This Easy IKEA Hack Is the Secret to Happy Plants—Even in Small, Dark Homes

updated Oct 5, 2020
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Credit: Kristan Lieb

Like many others, Iris Gobbers found that 2020 was the year she suddenly got very into houseplants. “It kind of exploded really fast,” Iris says. “I bought a lot of them, and also a lot of small and very young plants.”

Credit: Iris Gobbers

She didn’t have a perfect place to keep all of them, she says, so they were all just crowded on tables in her apartment. “They weren’t thriving at all under the cheap pinkish grow lights. so I figured, I need a greenhouse,” Iris says.

She did some research online to see what others had done to solve the problem, and decided to hit up a tried-and-true destination for creating custom projects: IKEA.

Credit: Iris Gobbers

Iris chose the BESTA cabinet for her base, and opted for glass shelves for the interior—that way, light could get to plants at every level. She also selected two glass doors. And of course, Iris bought grow lights to fit inside her greenhouse to help ensure that her plants got enough sunshine (even if it was human-made).

Credit: Iris Gobbers

As for construction, Iris started with the base and doors, adding a wood shelf to separate the top and bottom sections. Then, with the help of her fiancé, she fitted the grow lights inside with the wires threaded out. There’s one in each section for optimal light, and they’re both connected to a timer that turns them on at 8 a.m. and off at 9 p.m. Then, Iris added in the glass shelves and, of course, her plants. “It was easier than I thought,” Iris says, and only took about an hour and a half in total.

“I love just looking at it and watching my plants grow,” Iris says. “After only a few days in there and I could see new growth already. It’s crazy how well they do in there.”

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