Home > Ask Our Experts > What Can I Grow Long Term In My Greenhouse?

What Can I Grow Long Term In My Greenhouse?

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 11 May 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Greenhouse Heated Flower Fruit

Q.

I have at last been given my own greenhouse! However, there's always a snag isn't there! I want to grow something 'special and easy' in the greenhouse long term; but not a grape vine or peach tree.

Do you have any other suggestions?

(P.P, 22 April 2009)

A.

The first and most important point to consider when answering this question is whether your greenhouse is heated or not. This will have a profound effect on what perennial plant you choose to grow, and whether your chosen plant will thrive.

If you want to grow something ‘special and easy’, a heated greenhouse should make that job a bit easier. If your greenhouse is unheated, it might be a case of trial and error, as a greenhouse situated in a ‘warm’ corner of the garden might still prove a success with long-term plants that need moderate temperatures all year round. Remember, for the cooler UK winter months, you can always insulate your greenhouse internally with a layer of bubblewrap or horticultural fleece. Alternatively, you may wish to invest in a portable heater – but only as a short-term solution, as they can be very costly and energy inefficient.

In terms of selecting a plant, some popular and interesting choices are the many species of banana plants available. The Snow Banana (Ensete glaucum) is one of the more hardy varieties, and may do better in unheated greenhouses. Typically it has large, luscious, glaucous (frosted-looking) leaves, and is a fantastic architectural plant. However, it can grow up to 10ft, although this can be reduced if you keep it in a pot to restrict its growth. Banana plants can be grown from seed, but do take a few months to germinate, so are definitely a long-term solution.

Another exotic but slightly more intensive plant is the Bat Plant (Tacca chantrierei). The plant flowers after two years to reveal eye-like blooms and filament ‘whiskers’. The Bat Plant will grow up to around 3ft, so may be suitable for smaller greenhouses. If this plant is a little to ‘out there’ for your tastes, alternatively a Bird of Paradise plant may be more to your liking.

If you’re more interested in something a bit more sprawling and floral, passionflowers are also a great alternative for long-term growth in the greenhouse. Passiflora alata produces stunning, sweet-smelling flowers, but the bonus with this plant is that it also produces edible fruits. The downside to growing this passionflower is that it may require a heated greenhouse to flourish. Alternatively, any other passionflower available in your local garden centre or nursery should do well inside your greenhouse as a perennial climber.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Aside from potted succulents, two plants live permanently in my greenhouse, which is 12x8', unheated, and in East Anglia. The first is trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine), partly because it looks good year-round, being evergreen and bronzing nicely in the autumn and over winter, and partly because the scent is amazing in April-June, which makes greenhouse work a pleasure in spring. The second, in the other 'northern' corner, is eccremocarpus scaber (Chilean glory flower), an exuberantly self-clinging climber that sorts itself out in clambering up the framework and staging, and flowers prolifically all summer. I protect the former with bubblewrap in severe weather, but the latter has to take its chances - and it's surprising what will survive without protection under staging through most winters!
Potty - 11-May-14 @ 5:47 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • GreenhouseGrowing
    Re: Starting With Orchids
    Pop - Your Question:It is now October is it too late to grow chrisanthimum's in my greenhouse. If not where can I get some cuttings
    10 October 2017
  • Pop
    Re: Starting With Orchids
    It is now October is it too late to grow chrisanthimum's in my greenhouse. If not where can I get some cuttings
    7 October 2017
  • Jay
    Re: Common Greenhouse Problems
    I've just brought an old house with a greenhouse in the garden. It's not been touched for ages I turned it the other day and was…
    19 July 2017
  • bingo
    Re: Growing Grapes in a Greenhouse
    I am an IT student .I want to develop a device that controls temperature of the greenhouse of grape cultivation. Is technology…
    19 July 2017
  • GreenhouseGrowing
    Re: Growing Grapes in a Greenhouse
    connie - Your Question:Iv got grape vine in the greenhouse but grapes seem to die when very tiny could you help please
    19 June 2017
  • connie
    Re: Growing Grapes in a Greenhouse
    iv got grape vine in the greenhouse but grapes seem to die when very tiny could you help please
    15 June 2017
  • GreenhouseGrowing
    Re: Growing Flowers in Your Greenhouse
    Jen - Your Question:I love flowers and am always buying them for our house. I have a lovely greenhouse but I've never…
    18 May 2017
  • Jen
    Re: Growing Flowers in Your Greenhouse
    I love flowers and am always buying them for our house. I have a lovely greenhouse but I've never grown cut flowers . . .…
    17 May 2017
  • Michelle
    Re: Common Greenhouse Problems
    Hi my green house has a strange eggy smell that I smell on occasion anybody know what this could be?
    10 May 2017
  • Sinead
    Re: Designing a Greenhouse for Disabled Access
    Do you know can you adapt a greenhouse to have wider doors for a gardener developing a disability ? Or would you…
    9 May 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the GreenhouseGrowing website. Please read our Disclaimer.