BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Lawn & Garden

The best small greenhouse for yards

Which small greenhouse for yards is best?

When you’re ready to step your green thumb up a notch, you need to get a greenhouse. Greenhouses let you care for plants outside their normal seasons and even outside your climate. Most greenhouses are big affairs that won’t fit in the average yard, but rest assured there are great options for those with less space.

The best small greenhouse for yards is the SV Scool Value Small Greenhouse. It’s just large enough to stand in and has shelves to maximize its available space.

What to know before you buy a small greenhouse for yards

Small greenhouse for yard types

There are four types of greenhouses with three being meant for small yards.

  • Miniature greenhouses are the smallest and cost the least. They’re perfect if you have extremely limited space or don’t have many plants to grow. However, they aren’t sturdy and tend not to last longer than a year or two.
  • Starter greenhouses are big enough to step inside but don’t take up enough space to be restrictive. They use glass as a cover for maximum heat retention and durability, but this also gives them a high cost. They’re best for serious gardeners.
  • Portable greenhouses are essentially starters but portable. They use plastic instead of glass, which makes them easy to move or set up and take down as you need. They also cost less. However, they aren’t as effective at retaining heat and they’re less durable.
  • Grower greenhouses are starters on the largest scale, meaning they don’t fall into the “small” category. They’re meant for near commercial-grade use.

Size and shape

Yards come in all sizes and shapes. Greenhouses do the same.

  • Size should be a happy medium between how much space you have and how much space you need. Miniature greenhouses can be so small they only had a handful of pots. Starter and portable ones can be as large as 10 feet by 10 feet before they cross into grower territory.
  • The most common shape of greenhouses is square or rectangle. There are also options with enough sides to be considered circular, but these cost more and don’t ventilate as well.

What to look for in a quality small greenhouse for yards

Covering material

Small greenhouses for yards are typically covered by glass or plastic.

  • Glass: Most greenhouses use horticulture glass, which doesn’t cost much but can break easily and is tough to clean. Better options use more durable safety glass, though it does cost more.
  • Plastic: Greenhouses use a variety of plastics, such as polycarbonate, polyethylene and PVC. Polycarbonate is usually best thanks to its high durability and insulation, but it doesn’t let in as much light.

Frame material

Small greenhouse frames are typically aluminum or steel, but wood is also an option.

  • Aluminum is most common due to its low cost and weight plus good durability.
  • Steel is used in greenhouses on the larger side for its higher durability, but it does cost a little more.
  • Wood is the most attractive, yet it has the lowest durability and highest cost.

How much you can expect to spend on a small greenhouse for yards

They can cost as little as $20 or as much as $500-plus. Miniature greenhouses typically cost $20-$100 while portable ones typically cost no more than $250. Starters typically cost no more than $500 before they start reaching sizes too large for the average yard.

Small greenhouse for yards FAQ

What’s the difference between diffused and clear glazing?

A. Clear glazing lets in direct light while diffused glass lets in even light. Clear glazing is best for starting plants that will be transferred outside when they’re old enough. Diffused glazing is best for plants that will never be taken out of the greenhouse.

Do I need to heat my greenhouse?

A. That depends on your climate and the climate you want to simulate. If you live in a cold weather climate and want to grow tropical plants, for example, you absolutely need some kind of heater. 

Plan ahead when buying and assembling your greenhouse if you intend to heat it. Make sure it has the space to hold the heater you’ll be using and set it up near the heater’s energy source.

Are there legal restrictions on having a small greenhouse in my yard?

A. That depends on your local laws and especially on any restrictions your homeowner’s association may have. For legal restrictions, you shouldn’t need to worry unless the greenhouse requires permanent installation — something a small greenhouse is unlikely to need. For association restrictions, well, you just have to ask.

What’s the best small greenhouse for yards to buy?

Top small greenhouse for yards 

SV Scool Value Small Greenhouse

What you need to know: This small greenhouse is good for potted plants and even starting trees.

What you’ll love: It’s 4.6 feet by 6.3 feet wide and tall and can be either 2.5 feet or 4.6 feet deep. The door rolls up and can be tied open or it zippers closed so you can maintain your desired atmosphere.

What you should consider: A few consumers found the tie-down pegs to be too thin and flimsy, choosing to replace them with thicker stakes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top small greenhouse for yards for the money

Gardman USA Mini Four-Tier Greenhouse

What you need to know: This shelving-only greenhouse is the right choice for those with little space to spare.

What you’ll love: It’s 2.25 feet by 1.5 feet by 5.25 feet with a metal frame and four metal shelves. The door rolls up and can be secured with ties or zippered closed. Metal stakes and guide ropes keep it standing even in fierce winds.

What you should consider: A few customers had issues with the zippers breaking. The covering is clear, not green as it’s displayed in the listing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Worth checking out

ShelterLogic 10-by-10-Foot Greenhouse-In-A-Box

What you need to know: This greenhouse is perfect for enthusiasts with extra yard space.

What you’ll love: It has roll-up side panels and half-moon screens so you can precisely control your ventilation. A heavy-duty steel frame and guide wire anchors keep it standing no matter the weather. The cover is waterproof, ultraviolet-treated and powder-coated for maximum longevity.

What you should consider: It’s large enough that you may run into legal or homeowner restrictions. It takes time, tools and an extra set of hands to set up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


Share this post: