Shelves for Greenhouse

on September 22, 2023

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Greenhouse shelves are essential components of any gardening space, serving a crucial role in the organization, plant health, and efficient use of space. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of greenhouse shelves, covering their various types, benefits, and how to create and maintain them.

Shelves for Greenhouse

1. Wooden Shelves for Greenhouses

Wooden shelves offer a durable and rustic option for greenhouse storage. They are renowned for their strength and ability to support heavier plant pots. Wooden shelves can be custom-built to fit your greenhouse's dimensions and design.

Constructing wooden shelves can be a rewarding DIY project. They provide sturdy platforms for large potted plants and create visually appealing displays. Wooden shelves are excellent for multi-tiered plant arrangements, optimizing vertical space.

These shelves are ideal for plants such as orchids, ferns, and larger fruit-bearing varieties like tomatoes and peppers.

2. Metal Shelves for Greenhouses

Metal shelves combine strength and modern aesthetics. Typically constructed from materials like aluminum or steel, they resist rust and corrosion.

Assembling metal shelves is straightforward, and their robust construction allows them to support heavier plant pots. Metal shelves are suitable for a wide range of plants, including those requiring consistent humidity or misting.

Their low maintenance needs make them ideal for long-term greenhouse use. Plants that thrive on metal shelves include tropical varieties like bromeliads, orchids, and air plants.

3. Adjustable Shelves for Greenhouses

Adjustable shelves offer maximum flexibility in greenhouse setups. These shelves can be customized to accommodate various plant heights and pot sizes, often designed with movable tiers or adjustable brackets.

The ability to customize the spacing between shelves makes them suitable for a wide range of plants, from delicate seedlings to mature specimens. This adaptability ensures efficient use of greenhouse space.

4. Wire Shelves for Greenhouses

Wire shelves are known for their versatility and lightweight design. These shelves are typically constructed using sturdy wire mesh, available in various sizes and configurations. Their open structure ensures proper airflow, a vital aspect of plant health.

Wire shelves are easy to install and are ideal for displaying potted plants, seedlings, and gardening tools. Their design facilitates effective water drainage, preventing root rot. Wire shelves are suitable for plants like succulents, herbs, and small flowering varieties.

How to Make Greenhouse Shelves

Greenhouse shelves are essential for maximizing space and plant organization in your greenhouse. In this DIY guide, we'll walk you through the steps to create your own sturdy and functional greenhouse shelves.

Materials You'll Need:

  1. Lumber: Choose weather-resistant wood like cedar or redwood. The quantity and dimensions will depend on the size of your shelves.
  2. Screws: Choose corrosion-resistant screws suitable for outdoor applications.
  3. Saw: You'll need a saw for cutting the lumber to size.
  4. Measuring Tape: For accurate measurements.
  5. Level: To ensure your shelves are straight.
  6. Drill: A drill is necessary for creating pilot holes for the screws.
  7. Waterproof Sealant or Paint: To protect your shelves from moisture.

Steps to Make Greenhouse Shelves:

  1. Measure and Plan: Begin by measuring the dimensions of your greenhouse and the space where you intend to install the shelves. Plan the number of shelves you want and the space between them. This planning stage is crucial for a well-organized greenhouse.
  2. Cut the Lumber: Using a saw, cut the lumber into pieces according to your measurements. You'll need boards for the shelf surfaces and support brackets. Ensure all pieces are cut precisely to maintain shelf stability.
  3. Assemble the Frame: Start by constructing the frame of your shelves. Use the cut lumber to create the horizontal and vertical pieces of the frame. Attach them securely using screws. 
  4. Install Support Brackets: To add extra stability and weight-bearing capacity, install support brackets underneath the frame. These brackets can be made from the same lumber or purchased separately. Attach them securely using screws.
  5. Create the Shelf Surfaces: Lay the cut boards across the frame to create the surfaces of your shelves. Leave a small gap between boards to facilitate drainage and airflow. Secure the boards in place using screws.
  6. Waterproofing: To protect your shelves from moisture and prolong their lifespan, apply a waterproof sealant or outdoor paint. This step is crucial for wooden shelves, as it prevents them from rotting due to exposure to humidity and water.
  7. Install in the Greenhouse: Finally, place your completed shelves in the greenhouse, ensuring they are level and well-supported. Use anchors or wall brackets to secure the shelves to the greenhouse structure if needed, especially if you have freestanding shelves.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Regularly inspect your shelves for signs of wear and tear, loose screws, or rot if you've used wood. Address any issues promptly to ensure the longevity of your shelves.
  • Clean your shelves as needed to prevent the buildup of mold or algae. Scrub surfaces with a mild detergent and water solution, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Reapply waterproof sealant or paint every few years to maintain protection against moisture.
  • Consider using outdoor shelf liners or trays under potted plants to prevent water from directly contacting the shelf surfaces.
  • Creating your own greenhouse shelves is a rewarding DIY project that enhances the functionality and organization of your greenhouse. With the right materials and proper maintenance, your handmade shelves can serve you well for years to come.

Shelves in Greenhouse

1. Creating Your Own Wooden Shelves

Building wooden shelves is an accessible DIY project for greenhouse enthusiasts. To begin, collect supplies such as timber, screws, and a saw.. Measure and cut the lumber to your desired shelf dimensions.

Assemble the shelves using the cut lumber and screws, reinforcing corners for stability. Sand the surfaces to prevent splinters and finish with a waterproof sealant or paint.

Wooden shelves provide robust platforms for large plants and are perfect for multi-tiered displays.

2. Constructing Wire Shelves

Constructing wire shelves is relatively straightforward. Begin by acquiring materials like wire shelving units, brackets, and anchors. Determine the desired shelf location, marking the wall or frame accordingly.

Install brackets and securely mount the wire shelving units. Ensure shelves are level and capable of supporting the intended weight. Wire shelves are excellent for lightweight to medium-weight plants and are known for durability.

Safety precautions include using appropriate anchors for wall mounting and verifying the weight capacity of wire shelving units.

3. Building Metal Shelves

Creating metal shelves involves selecting suitable metal shelving units and assembling them according to manufacturer instructions. Most metal shelves come with straightforward assembly procedures.

Metal shelves require minimal maintenance. However, regular inspections for rust or corrosion are crucial. Apply a rust-preventative coating or paint to protect shelves if needed.

Metal shelves accommodate a wide range of plants due to their strength and versatility.


Greenhouse shelves are invaluable additions to any gardening space. They come in various types, each catering to specific plant needs and aesthetics. Whether you choose wire, wooden, metal, or adjustable shelves, they will help you organize your greenhouse effectively and optimize plant growth. By implementing the maintenance tips outlined here, you can ensure the longevity of your greenhouse shelves and continue to enjoy the benefits they offer.


Q1: What are the benefits of having shelves in my greenhouse?

Greenhouse shelves offer several benefits, including:

  • Optimizing Space: Shelves allow you to make the most of your greenhouse's vertical space, providing room for more plants.
  • Organization: They help keep your plants organized, making it easier to access and care for them. 
  • Improved Airflow: Elevating plants on shelves enhances airflow, reducing the risk of mold and disease.   
  • Pest Control: Shelves can help keep plants off the ground, making it harder for pests to access them.

Q2: What materials are best for greenhouse shelves?

Weather-resistant materials like cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated lumber are ideal for greenhouse shelves. Metal and plastic shelves are also options. The choice depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and the specific needs of your greenhouse.

Q3: How do I prevent wooden greenhouse shelves from rotting?

To prevent wooden shelves from rotting, apply a waterproof sealant or outdoor paint. This protective layer shields the wood from moisture. Regularly inspect your shelves for signs of wear, and reapply the sealant or paint as needed.

Q4: Can I use greenhouse shelves for seed starting?

Absolutely! Greenhouse shelves are excellent for seed starting. They provide the controlled environment necessary for successful germination and early growth.