Ask a Question forum: Converted Hot Tub Room as a Greenhouse

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Name: Charity Walter
Lewiston, ID
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bloomingardener
May 19, 2017 4:55 PM CST
Hello, I'm brand new to this site and excited! I have a home with a room that is north facing and was once a hot tub room. It is not being used for more than a sitting room but it is a dry smelling room with some leaks here and there. My question is, could it be converted to a greenhouse of sorts? If so, what plants would be best suited to the room? The windows open and water is close by with access from the deck and from a bedroom. Any suggestions are appreciated, the cost is too great to take the room off of this house so we're being inventive!
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 19, 2017 5:05 PM CST
Wow! What an opportunity! There are many types of plants you could grow along the perimeter...out from the roof overhang, but I would recommend that first you remove the carpet, and install a waterproof flooring. Wish I had that for my orchids!
Name: Charity Walter
Lewiston, ID
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bloomingardener
May 30, 2017 2:33 PM CST
Thank you for your suggestion! Would orchids grow well in a north facing room like this? That might be a nice experiment! I'm looking primarily for inside plants to grow. If you think of others besides the orchids I'd sure appreciate it.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
May 30, 2017 3:17 PM CST
Welcome to NGA! Wow, you have the perfect place to make a greenhouse and have fun with plants! Like Carol said, get rid of the carpet and have the flooring be something that water won't bother. You'd probably have to get rid of the drapes too. Put some hooks in the overhead boards so you could hang plants that aren't too heavy.

North light is great for a lot of plants when you have glass overhead, too.. African violets would love it. Begonias should do well. You could try boston ferns, Christmas cactus, crotons, dieffenbachia, pothos and ivies. Phalaenopsis orchids should be easy there.

Leave some comfy chairs and a table, but line the rest of the area with shelving so you can arrange plants on shelves. There are a lot of great wrought iron plant stands that I see in thrift shops.

I can see you enjoying your morning coffee, or evening wine in there. Heck, you could even eat breakfast or dinner in such a lovely space!

It would be idea to have a ceiling fan or stand fan in there for air circulation. That helps keep bugs and fungus down. Go for it, and enjoy it.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - May 30, 2017 3:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 30, 2017 5:18 PM CST
Most plants need air movement to keep the bugs and fungus at bay, so open windows in warm weather will be great, but you didn't mention screens. When weather is to cold for open windows fans will do the job.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
May 30, 2017 5:20 PM CST
Screens could be added if you don't have them. Most hardware stores will make them if you give them measurements.
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Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
May 30, 2017 5:25 PM CST
Great room,great view. Depending on where you live ( you could add that to your profile) the room may need to be heated.
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
May 30, 2017 5:28 PM CST
I agree I have to put a bit of heat into my greenhouse during the coldest times. I just use a little space heater, but a propane heater would be more cost effective if the room isn't heated now. Edited to say I see an air vent in there, so it probably is already heated and cooled.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - May 30, 2017 5:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
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RickCorey
May 30, 2017 5:40 PM CST
I was worried about "north-facing windows get no direct sun", but you do seem to have a glass roof.

We added a "four season sun room" off one corner of an under-used part of our house, to help us sell it. That room immediately became our favorite part of the house, and we didn't WANT to sell it!

If our current manufactured-home-park continues assassinating healthy trees, and takes down the two huge old beautiful pines in back of the house, I may try to get a clear roof and some cheap clear walls for that back deck and have a sun room / poorly insulated greenhouse.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
May 30, 2017 5:45 PM CST
That would be great, Rick! You'd love it! Our green house has double walled 16mil polycarbonate panels and holds heat pretty well.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 30, 2017 6:00 PM CST
I would think that most folks that added those Sun rooms in cold country would have added a furnace vent to it when it was built. For those of us that don't freeze, yeah, that twin wall Polycarbonate works pretty well.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 30, 2017 7:30 PM CST
My greenhouse has 5-wall super-polycarbonate because our winters come with -5 degree temps and 60 mph winds. I use an electric heater in the winter (to suppliment the solar system that works best in the summer - go figure). A lot of plants (including orchids) do not like gas heat.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
May 30, 2017 7:49 PM CST
We don't ever get that low here, so I have a programmable electric heater that rarely comes on . That is iffy because it has to run off an extension cord. Not an ideal set up.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
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RickCorey
May 31, 2017 2:30 PM CST
I think I would live with only stored heat from the greenhouse effect, plus what leaks through the walls and sliding glass doors of my house.

It would feel silly to have a sunroom better-insulated than the rest of the (cheap, manufactured) home.

Thanks - I was looking for the word "polycarbonate".
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
May 31, 2017 8:18 PM CST
RickCorey said:
It would feel silly to have a sunroom better-insulated than the rest of the (cheap, manufactured) home.

.


Hmmmm

well, our sunroom is probably better insulated than most of the rest of our house (not a "manufactured home"). The original house was built with 2x4's, the sunroom is built with 2x6's (so thicker insulation). Of course, there is also a lot of glass, with windows on 3 walls.

I do somewhat regret using "low-E" glass windows, which are not very plant friendly in the winter (in terms of plants that need a lot of light). However, most houseplants thrive out there, and it is certainly a pleasant place to hang out!
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Name: Charity Walter
Lewiston, ID
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bloomingardener
Jun 1, 2017 10:56 AM CST
Wow! What a great forum with so many great ideas, thank you! I'm in northern Idaho on the border of Washington. We're in a valley so it stays pretty warm usually with the exception of this winter. We had a record amount of snow this year which is unusual for this area... people golf almost 365 days here. I'll update my profile. Thank you all!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
Jun 1, 2017 12:50 PM CST
Welcome! Charity I lived in Clarkston when I was a kid, and still have a cousin there. Great climate!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Jun 1, 2017 1:21 PM CST
Charity, I love your profile with you sweet son. Enjoy him, and have fun learning about plants and "meeting" everyone here. It really is fun and an education, too.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Image
RickCorey
Jun 1, 2017 8:35 PM CST
Hi Charity! Welcome to NGA.

You might not think that a "Pacific NorthWest" forum would realize that Idaho is part of the PNW, but we do! Some of the people who post there are from "the dry side of the mountains".

You might find some interesting threads. We're a small but friendly forum.
https://garden.org/forums/view...

( Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California )

( If you haven't run into it yet, here's the entire list of ALL NGA forums:
https://garden.org/forums/ )

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