Indoor Greenhouse

Do-it-yourself projects such as greenhouse or shadehouse builds and related topics.
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NoddaProbBob
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:09 pm

Indoor Greenhouse

Post by NoddaProbBob »

Hello!

It's winter and very cold here right now. Midwest USA, Zone 5a/5b.
I moved a couple months ago and it's an open concept layout and all of the ceilings are vaulted. Needless to say, my cacti are cold! I can tell by their color that they really aren't liking it.

So I bought an indoor greenhouse. I'm sure it's warmer in there than not being covered at all in the house, but I still don't think it's warm enough, even while being covered. I'm just wondering what might be the best way to warm them up and keep them warm.

The outside temp has only been hovering between 0-10°Fahrenheit. So it's just not warm enough. And very, very dry. The only downside to the greenhouse I bought is that there's a small gap between the floor and the plastic covering. It's not a huge gap. But enough to allow the cool air in.

Here is a link to a pic of the greenhouse.

http://imgur.com/a/emVKI7r

Any help would be very appreciated!
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Steve-0
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Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by Steve-0 »

NIce set up! I have the same lighting for my man cave cactus shelving which has west facing windows instead on south.
How about a heating pad on the bottom? The normal kind you lay on when your back hurts. Then put a timer on the outlet to give them a boost when it's coldest...late at night or early morning.

Or place the whole thing on top of a heater vent?

Just an idea.
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7george
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Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by 7george »

What about temp. difference inside and out of that thing? At least at upper shelve? I have the same one for my outdoor deck but it works with some sunshine only during warmer part of the year.

I guess the goal is to provide winter growing conditions for cacti. Some water-proof tray or bottom thing will be needed and some heater as well. Light are different thing because that plastic cover has some shading embedded already.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
A_G_R
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Location: Tucson, AZ, USA

Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by A_G_R »

I think you need some kind of additional heat for the gh, otherwise the temp will equalize inside and outside of it, maybe a heating pad like Steve suggested?
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Shane
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Location: Los Angeles, CA (zone 10b)

Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by Shane »

I have a few thoughts:

First, how cold is your house? My cacti for example do fine outside in LA's winter (lows in the 40s). If your house isn't colder than this, they'll be fine temperature wise

Second, as other people have noted, that setup isn't going to be any warmer than the surrounding environment without a heat source (like a heater or sunlight)

Third, that plastic looks like it blocks an awful lot of light. I would advise against indoor use of that greenhouse for cacti at all because of this, even had it been a good idea for other reasons

If there are seedlings in there, you could do lights and maybe a heat mat

Finally, if it's cold enough that your cacti are entering dormancy, just stop watering them. Dormancy is healthy for cacti and will encourage flowering. Outside we don't water when they're dormant, but I think people do a little water about once a month inside since it's so dry. Someone who grows cacti indoors can provide better detail

Edit: I think I see some grow lights in there now. That would be a (slight) heat source and also maybe help with the low light too (I say maybe because cacti need lots of light and a lot of setups I've seen on the internet don't provide nearly enough). I still think it would be a better idea to take them out of the greenhouse
Los Angeles, California (USA)
Zone 10b (yearly minimum temperature 1-5° C)

Fishhook cacti are like cats, they only like to be petted in one direction
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mikethecactusguy
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Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by mikethecactusguy »

I'm with Shane. How cold is your house?
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NoddaProbBob
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Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by NoddaProbBob »

Hi everyone. Thank you for the fantastic responses! Everyone was really helpful.

So, I put a thermometer inside the greenhouse to see how warm it was in there. I'm getting about 66/68°F during the day.
Typically I wouldn't be worried but the cacti themselves are changing color. They're getting lighter and losing their deep green color. Which tells me they're still not warm enough.

Is a seedling warming pad enough? Or should I just invest in a heating pad (human use) for the inside and call it a day.

In terms of getting sunlight, I can open the front to allow the sunlight in and close it at night. It won't be as bad when it gets warm, but it gets pretty cold in the house.

Thank you again to everyone!
NoddaProbBob
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Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by NoddaProbBob »

Steve-0 wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:01 pm NIce set up! I have the same lighting for my man cave cactus shelving which has west facing windows instead on south.
How about a heating pad on the bottom? The normal kind you lay on when your back hurts. Then put a timer on the outlet to give them a boost when it's coldest...late at night or early morning.

Or place the whole thing on top of a heater vent?

Just an idea.
All of the heat vents are in the ceilings. Or else this would have been a PERFECT idea!!
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mikethecactusguy
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Re: Indoor Greenhouse

Post by mikethecactusguy »

again, how cold is your house?
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Enjoying the Spines
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