Greenhouse Windows and Plants That Love Them

By Ellen Barredo

(This article originally appeared in The Gateway Gardener Jan/Feb. 2006 issue)

There are many plants that will enjoy the bright, warming environment of a greenhouse window. Greenhouse windows also allow you to rotate plants to different rooms for display and then return the plant to the window’s favorable light conditions for rejuvenation.

a picture of colorful gerbera daisies

Gerbera daisy

Before selecting plants for the window you will need to gather information and supplies. First, determine the direction your window faces. Second you’ll find a few key supplies, such as a thermometer, several small trays, a mister, a small watering can with a long spout, and a pair of scissors, are useful when window gardening.

The thermometer will help you monitor the temperature in the window. A daytime temperature and a nighttime temperature are both important to know throughout the year. Winter seasons may bring chilly window temperatures and summer may produce incredible heat.  Don’t let this alarm you; there are plants for these situations. In either case, though, it’s important not to let the leaves of your plants touch the glass of the window.

Here’s a short list of plants for your greenhouse window. Further detailed cultural information can be found at a local garden center specializing in interior foliage and blooming plants.

Plants for a South, West, or East Greenhouse Window

Reiger Begonia– Clusters of cheerful flowers found in the color pallet of red, pink, white, and orange

Gerber Daisy- A big, happy flower or two will almost always be found to greet you if there are enough sunny days provided by Mother Nature. A full range of colors is available.

Fancy Leaved Geranium- This plant not only blooms, but has beautiful foliage too. Also, scented geraniums work well for greenhouse windows and happen to be the 2006 Herb of the Year.

Persian Violet or Exacum- This crisp, compact beauty will present you with beautiful, petite blue flowers with little yellow centers and provides fragrance too!

Plants for a North Greenhouse Window

Violets- This beauty has the ability to provide velvety blooms almost any time of the year and is found in a wide array of colors, and leaf shapes.

Fittonia– This is a very carefree plant grown for its electric veined leaf pattern. The plant can be found white veined or red veined.

Flame Violet– An attractive plant which can trail, has beautiful quilted, patterned leaves, can also provide vibrant red-orange blooms.

Mini-Cyclamen- The whimsical mini cyclamen blooms provide long lasting color in red, pink, coral, and white. They also have striking foliage.

Ellen Barredo studied horticulture at the St. Louis Community College at Meramec, and is a Missouri Certified Nursery Professional with more than 27 years in professional horticulture. She works at Bowood Farms and can be reached at (314) 454-6868.