IKEA greenhouse cabinets are the newest IKEA hack that every plant enthusiast needs in their home. Does your space lack adequate light for all of the houseplants that you have (or wish to have)? Are your humidity-loving houseplants struggling in your bone-dry living room? Look no further than a fully equipped mini greenhouse right in your home! Not only are they functional, but these trendy cabinets look great too and are surprisingly easy to make. Plus, like any good DIY the options for your finished piece are truly endless. Ready to dive in? Here’s everything you need to know about making your own IKEA greenhouse cabinet.
What Plants Should Go in a Greenhouse Cabinet?
A greenhouse cabinet creates a warm, humid environment that is ideal for many different kinds of tropical plants. Aroids like Philodendron, pothos, Anthurium, and Monsteras thrive in greenhouse cabinets, as do orchids, Bromeliads, and other humidity-loving houseplants. Depending on your setup, you can also keep various different kinds of succulents in your cabinet, which will thrive under a grow light. However, if you plan to keep desert cacti and succulents in your greenhouse cabinet it’s best not to use a humidifier as these plants prefer dry conditions.
What Type of Grow Light Is Best for a Greenhouse Cabinet?
There is no single grow light that is best for an IKEA greenhouse cabinet as factors like the type of cabinet used, your budget, and the types of plants you are keeping in the greenhouse all matter when it comes to your final decision. That being said, it's usually best to choose a full-spectrum, LED hanging grow light because they are powerful and easy to secure to the top of the cabinet. For this tutorial, we used a full-spectrum hanging grow light. Alternatively, LED strip lights are a great low-cost option that has a small profile and can be secured easily with double-sided tape.
Before Getting Started
The most important thing to consider before starting your IKEA greenhouse cabinet is which IKEA cabinet you will be using. There are four different IKEA cabinet models that are commonly used for these projects: DETOLF, RUDSTA, FABRIKÖR, and MILSBO. These cabinets are popular for greenhouse cabinet DIYs because they are fully contained; made from metal; and have glass doors, sides, and shelves. The model that you choose will largely depend on your space, your budget, and your aesthetic preferences. This article uses the FABRIKÖR tall cabinet, but the instructions can be applied to any of the above cabinet models.
Equipment / Tools
- Electric Drill
- ¼” - 1 ⅜” Step Drill Bit
- IKEA Cabinet
- Temperature/Humidity Meter
- Grow Light(s)
- Magnetic Hooks
- Mini Humidifier
- Mini Fan
Assemble the IKEA Cabinet
Before you begin making modifications to the IKEA cabinet it’s best to fully assemble it to get an idea of what the finished piece will look like in your space. Follow the instructions included in the packaging.
Drill a Hole for the Cords
Once the cabinet is put together you will need to drill a hole in the cabinet for the grow light, humidifier, and fan cords. The exact location of the hole will depend on your cabinet model as well as the location of the closest outlet - but for this tutorial, we will be putting it in the top right-hand corner of the removable cabinet bottom. Use an electric drill and a step drill bit to drill through the soft metal.
Secure the Grow Light(s)
Next, it’s time to add and secure the grow light in the cabinet. If you are using grow light strips you can simply press them to the top of the cabinet using double-sided tape. Since we are using a hanging grow light, we secured the light using magnetic hooks.
Add the Rest of the Equipment
Once the grow light has been added you can add in the rest of the greenhouse equipment. This includes the temperature and humidity meter, humidifier, and fan.
Now the fun part! Add your plants into the greenhouse cabinet. You can add as few or as many as you want, just ensure that you leave some room for your plants to grow into and avoid adding so many plants that they will compete for light.
Turn on the Cabinet
Finally, it’s time to turn on your greenhouse cabinet! Plug in your grow light, fan, and humidifier and watch your plants thrive.
How to Maintain a Greenhouse Cabinet
Once you have created your IKEA greenhouse cabinet, maintaining it is relatively easy. Keep a close eye on your plants for the first couple of weeks to ensure that they are adapting to their new environment well. Watch for signs of light stress, and ensure that you adjust your watering appropriately. Remember that a greenhouse cabinet usually has higher humidity than the rest of your home (especially if you are using a humidifier) so your plants may require less frequent watering.
Otherwise, utilize the temperature and humidity meter to monitor the conditions in the greenhouse cabinet. If you notice that the humidity levels have dropped lower than you’d like, you can turn on the humidifier to get the humidity back up. Likewise, if the humidity is too high you can prop the doors of the cabinet open slightly until it has dropped.
How to Upgrade an IKEA Greenhouse Cabinet
There are many different ways to upgrade your IKEA greenhouse cabinet once it is completed. You can replace the glass shelves with wire shelves (which improves air circulation and allows trailing plants more space); you can add pegboard to the back of the cabinet in order to hang tools and plants; and you can even transform the entire cabinet into a living terrarium if you wish. The options are truly endless and limited only by your imagination!