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How To Make A Mini Greenhouse

Written by Hilary on April 11th, 2007

This is a handy trick, especially if you like to take cuttings, or start seeds, or try to grow different kinds of plants.

During the year most people drink some kind of soda. When you’re done with the soda, don’t throw those bottles away! Save a couple and make a miniature greenhouse.

Here’s what you do:

1. Cut the bottoms off two plastic soda bottles

2. Fill one with a moist mix of sand and potting soil, remove the colored-plastic bottom-rest from the other

3. Put in 6-10 cuttings depedending on how large they are, or plant your seeds

4. Fit the two bottoms together

Depending upon what you are growing, it can take about six to ten weeks for your cuttings to root. It may take less time to germinate seed, again it depends upon what you are growing.

You can then transplant them to a pot filled with soil and let them grow on for another month or two. By then you will have a plant ready to go out in your garden.


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20 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anthony says:

    What a great idea! This is a garden project that my kids will love. Thanks.

  2. Alberta says:

    What a great idea! I think kids would love this…having their own plant to watch!

  3. Hilary says:

    This really is a fun project.


  4. This will work well! Good Idea!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is what I use to propagate roses.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is an excellent tip…i will be using it a lot!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank god i came accross this..i need to make two greenhouses and study them for college project…..altough i will need help in cutting and pasting the bottoms together

  8. brantley148 says:

    Do you have to add water or make tiny hole into the plastic.

  9. Hilary says:


    The idea is to make a greenhouse, so you do not want to make holes in the plastic.

    You may need to water once in a while if the growing soil drys out, but just water it enough to keep moist, not soggy. You don’t want to risk rotting your cuttings.

    I hope this helps.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is this greenhouse really good at keeping heat in? I need to make a greenhouse project for school and we need to absorb and trap as much heat as possible.

    When you’ve done it, PLEASE tell me!

  11. Hilary says:


    Depending upon where you put this Mini Green house, yes, it will absorb and trap heat.

    Think about how hot soda gets inside a plastic bottle.

    In fact, if you place this in full sun, you can kill some plants because it will get too hot.

    I don’t know the goal of your project, if it’s to grow plants or some other objective, but I suggest you test it and try it out for yourself!

    Good luck!

  12. Anonymous says:

    ummm….can we measure temperature somehow… i mean cld we introduce a thermometer somewhere????

  13. Hilary says:


    Sure, I don’t see why not. I would get one of those mini-thermometers they have at the hardware store.

    You could either tape it onto the end of a stick and put the stick in the soil so the thermometer is above the plants.

    Or you could tape it to the top portion of the container and hang it.

    Either would work.

    Let me know and good luck!

  14. Anonymous says:

    wow…this saved my science fair project! not only can i do it with less cost but it gave me the idea to do the project!

    its great, easy, and fun! :)

  15. Hilary says:

    That’s awsome!

    Good luck,


  16. Anonymous says:

    Escuse me,

    But if my daughter had to do a science project for school entitled “An Enviroment to protect plants” do you think this would be considered that?

    Thank you very much!!

  17. Hilary says:


    Well, I guess it depends upon what they consider protecting plants?

    Do they mean more like a row cover or cloche that protect plants from frost and insects?

    Or do they mean an environment that is controlled and protected from normal weather fluctuations, like a greenhouse?

    If that’s what they are after, a controlled environment, then yes this would qualify.

    Hope this helps you – good luck!


  18. Anonymous says:

    If I suspect that algae or moss or some kind of fungus is growing from too much humidity or wahtever, can I just pill the top soda bottle off and air out? And maybe pull the moss/fungus out?

    Or should I start over?

  19. Hilary says:


    Well, I’ve never run into that problem myself, but you’re on the right track with your thinking.

    If that were to happen, it would indicate way too much moisture and not enough air.

    I would pull the top off to allow more air circulation and to allow the soil to dry out. If the problem got really bad, I would:

    1. Dump the whole thing out and rinse the bottle with a bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.

    2. Dry the bottle thoroughly and put in new, clean soil.

    3. Replant and don’t overwater.

    Hope that helps!


  20. What an excellent idea, my kids are gonna love this. Should keep them busy for about 5 minutes until they atart fighting over something.

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