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Gardening in the home

The Beginning of Cabinet Growing

Gardening had been a common practice for nearly 11000 years as a source of food and to bring an aesthetic edge to both indoor and outdoor areas. The creation enclosed growing space to provide the perfect environment for your plants had an unexpected beginning in the mid 1830s. A man named Nathaniel Ward desired to watch an insect chrysalis transform into an insect, so he placed it with some mould in a capped glass bottle. Through his observations he noted that in the sun, moisture would be drawn to the top of the bottle during the day then circulate back down to the mould at night. He was quite surprised one day when a fern and a blade of grass began growing inside the bottle. He had tried to grow the same ferns outside and had been largely unsuccessful. He continued his experiment for 4 years without once opening the bottle. This led to his study and subsequent publishing of books and articles “On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases”. Like so many discoveries the modern terrarium was by accident, but has led to the creation of many different enclosed growing spaces replicating ideal growing conditions. These first terrariums were known as Wardian cases after Nathaniel Ward and his experiments.

Grow Cabinet or Grow Tent Environmental Requirements

When creating your own controlled environment for growing there are many factors which you need to take into account including light, temperature and ventilation. The amount of light your grow cabinet or grow tent requires relates directly to the growing area and the type of plants you wish to grow. You can provide your light through either fluorescent tubes or HID grow lights, which are both available on the website. The ventilation requirements of your grow cabinet will also vary dependent on room volume, the lighting used and plant type. The ventilation has a 2 fold purpose, being to provide adequate CO2 for your plants and to expel the warm air, heated up by the lights. For help creating your own indoor grow cabinet or grow tent call us in-store on 0800 083 3437.

Orchid Grow Cabinets

When it comes to growing plants indoors within purpose built cabinets, one of the most popular is the orchid. The wonderful range of flowers and colours within the orchid family and the different needs each species has means there is an orchid out there to suit any sized cabinet and any situation. See our Orchids for Indoor Cultivation chart to see different species and where they are suitable to grow indoors.

Basic Steps to Growing your own Orchids Indoors

Once you have chosen the type of orchid(s) you wish to grow, you need to design your grow cabinet and to suit the needs of the species. You will now need to determine which form of lighting suits your situation, remembering that light intensity reduces the further your plants are from the light source. Once you have the correct amount of light you need to address the temperature and humidity in your cabinet when the grow lights are both on and off. Temperature can be regulated with extraction fans and heaters, the ambient outside air temperature should be taken into account when designing your cabinet. If this temperature is too high for your chosen species you will need to provide a method of cooling the environment. Having installed the correct lighting and temperature regulation equipment in your space you now only need to take care of humidity. Generally orchids enjoy humid conditions, if the humidity in your cabinet is too low using an ultrasonic humidifier with a censor should perfect your environment.

TIP: The conditions in your cabinet may change once you introduce your orchids. You have already installed the equipment needed to fine tune the space so it is just a matter of re-adjusting everything. Now all you need is a green thumb and you’ll have orchids all year round.

Modern Grow Cabinets

One of the most modern grow cabinet manufacturers in the market today is BC Northern Lights. Their units offer includes a central control centre which is responsible for the timing of the grow lights, the ventilation system, the nutrient feeding schedules and the CO2 level within the system. They also provide an appropriate sized air-cooled lighting system for the growing area. The BC products are high spec products and may not suit every grower, however we also have a range of grow cabinet and grow tent complete packages and kits to suit every budget.


Houseplant is a generic term for plants grown indoors, whether it be in the home or office. They are usually grown for decorative purposes, but can be used a method of air purification and the obvious herb garden on the kitchen window sill. Most houseplants are from tropical and sub-tropical regions with large, broad leaves which don’t require intense light. You can go to our common houseplants table to learn more about tropical species, succulents, and bulbs which are popular indoor plants.

Window Sill Herb Gardens

Indoor herb gardens are an excellent way to extend the outdoor growing season to be able to enjoy year round produce. Having constant access to your garden will enable you to get to know your plants a little more, it will be obvious to you when something isn’t right. You also have the ability to create individual micro-climates for your plants by using small propagation covers over your plants when they are smaller. We have everything you need to get started on your own herb garden within the site. All you need is a window sill tray, pots, quality potting soil and FM Green Start which is formulated for herbs and all small vegetative plants.