Homes with a greenhouse aren't commonly sighted in tropical regions, where it is perpetually warm and humid. After all, many beautiful plants are seasonal, meaning they thrive in different times and weather throughout the year. So if you want to build a greenhouse for your home in the tropics, will it not last long?
Despite the challenges in your home's environment, a greenhouse can totally survive in it. The key is to choose the right plants, to locate your greenhouse properly, and of course, to maintain it diligently.
To get started, consider this guide.
Plants for a Tropical Greenhouse
In many homes, greenhouses are used to grow plants. But if you'd rather make it a relaxing, beautiful garden, consider these tropical plants and blooms:
Cranberry hibiscus is perennial that commonly grows in subtropical and tropical regions. Its lush foliage catches the eye and accentuates your other plants. It can grow tall fast too, up to 1.5 meters high. The perennial has cranberry red leaves, with rose-pink flowers. Some grow burgundy leaves and purplish-pink flowers instead.
Cranberry hibiscus thrives in warm and wet climates, under either full or partial sun exposure. Plus, you can use its leaves to color your lemonade purple!
Hibiscus trionum is a summer perennial. It produces dark-green foliage with hibiscus-type flowers. Its petals are white and pale green in color, with faint tints of purple, and deep burgundy in the center. There are also blooms that develop deep crimson or even black centers as well.
This perennial prefers full sunlight and hot weather. Though they can stand cold temperatures, they won't grow as quickly.
This flowering plant is also known as "lobster claw flower", "rainbow heliconia", and "parrot beak plant". It thrives in sunlight, its flowers growing a couple of feet high.
Heliconia wagneriana's leaves resemble those of banana leaves. The color, however, is a mix of red and orange. The center of its flowers has a deep, vibrant orange hue, which fades into a yellowish color as it runs on the petals. It grows well under full or partial sunlight, while a greenhouse environment is ideal for its flowers.
Thai Red Roselle
Thai red roselle has other names as well: red roselle, Florida cranberry, and Jamaica sorrel. Despite the countries attached to the name, it's actually native to West Africa, and can be grown around the world.
This flowering plant can reach up to 7 feet in height, but you can control its growth by planting it in a container. It produces stunning foliage and vibrant flowers, which have medicinal properties. You can use its seeds, roots, and leaves to concoct herbal medicine for a variety of illnesses. Its flowers are also edible.
Greenhouse Design Ideas
If you haven't seen a lot of residential greenhouses yet, you probably picture the space being enclosed in unappealing white mesh screens. But a greenhouse can look attractive too, especially as an additional feature of a house. Plus, the space can have other purposes too aside from growing plants. It can also serve as an outdoor living space.
You don't have tospend a ton to create a charming greenhouse. Find apolycarbonate supplier that offers the best yet affordable roofing and walls. Polycarbonate is a durable material that mimics glass, making itideal for a budget greenhouse. After installing the polycarbonate roof and walls, the construction is pretty much done. If you need a flooring material, you can use turf grass. Then put a patio set or an outdoor living room set in the space if you'd also make it a living or entertaining area.
Cooling Systems for Your Greenhouse
Though your tropical plants will thrive in the hot climate, heat waves can still affect their foliage. Direct sunlight may also burn their leaves.
You can cool down your greenhouse naturally, meaning letting natural ventilation do its work. But an engineer is needed to create proper natural ventilation. That's because structural factors have a role in a greenhouse's airflow. Natural ventilation, however, maintains the same temperature inside and outside of the greenhouse. This can be hard to accomplish, though, because the greenhouse's covering and location influence the solar gain.
If extreme heat is a persistent problem in your greenhouse, consider mechanical ventilation. It will reduce heat in the space by taking out the warm air from it. Engineers are also necessary for installing mechanical ventilation, as it involves exhaust fans, static pressures, and other factors concerning vents.
To save money on ventilation, build your greenhouse in a shaded location. The trees will filter out the sunlight, allowing you to control the heat in the space. Water your plants as needed, and maintain the right humidity levels.
Building and maintaining a greenhouse in the tropics isn't as hard as it seems. As long as you tend to it right, you won't need a green thumb to make it thrive.