The Wheaton College Greenhouse is dedicated to the research and exhibition of plant species native to a variety of climates.

A state-of-the-art facility

The greenhouse is comprised of 1,200 sq. ft. of space. The facility was built on the rooftop of the MARS Science and Technology Center in 2011.

The Wheaton greenhouse features four separate biomes, each monitored and controlled with a MicroGrow environmental control system.

A weather station attached to the greenhouse roof monitors outside conditions such as solar level, wind, rain, and temperature and adjusts the indoor greenhouse climate accordingly.

This system is able to adjust ventilation, heating, cooling, humidity, lighting, shading and other environmental factors in each individual greenhouse.

Academic support

The greenhouse provides laboratory materials and space to Wheaton students. Students taking biology, ecology, genetics, and a variety of arts courses use the greenhouse for both independent and course research work.

Wide-ranging research opportunities

Many research opportunities for students interested in botany, biology, and genetics are provided by the greenhouse.

Past student research includes:

  • Plant response to fertilizers and light intensity
  • Genetic inheritance in consecutive generations
  • Dormant wetland seed germination
  • Cross pollination of Rapid-Cycling Brassica strains

Four growth chambers provide students and faculty the ability to have complete control of light, humidity, and temperature within the closed chamber.

Past research includes:

  • Algae growth in different pH environments
  • Bean growth with Tobacco Mosaic Virus
  • Growth of albino corn for genetics studies

Student employment opportunities

Wheaton students with an interest in botany and horticulture are encouraged to apply for a paid position as a Greenhouse Assistant. The greenhouse employs 6 or 7 assistants each year. Email Ben Robbins, Greenhouse Horticulturist, at or stop by the greenhouse if interested. Hiring is usually done during the Spring semester to start the following Fall but positions are sometimes available at other times during the year.

Public Welcome

Groups or individuals are welcome to visit the greenhouse. It is open to the public and Wheaton invites you to tour the facility.

Questions? Want to visit?

Contact Ben Robbins, Greenhouse Horticulturist, at

Temperate House
Rainforest House
Research House
Desert House
Growth Chambers


Related programs: