New Greenhouse

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2006
Reaction score
Hi all...

I have been growing orchids for years - mainly under various light devices - have a very small collection at the moment. I finally got approval and amassed enough funds for an attached lean-to greenhouse. I am starting the design phase of this 10' x 16' greenhouse and could use some help. Let me provide some background... First of all I plan to grow paphs and other lower light plants. Second, the only place I am *allowed* to put the greenhouse is in an area that borders the garage and the sunroom portion of my house. The long portion of the greenhouse will have to face almost east. Utilities can be easily brought into the area. Some initial questions. Will the greenhouse get enough light? What brands of greenhouse do you recommend? (with the caveat that fitting into the *style* of the house is important to my future wife.) Gas or electric heater for this size of greenhouse - I live in Norfolk, VA. Any other info or direction is appreciated.


OH goodie goodie all us windowsill or under-lights growers can live vicariously through Tony's greenhouse project!

So Tony, obviously a southern sun exposure would be best. The sun can get low in the winter, even here in Virginia. I'm not saying you need the most light possible to grow your paphs and such, but you can always shade out light. Making more light when you need it is the hard thing. On the other hand, if you get a good dosage of light from dawn till noonish or a bit later at an eastern exposure, I say that's quite adequate for the plants you mentioned. I dunno about the heat, but probably whatever you have hooked up already at the house would be best. We all know how far pretending to be an expert will get us around here, so I'll be the first to say that I don't have a greenhouse and have no experience, but that's my two cents.
Although the greenhouse faces east, the garage will block a southern exposure. Last week I hung around the house to see how long the area would get sun - pretty much four hours. Although the four hours was for only half of the greenhouse. I can supplement with lighting if necessary.

Hey Williamsburg! My mom and dad live there...
Unless you have lots of trees or a very tall house just about any orientation of greenhouse will be workable if that's what you are stuck with. You will be getting the cooler sun for the first 1/2 of the day, and shaded the hot half of the day. That could work out pretty good for an intermediate to cool house.

Pros an cons electric vs gas?? No chances of toxic gas fumes with electric, but you can get a freestanding non-electric gas unit that works during power outages. I would do electric, but either buy a gasoline generator, or a propane unit to get you through any power outages.

I use both for breakdown and power outage safety redundancy.

I think humidity and airflow are major design factors, so look for a good wet pad system.
international greenhouse company (google it) has the best prices. Thats who I used
Wow you sure are lucky to have the opportunity to get a greenhouse! My mom lives in Chesapeake and I hope you don't live in one of those Norfolk areas that floods every year. At least you can take your time to hunt down and find Woodstream Orchids on the back roads near you.
NYEric said:
At least you can take your time to hunt down and find Woodstream Orchids on the back roads near you.
You'd have to be on the back roads for several hours if you're looking for Woodstream Orchids from here!
Eric - my house is at elev. 5' above sea level. Although I cannot fish in my front yard... I can fish in my neighbors' yard at times.

Thanks for the insight all... am checking out the options you sent along.
Distance: 208.8 miles Approximate Travel Time: 4 hours 3 mins as per Yahoo Maps.

A doable distance and of course yahoo drive times are a little slower than how I drive.