This may be an odd question. I live in Singapore and I recently bought a small greenhouse because it was cheap and it looked nice. It's about 20x40x50cm. I'm originally from a cool temperate climate where a greenhouse makes sense.

Are there any plants that would survive in a humid tropical climate inside a small greenhouse? Placing it in the sun would probably cook anything inside it, so assume it will remain in the shadow.

Could there be a plant that would benefit from being inside a greenhouse in these conditions?

2 Answers 2


My partner's parents live in Townsville which has a dry tropical climate, and they use a greenhouse for their orchids (specifically to keep the humidity up, but also to prevent direct sunlight exposure).

It's in full sun but only from above (sides are not exposed as it's between two houses) for most of the day (southern side of the house).

The material is mesh so it breathes fine, and it doesn't really get much hotter in there than outside.

As for Singapore, I suspect that it already has enough humidity :) So for that reason you may want to use it purely for shade to prevent sun sensitive plants (eg: orchids or other epiphytes, or understory plants) from being exposed to full sun (again, assuming the material it's madeof breathes well enough). But in Singapore there's probably not much point in having sides on it unless it's in a position to be exposed to morning or afternoon sun.

If you're worried, put it up and see how much warmer it is inside than outside. I bet it feels hot in both places though :D

  • It's has plexiglass sides and top, and the top can be opened either slightly or fully. Don't have an outdoor thermometer, but having put it in full sunlight once, it felt extremely hot, probably over 50C/122F, so I'm not trying that with anything alive inside it. Average temperature is 28-32C over here, greenhouse makes it warmer in the shade, less windy, probably more protected from insects, and perhaps an increase in the already-high humidity. Dec 5, 2014 at 6:30
  • sounds like you answered your own question :) but seriously, some desert succulents might survive in that, but yeah, proper cold climate greenhouse is about as useful in the full sun in the tropics as a deep freezer is in the arctic :) Dec 8, 2014 at 7:44

If you live in Singapore its already hot, humid tropical. Greenhouses in already hot climates aren't used to warm them up they're used often to preserve water, because if the greenhouse is sealed, the evaporated water will simply condense on the glass and humidify the atmosphere. In dry climates a humid atmosphere can keep tropical plants alive without substantial watering. Although they may employ some shade elements or vents so Some moisture will escape and take the heat with it. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil can grow in hot summer greenhouses.

  • Miniature palms that love humidity
  • slow growing tropical tree ferns
  • bonsai (tropical specimens)

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