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Growing Exotic Plants in Greenhouses

Are you enchanted by lush tropical foliage and vibrant blooms? If so, you’re in for a treat! In this article, we’ll delve into the captivating realm of growing exotic plants in a greenhouse right here in the UK. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, we’ll guide you through the process of plant positioning, humidity control, consistent watering, plant cleaning, suitable lighting, and the wonderful array of exotic and tropical plants you can nurture within the cosy confines of your greenhouse.

Plant Positioning

Choosing the right position for your exotic plants is crucial for their healthy growth. Greenhouses provide an ideal environment for plants requiring warmth and protection, away from unpredictable British weather. Position your greenhouse where it can benefit from full or partial sunlight throughout the day. This will ensure your plants receive the necessary amount of light to thrive.

Read our article “A Guide to Greenhouse Site Selection and Preparation” to learn more about greenhouse positioning.

Creating the Correct Humidity

Exotic plants often hail from regions with high humidity levels. To replicate this environment, it’s important to maintain optimal humidity levels in your greenhouse. A simple and effective method is to use a humidifier or misting system. These devices release fine water droplets into the air, simulating the tropical conditions your plants crave. Additionally, placing trays of water or gravel on the greenhouse floor helps to increase humidity levels by providing a source of evaporating moisture.

Read more on Essential Guide to Greenhouse Ventilation and Heating here.

Consistent Watering

Watering your exotic plants consistently and adequately is vital for their well-being. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Regularly check the moisture level of the soil using a moisture meter or by feeling it with your finger. Most exotic plants prefer moist but well-drained soil. Adjust your watering frequency and volume accordingly, ensuring the soil doesn’t dry out completely between watering sessions.

Cleaning Your Plants

Just like any other living organism, plants can accumulate dust and debris over time. Regularly cleaning your exotic plants not only enhances their aesthetic appeal but also allows them to photosynthesize efficiently. Gently wipe the leaves with a soft, damp cloth or use a spray bottle to mist them. This removes dust particles and ensures that your plants can breathe freely.


Providing adequate lighting is crucial for the growth and development of your exotic plants. While natural sunlight is the best option, supplementing it with artificial lighting can be beneficial, especially during the darker months. LED grow lights are energy-efficient and emit the ideal spectrum of light for photosynthesis. Position the lights above your plants, ensuring they receive 12-16 hours of light per day, depending on the plant species. Remember to adjust the light intensity and duration according to the specific needs of your plants.

Exotic and Tropical Plants to Grow

Now comes the exciting part—choosing the exotic and tropical plants you want to grow in your UK greenhouse. Here are a few remarkable options to consider:

  1. Orchids: With their elegant blooms and captivating fragrances, orchids are a popular choice for greenhouse enthusiasts. Phalaenopsis and Cymbidiums are great starting points for beginners.
  2. Succulents: Succulents are captivating additions to any greenhouse, offering unique forms and water-storing adaptations. Their resilience and low-maintenance nature make them perfect for beginners. These drought-tolerant plants thrive in well-draining soil and require ample sunlight.
  3. Ferns: Known for their delicate fronds and lush greenery, ferns thrive in the humid conditions found within greenhouses. Try growing the Boston fern or the bird’s nest fern for a touch of tropical splendour.
  4. Palms: Add a touch of paradise to your greenhouse with palm trees. Majesty palms and Kentia palms are relatively easy to grow and bring a tropical ambience to any space.
  5. Begonias: With their eye-catching colours and unique leaf patterns, begonias are a fantastic addition to any greenhouse. They prefer filtered light and moderate humidity, making them suitable for UK greenhouse conditions.


Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge to embark on a captivating journey of growing exotic plants in your UK greenhouse. Remember to position your plants strategically, create the ideal humidity levels, water them consistently, and keep them clean. Adequate lighting and choosing the right plants will ensure a flourishing and mesmerizing display of tropical beauty within the confines of your greenhouse. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your gardening gloves, and prepare to immerse yourself in the magical world of exotic plants. Happy gardening!

Updated on August 9, 2023

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