to extending from the back of a brick house or a gothic arch in the back of the yard. On the other hand, aesthetics may not be an issue if your greenhouse is small and portable or you’re adding a large greenhouse to a space already devoted to growing.

Manufacturer

It makes a difference who manufactures the greenhouse. Is the manufacturer local or based in another country? How easily can you get technical support? What kind of warranty comes with the kit?

Cost

In general, it’s cheaper to build a greenhouse (like I did, using recycled materials) than to buy a kit. However considering that greenhouse kits range from $100 to $10,000, the cost differential may not be significant depending on size and style.

Permits

Check your local zoning regulations before you purchase a greenhouse, especially a big one. Some communities regulate them. A lean-to or abutting greenhouse is considered part of the structure of a house, so you may need a building permit.

Garden Aesthetic

“It is very important to think about the look and design of your garden. These days greenhouses come in a variety of colours and designs to match any sort of garden look,” says Joe. “If you have a grand house and traditional country garden it might be worth looking at the Victorian style of greenhouses with their embellished roofs. Alternatively, if you have more of a cottage-style garden, then I like natural wood greenhouses.”

What You Want to Grow

“Without a doubt one of the most important factors to consider when deciding what greenhouse might be for you is to think about what purpose you need it for,” notes Joe. “If you want a space to grow larger crops such as tomatoes with the added protection from the weather, then you will need a different type of greenhouse to someone who maybe just wants a warm place to start seeds, and keep potted plants.”

“This matters quite a lot, because you need to decide what base you want, and while a concrete base is ideal for some, if you plan to grow directly into your greenhouse then you will need one without a base, and most likely without shelves and benches.”

Why You Should Trust Us

I have been active in the building trades for more than 30 years. I helped build a small city in the Oregon desert from the ground up and helped establish two landscaping companies. I’ve also worked as a carpenter, plumber and furniture refinisher. My work also includes employment as an online consultant, most recently with Home Depot’s Pro Referral service.

Emily Way is an Associate Shopping Editor for Family Handyman with experience researching products and recommending the best designs to consumers. She researched and updated this piece. Way consulted Instagram and TikTok gardening influencer Joe of @joesgarden for information and tips on maintaining and buying greenhouses.

How We Found the Best Greenhouse Kits

We found each of the best greenhouse kits on this list by combing through user reviews, specifications and product descriptions to ensure that each pick is truly the best. When looking for the best greenhouse kits, we kept the following criteria in mind:

  • Durability: Greenhouses, for the most part, sit outside year-round. This means that each pick should be constructed from durable materials that resist rain, wind, snow and freezing temperatures. For some picks that don’t offer such durability, like the budget pick, we ensured that it’s easy to pack up and put away when the weather turns.
  • Ventilation: All greenhouses require some sort of ventilation to avoid cooking plants. Whether it’s a flap, roof vent, windows or fans, each choice on this list includes at least one method of ventilation.
  • Size: We included a variety of sizes to choose from. These range from modest pop-up portable greenhouses to large, 10-foot models that stay out all year round.
  • Price: Typically, the larger and sturdier the greenhouse, the pricier it gets. While we did include a few pricey options for those looking to splurge, a few picks (like our overall best pick) come at a lower price point. These models typically require a little more DIY ingenuity to ensure stability, but we find that the lower price makes it well worth the extra work.

FAQ

Is it cheaper to build or buy a greenhouse?

“A question that I hear a lot is whether it is cheaper to buy or build your greenhouse,” says Joe. “If I am honest you can save a little bit of money building your own greenhouse, but with the rising cost of timber, this is getting less and less every year. I would always recommend leaving any larger builds to the experts and spending the money to get a properly built greenhouse.”

“Any savings you might make are soon offset once you factor in your time, the overall quality and the lack of any form of warranty. If you are only wanting a very small, cold frame-style greenhouse then yes, it may be worth building it yourself, but for anything slightly larger, I would leave it to the professionals, unless you are lucky enough to be highly skilled at DIY.”

What type of greenhouse is best for winter?

According to Joe, any modifications you make are much more of a difference than the type of greenhouse you choose. He notes that in mid-winter you will need a greenhouse with a proper closing door on hinges rather than one on rollers as that will always leave gaps. The same applies to windows and vents too. Finally, even the most well-insulated greenhouse needs some form of greenhouse heater.

Even more important than heat is light, though. “Without enough light, you will have very little success. Regularly clean your glass to ensure as much valuable winter sunlight as possible can get in,” says Joe.

How are greenhouse kits delivered?

It differs depending on the company and size of the greenhouse, but typically greenhouse kits are delivered to your curbside unless you choose to spring for professional installation. Some companies may call to schedule the delivery ahead of time.