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Making Your Own Greenhouse

Mar 14, 2008
If you are planning to sell plants grown in your greenhouse, annuals and many of the biennials and perennials can be grown in and sold directly from 2-, 3-, or 4-inch pots, or started in flats and grown on in pots. Grown and sold in pots (and especially in the organic pots) plants suffer little or no setback when transplanted to the garden, terrace, or window box.

The busy gardener appreciates the fact that he doesn't have to plant potted plants immediately. Unlike flatted plants, which tend to grow into a jungle, individually potted plants can be kept for some time in a sheltered area as under shrubs or on a shady porch.

For the Window Box, Hanging Basket, or Outdoor Planter

The popularity of hanging baskets, outdoor planter boxes, and window boxes makes it necessary that you should know a little about the type of plants your customers will want to purchase for use in these garden "areas." Almost any of the small vines, or trailers - hoya, wandering Jew, trailing petunias, begonias, and ivy geranium - will do beautifully. The upright geraniums often are depended upon to furnish the bulk of bloom for both types of planters. Most of the small bedding plants also are good. Here are four very popular plants which can be easily grown and sold.
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus plumosus). These can be grown from seed but the seedlings are the victims of so many insect pests that it is better to purchase small plants in February and grow them on in the warm house for spring and early summer sales.

Feathery green trailing growth, plus small white flowers which often produce small red fruits, make this a froth of green for the window box or planter. Here it is seldom bothered with pests unless the season is exceptionally hot and dry, then it may become infested with red spider.

If you have old plants left over, you can divide them with a sharp knife, potting up the pieces of long white tubers and foliage in 4-inch pots of greenhouse soil. They also make wonderful hanging basket plants for the patio or greenhouse.


Nearly everyone knows the little wax begonia (B. semper-florens), with its shiny leaves and white, pink, or red flowers. You can purchase a large plant of the wax begonia and propagate most of your own stock through cuttings grown in the warm house, buy small potted plants for retail, or grow these fibrous-rooted begonias from seed. The procedure from seed is like that for most house plants.

Equally good for window boxes are the hanging basket types of tuberous-rooted begonias. The single or double flowers range from white and yellow through pink, salmon, and red.


The dwarf form of heliotrope, with its heads of blue or white flowers, makes a wonderful plant for window box or planter (and is fine also for bedding or as an accent plant).

Heliotrope is easily grown from cuttings taken in the fall. These are sold in pots the following spring. Grow the cuttings in any medium you prefer, in a warm house. As soon as they are well rooted you can plant them in 3-inch pots of greenhouse soil. When the plants reach the height you want, cut out the top so the plant will branch.

Umbrella Plant (Cyperus alternifolius)

Green umbrella-like growth makes this plant most attractive. For your first year's sales, obtain small plants and sell them retail. If you have leftovers you may want to grow one or two for specimen greenhouse or house plants. Transplant them to a size larger pot.
You can propagate these by sowing seeds in a propagating case, giving them plenty of moisture and bottom (cable) heat of about 70 degrees, or through root divisions of the older plants, taken in March, and handled just like the seeds.

Now you know the basics, have fun gardening and reaping the profits.
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