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A pop-up greenhouse is an affordable solution for those who need an outdoor growing room but don’t have the garden space or the budget for a permanent greenhouse. These portable and seasonal greenhouses have PVC covers over light metal frames. We review a wide selection of pop-up greenhouses, both in size and purpose, giving their pros and cons and discussing their features before recommending their best use. Our Buyer’s Guide covers the essentials to know about the best pop-up greenhouses.
6 Best Pop-up Greenhouses Reviews
1. Christow Mini Greenhouse 4 Tier, Reinforced Four Shelf Growhouse
The Christow Mini Greenhouse is a pop-up greenhouse that Is a tall rectangular shape with a gable roof (comes to a point). The strong tubular steel frame is powder-coated to keep the elements of weather away from the bare metal and so makes the frame rust-resistant. The four metal mesh shelves (included) are made of the same powder-coated steel and so can withstand all the water that will inevitably drip on them.
The cover for this greenhouse is thick, in fact much thicker than i thought it would be. It is made of two layers of heavy-duty, transparent polyethylene (PE) between which is sandwiched a white nylon grid. The grid gives strength and structure to the cover as well as letting all the needed light through. The cover is UV-resistant to stop it from fading and becoming brittle from the sunlight. The door unzips on both sides and rolls up to tie at the top.
However, the shelves just lie on the supports without any attachments and that makes them prone to falling off if you place a large flower pot in an unbalanced way on the shelf. We found this to be a common problem among all the shelved greenhouses we review. However, my solution is going to be to cut some outdoor timber shelves that will sit on top of the shelves which will be more stable while also providing some weight to make it more sturdy too.
Assembling this portable greenhouse is as easy as it gets. Just click the steel poles into the plastic connectors to build the frame. Then stretch the cover over the frame and use the ties to tie it to the poles. Place the shelves on their supports, and you’re done. A complaint with this model, and with many others, is that there aren’t enough ties and they’re not in all the right places to fully hold the cover on but I personally not had any issues. What I would suggest is putting something heavy on the bottom shelf until you fill the greenhouse to help keep it more stable. I just put a bag of 40-litre compost on the bottom shelf.
The metal shelves are of mesh to let excess water from your irrigation sessions drain right through. They’re removable, so if your plants grow really tall, you can always take a shelf out, handy if your growing tomatoes. The top shelf has more vertical growing space above it as it goes up into the arched roof.
There is no base to this greenhouse-like most greenhouses types so you can place it on your lawn or even directly over your plants though I have mine on the patio. Be aware that this is a lightweight structure and most of these ‘pop-up’ greenhouses are susceptible to windy conditions. I advise weighing it down with bricks or grow bags or tying it to the nearest fence or wall as there are little D-rings to do this with. I have my pop up greenhouse in a corner so it’s fairly sheltered and a bag of compost is enough weight to make it steady.
- Portable greenhouse with powder-coated tubular steel frame.
- The cover is heavy-duty, transparent and gridded mesh polyethylene (PE).
- The cover is double layered and UV resistant, and ties to the frame.
- Four removable metal shelves are mesh to allow excess water through.
- Zippered door covers most of the front wall and rolls up with tie fastenings at the top.
- The vertical space between shelves is a generous 33cm.
- The arched roof gives more vertical space (up to 21cm) above the top shelf.
- Clicks together without tools for easy assembly.
- Dimensions: 61cm (width); 45cm (depth); 1.58m (height); and 5cm between ground and bottom shelf.
- Lightweight so needs to be secured down in windy weather. (Common problem.)
- Shelves only lay across supports. (Common problem.)
The Christow Mini Greenhouse is a good size pop-up greenhouse that comes with four removable, mesh shelves. These provide generous growing space for the seedlings for an average garden. The double-layer cover (with an internal grid) provides strength and structure to the greenhouse as well as durability.
The Christow Mini Greenhouse is our Best Pick of pop-up greenhouses and suits any enthusiastic domestic gardener with an urge to grow their plants from seeds. Overall this is probably the one I would recommend the most unless you need something with a little more growing space.
Read next: Best permanent mini greenhouses
2. Christow Large Walk-In Pop up Greenhouse With Shelves
The Christow Walk In Greenhouse With Shelves (Larger version) contradicts the idea of pop-up greenhouses being only small structures. Even people who use a greenhouse extensively may not want a permanent structure, and this is where this Christow Walk-In Greenhouse comes in. It is still a pop-up greenhouse with a light metal frame and a plastic cover, but this model is big enough to walk into with a bank of shelves on either side.
As with all Christow pop-up greenhouses, the frame is powder-coated tubular steel, this time in black. The frame is rust-resistant as long as the paint stays on the metal. If it comes off, just repaint the exposed part before the rust sets in. The frame is tall enough for most people to stand up comfortably when they’re in the greenhouse.
The cover has two layers of extra strength transparent polyethylene with a white nylon grid trapped between them. The grid adds strength to the cover as well as giving some structure to the shape. The cover ties in the usual way to the frame. The door has zippers on either side that open so you can roll it up and tie it at the top of its opening.
There’s a skirt at the bottom of the frame to use for making the greenhouse more stable. The skirt is a several centimetres wide extension of the cover that you can bury under the soil, put bricks on or peg into the ground (pegs provided). This works to hold the greenhouse in place, especially on windy days.
Inside the greenhouse you find a bank of two shelves on either side. They’re meshed metal shelves (powder coated, of course) to let water drain through). The bottom shelf is 40cm above the ground and the top shelf is 40cm above that. That’s plenty of growing room, and there’s also the even taller growing area above the top shelf.
This Walk In greenhouse comes with guidelines and pegs so you have a further method of adding stability to the structure, especially if you place the structure on your lawn. There’s no base to this model but this is expected, so place it somewhere that can handle the excess irrigation water running on to it which shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
If your greenhouse cover tears at the seams, a common problem in windy areas as they fit tightly on the frame, a replacement cover is available which is always with knowing.
- Pop-up, walk-in greenhouse with a tubular steel frame with black powder coating.
- The cover is transparent polyethylene fabric with a white grid between two PE layers.
- Cover ties to the frame and has a skirt at the bottom for securing the greenhouse to the ground.
- The roll-up door is zippered and ties at the top when opened.
- Four metal mesh shelves, two on each side, have 40cm of vertical space between the bottom shelf and the top shelf and much more above the top shelf.
- Easy assembly without tools by clicking the steel poles into the plastic connectors.
- Guy lines and pegs are included to fasten the greenhouse securely down.
- Dimensions: 143cm (width); 73cm (depth) and 195cm (height).
- Seams can tear open bad weather for offer years of use. (replacement cover is available)
- Lightweight so may need additional stability during winds. (Common problem.)
- Poor instructions but not difficult to work out.
The Christow Walk In Greenhouse With Shelves is a pop-up greenhouse that has all the space of a permanent walk-in greenhouse. Use the shelves for your seedlings and the floor area to store equipment and compost bags. And perhaps buy other organisation units for space. Unlike permanent greenhouses, this can be easily assembled at the beginning of the growing season and taken down as winter closes in which is what I really like about these types of greenhouses as they provide affordable extended growing space quickly.
We’ve made the Christow Walk In Greenhouse With Shelves, Large Reinforced Green House our Runner-up selection in this review. It’s for those gardeners who don’t want to compromise on greenhouse growing space but don’t want a glass greenhouse or perhaps just want some extra growing space as well as their permanent greenhouse.
3. Lulalula Mini Pop up Grow House
Don’t be fooled by the smallness and simplicity of the Lulalula Mini Pop up Grow House. It has several essential uses. It can be the first greenhouse for little kids to teach them about the growing environment. Or you could use it to place over particular plants that are susceptible to frost or cooler times. And it’s extremely portable, easily moved from plant to plant as needed.
As with all pop-up greenhouses, this Lulalula Mini Greenhouse has a lightweight metal frame and a plastic cover. The frame is powder-coated metal and is a sort-of square pyramid shape. The cover, this time, is completely transparent PVC and has a skirt for burying in the ground or weighting down for stability of the structure, you can also peg it down with the included pegs.
The access door is an elongated semi-circle with one zipper around its edge. It rolls up in the usual way and ties at the top to keep it open.
This mini greenhouse has no shelves and is not designed for them. The idea is to put plant pots inside it on the ground below it, as it has no base either. Or, and this is its unique point, put the greenhouse directly over the plants in your beds that need protection. Taking the greenhouse to the plants rather than the plants to the greenhouse is somewhat revolutionary and extremely convenient.
If your delicate plants are in different parts of your garden, don’t fear; this Lulalula Mini Greenhouse is an extremely affordable option so you can buy several.
- Pop-up, self-supporting greenhouse that stores flat when you’re not using it.
- The rounded square pyramid frame is made of metal (unspecified type).
- The one-step assembly that needs no tools.
- Cover made from transparent PVC with steel pegs at corners to tap into the ground.
- One zipper goes around the window which rolls up and ties at the top.
- Dimensions: 70cm (width); 70cm (depth); and 80cm (height).
- Pegs aren’t very long.
The Lulalula Mini Pop up Grow House really exemplifies the portable nature of pop-up greenhouses. Its simple structure and light weight allow you to take the unit to the plants in your flower and vegetable beds to give them the protection and growing environment they need. Or alternatively, use it as a regular greenhouse for raising seeds to seedlings – the choice is yours.
We recommend the Lulalula Mini Pop up Grow House for anyone who wants mobility in their protective outdoors growing environment as well as those who want an affordable starter greenhouse for young people.
4. Woodside 4 Tier Garden Growhouse
We offer the Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse/Growhouse as an alternative to our Best Pick, the Christow Mini Greenhouse which is the other model I own as well as this. It’s slightly larger, slightly lighter in weight and it’s green, not white.
The Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse has a powder-coated tubular frame in aluminium rather than steel. This makes it slightly more lightweight than other models, but just as strong, rust-resistant and durable. The four shelves of the same material are gridded to allow water to run through them and end up on the ground below, as there’s not a base to this model.
The PE cover, heavy-duty at 135g/m2, looks green due to the green nylon grid placed between two layers of the plastic. Being strong and flexible, the nylon adds strength and durability to the cover. The cover attaches to the assembled frame (poles into plastic connectors) by ties already sewn to the cover.
The cover fits tightly (as with all pop-up greenhouses). Zippers on either side of the door in the front wall allow you to up to roll it up and secure it with (yet more) ties at the top of the door opening.
Be aware that, as with all pop-up greenhouse shelves, the shelves here just rest on their supports. You need to place items on them in balance with each other. Or you could secure the shelves to the frame with plastic ties, making them a little less removable.
- Pop-up greenhouse with a powder-coated tubular aluminium frame in green.
- Heavy-duty (135g/m2) PE cover has a grid between two layers of plastic for strength.
- String ties at corners of the covers to tie it to the fame.
- Four shelves of powder-coated aluminium are gridded to allow air to circulate easily.
- The roll-up door has zippers on both sides and stays open by tying it at the top when rolled up.
- Easy to assemble; just click the steel frame parts into plastic connectors.
- Dimensions: 70cm (width); 50cm (depth); 1.60m (height); and 5cm between ground and bottom shelf.
- Cover splits at seam. (Common problem but replacements available.)
- Lightweight so susceptible to winds. (Common problem.)
- Just rests on shelf supports. (Common problem.)
The Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse/Growhouse is a slightly larger alternative to our Best Pick, and it’s green instead of white for those who are on that side of the white vs green cover debate. The four shelves give ample growing space for most gardeners’ needs and the extra vertical space on the top shelf lets you keep plants safe inside the greenhouse for longer.
We recommend the Woodside 4 Tier Garden Greenhouse for those gardeners who prefer the light through a green greenhouse cover.
5. Outsunny Mini Greenhouse
We include the Outsunny Mini Greenhouse as an alternative to a fully-fledged pop-up greenhouse, although technically it’s more of a cold frame. It has all the attributes of a pop-up greenhouse (metal frame, plastic cover) but it allows you to cover your plants where they grow. (See also the lulalula Mini Greenhouse.)
Also known as a tunnel greenhouse (but one you can’t walk through), the Outsunny Mini Greenhouse is greenhouse shaped, but long and low making it ideal for vegetable gardens. The frame is powder-coated tubular steel in a green colour. The poles snap into plastic connectors for easy tool-free assembly.
The polyethylene cloth of the cover is 140g/m2 with a green grid between the two PE layers. This is a heavy-duty fabric in a mini greenhouse that makes it extra strong and durable. The cover attaches to the frame with ties. The two windows in one side of the roof open and close easily with zippers and roll up to ties at the top.
The windows let a great deal of air circulate within the greenhouse. This Outsunny pop-up greenhouse is the only model in our review that lets you roll down a mesh covering over the window openings when the windows are open. This stops any bugs and other creatures from getting in and eating your tender plants so again also great for vegetables where this can be a problem.
Anchor down this pop-up structure by burying the skirt on the cover in the soil, putting stones, bricks or rocks on it or pegging it down. This is a very lightweight structure and does need the security of being tied down in some way, even on lightly windy days.
The lack of base in this pop-up cold frame is a plus point. Place this unit directly on the soil over your growing seedlings and young plants. When they’re tall and strong enough, pick up this cover and take it over to your second crop sowing, and repeat.
- Long pop-up, “house shape,” greenhouse with a powder-coated tubular steel frame.
- The cover is heavy-duty (140g/m2) polyethylene fabric (with green grid) that’s UV resistant and waterproof.
- Cover extends out onto the ground so the greenhouse can be weighted or pegged down, or buried in soil.
- Two elongated semi-circular windows in the roof have zips and roll fully open before tying at the top.
- Mesh panel rolls down to cover open windows to stop bugs coming in.
- Tool-free assembly by slotting the steel frame parts into reinforced plastic connectors.
- Dimensions: 120cm (length); 60cm (width); and 60cm (height).
- Not enough tapes to tie the cover to the frame. (Common Problem.)
- Some greenhouses received didn’t have the skirt at the bottom of the cover.
The Outsunny Mini Greenhouse is definitely an outdoors protective growing environment, whether you call it a greenhouse, a tunnel greenhouse or a cold frame. The portability of this pop-up greenhouse is its main feature. Put it in your vegetable bed until the plants underneath are strong and hardy enough to stand on their own, and then pick up the unit and move it to other seedlings that need help.
We recommend the Outsunny Mini Greenhouse for anyone who grows vegetables.
6. Christow Tomato Greenhouse (Single)
The Christow Tomato Greenhouse With Reinforced Cover & Frame is a specialist pop-up greenhouse designed to grow tomatoes and other climbing vegetables and flowers, you can also consider using this with tomato planters which we reviewed previously. You could purchase a general-purpose pop-up unit and take some or most of the shelves out to accommodate your tall, healthy plants. But why not go for a model that lets you keep your plants in there all season long?
The frame of this climbing plant greenhouse is made from tubular steel with a hammered texture powder-coated finish. That’s a little more stylish and textured than just plain colour paint.
The transparent PE cover has double layers with the, now familiar, white nylon grid within for strength, support and durability. The door has zips on either side and rolls up in the usual way. However, the ties at the top of the doorway have a click fit to close, so you don’t have to constantly tie bows that stay put. The cover ties (with bows) to the frame in 12 places and that’s enough to hold it on safely in windy conditions. This model also comes with guy ropes and pegs for further security.
Climbing flowers, vegetables and vines need to be firmly supported in their height or they may snap in two. This greenhouse cover has eyelets and D-rings that let you position a horizontal pole at the top and two vertical poles to create the climbing structure. The metal mesh base is just the right size for one standard size grow bag. Plant your seeds or seedlings and let your two tomato/bean/grape/etc. plants grow to full height in their protected environment.
- Pop-up greenhouse designed for climbing vegetables (think tomatoes and beans,) flowers (perhaps a clematis) and vines (wine grapes!).
- The frame is constructed from tubular steel with a hammered powder-coated finish.
- Transparent PE cover is reinforced with a white nylon grid between two plastic layers.
- The cover has pegging points to put the (included) ground pegs through to hold the greenhouse down in windy times.
- Metal eyelets in the cover give you tethering points to position and support your climbing canes.
- Zips on either side of the roll-up door let you open it and tie it at the top.
- Everything is double stitched for strength and durability.
- Steel poles click into plastic connectors for easy assembly.
- Dimensions: 100cm (width); 40cm (depth); and 150cm (height).
The Christow Tomato Greenhouse With Reinforced Cover & Frame (Single) lets you easily grow climbing vegetables, flowers and vines to full height without having to mess around with taking shelves out of general purpose greenhouses. If your weather is uncertain and you don’t want to be dashing in and out moving your tomato pots around or covering your pea plants at night, just leave them in this specialist pop-up greenhouse all season and have fresh, home-grown veg all summer long.
We recommend the Christow Tomato Greenhouse With Reinforced Cover & Frame (Single) pop-up for the salsa and bean salad lovers of the world. Its also great for being on tomato more quickly.
If you’d love to have a greenhouse but don’t want the expense, don’t have the room or don’t want all that hassle with the extras you need, a pop-up greenhouse could be right for you. Our Buyer’s Guide covers the essentials to consider in making your decision of which one is best for you.
Most pop-up greenhouses have a frame and a cover, with either a door or windows in it to access your plants inside. Some come with a stack of shelves, usually made of mesh.
The frame is always lightweight, generally made of tubular steel or aluminium. The best frame has been powder coated to cover the metal with rust- and weather-resistant paint. Regularly check the frame to ensure that there’s no scratches or missing flakes of paint exposing bare metal that will rust. If you find any, repaint the exposed metal before rust sets in.
The best covers are made of polyethylene plastic (PE) and are structured in two layers. The heavy-weight PE of the greenhouses we review is from 120g/m2 to about 135 g/m2. Check that the PE has been treated to be UV resistant so that it doesn’t become brittle in the sunlight. Be sure to use the skirt of the cover to stabilise the greenhouse – either bury it in the soil, peg it down or put bricks on it.
Between the layers, you find a nylon grid, usually in white or green, that gives the cover its colour. The nylon grid adds strength and structure to the cover and makes it more durable. Some gardeners claim that a white cover lets in just the right amount and type of sunlight while others choose a green cover, stating that it protects the plants from the harshest light.
Access to the inside of the greenhouse is through a door or windows, depending on the size of the unit. The door/window usually has one of two zippers that open for you to roll the door/window up and fasten at the top with the ties there. This leaves the opening completely exposed, allowing air and insects in. Only the Outsunny Mini Greenhouse Portable Flower Planter Tomato Vegetable House (a cold frame) has a separate mesh covering to pull over the open windows.
Most pop-up greenhouses don’t have a base so you stand them on the ground/lawn/deck/patio/bed. Just be ready for the surface, whatever it is, to have water on it from leftover water from your pots.
Even with its plastic cover and lightweight frame, you’re not limited to a small greenhouse when you purchase a pop-up. Our Runner-up, the Christow Walk In Greenhouse With Shelves, Large Reinforced Green House, lets you comfortably walk in and potter about. And this is not the largest walk-in pop-up greenhouse that we looked at. We also found a long tunnel walk-through greenhouse that’s technically a pop-up with a frame and a plastic cover.
As with any greenhouse purchase, think about how much garden space you have and how much growing space you need. But remember that the pop-up version is not a permanent structure and you can take it down and put it away freeing up the garden area it took up.
Function and mobility
Although all greenhouses have the same function of providing an optimum growing environment for your plants, they’re not all designed for the same plants. In our review, we have general purpose pop-ups that come with a bank of shelves. But we’ve also included a cold frame, a greenhouse especially for tomatoes and other climbing plants and a small greenhouse for individual plants. While you can move the general greenhouses, the cold frame and individual greenhouse are especially suitable for taking to your plants. Choose the best greenhouse for your specific needs and don’t assume that you have to manipulate a general-purpose one into the right structure for your specialist plants.
The mobility/portability of pop-up greenhouses is matched by how easy they are to assemble and take down – mainly just clicking the metal poles into plastic connectors and pulling the cover over that frame.
Most pop-ups are not intended to be left out over the winter and you need to dismantle them and store them away. Fortunately, they often fold flat and you can slid them against the wall in your storage shed or garage. However, some online reviewers report that they’ve left their pop-up greenhouses out in cold weather and no harm’s been done. We leave it up to you to decide what to do.
A pop-up greenhouse serves the needs of budget- and space-limited gardeners anxious to start their own seedlings in spring, harden their plants in summer and transition plants in winter. Whether you chose a general-purpose pop-up greenhouse or one that’s designed for specialist use, they all have plastic covers over a light but sturdy metal frame. While these greenhouses don’t allow for the detailed climate control of permanent greenhouses (most don’t have vents, for example), the windows or doors give excellent air circulation.
Our Best Pick is the Christow Mini Greenhouse 4 Tier, Reinforced Four Shelf Growhouse. This four-shelf greenhouse, in white, has a strong, easy to assemble frame, and plenty of growing space.
Our Runner-up choice is the Christow Walk In Greenhouse With Shelves, Large Reinforced Green House. This walk-in greenhouse with two banks of shelves shows you don’t have to sacrifice space with a pop-up structure.
If you’ve become so enthusiastic about having a greenhouse that you’re now considering a permanent one, check out our reviews on the Best Greenhouses and the Best Lean-to Greenhouses. If garden or balcony space is a problem, we’ve also looked at the Best Mini Greenhouses.
Last update on 2021-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API