Grow Tents: The Easy Way to Grow Plants Indoors

Screen shot 2015-03-19 at 10.56.08 AMNot everyone can afford to build a greenhouse, but it’s easy to get the same functionality of a greenhouse with a grow tent. Grow tents are canvas enclosures for controlling the environmental variables of plants, herbs and flowers, namely temperature, humidity and light. Tight spaces are no longer a constraint, since grow tents are available in sizes small enough to fit in a closet, while larger models can turn a spare room into a grow room.

Grow tents are typically designed with a framework of steel tubing and a black vinyl or canvas exterior. The inside is illuminated with an HID grow light, which is reflected by a Mylar or other type of reflective lining. Older models used white plastic lining on the inside, but Mylar is 30% more reflective; and since the HID lights are much less efficient than LED grow lights, it’s important to preserve as much light as possible in order to maximize plant growth.

Screen shot 2015-03-19 at 10.55.22 AMPerhaps more importantly, the older white linings made of polyurethane or PVC were prone to toxic out-gassing (the release of chemical fumes in volatile organic compounds) that would lead to whitening and withering of plants. These types of grow tents are almost all out of production, but it’s important to check the type of lining used if you’re buying a grow tent online.

Grow tents are heat resistant, and can keep the internal temperature constant. By opening flaps or using fans, the temperature can be reduced when necessary. For instance, the sides can be left open in the day and closed at night. Tents can be accessorized with exhaust fans and filters by attaching them to ports in the sides (depending on the model, a grow tent can have from one to four ports).

They’re also ideal for protecting against household menaces like spider mites, gray mold, and other threats that thrive in dark, humid conditions. Spider mites can be discouraged by keeping the temperature inside the tent around 60 degrees, and mold can be discouraged by keeping the humidity below 50%.

For anyone who does not have adequate space to germinate seeds or grow plants and flowers, grow tents are an excellent way to become a grower on limited resources. They can be used indoors and outdoors, in hot or cold climates, and in large or small spaces. Homeowners and apartment dwellers who live in the city and are anxious to exercise their green thumb should seriously consider investing in a grow tent.