Ark Greenhouse Guide

Ark Greenhouse Guide

An ARK greenhouse guide is almost necessary unless you’re playing with a friend who has built one before. The game is pretty unclear about how to build a greenhouse, so it’s easy to miss a step or two.

I know it took me far too long to figure out how to garden in ARK: Survival Evolved efficiently. Eventually, I asked a friend who came to my base on our PvE server and helped me out.

Greenhouse Roundup For ARK: Survival Evolved

  • Purpose – to make crops grow faster and use less fertilizer.
  • Materials Needed (for greenhouse pieces)Crystal, Cementing Paste, and Metal Ingots
  • Structures Needed (for full function) – Foundation (any), Greenhouse pieces (walls, roofs, doorframe, door), crop plots, Irrigation system (intake pipe, connecting pipes, tap.)
  • Other Needs – seeds, fertilizer

This should take care of what you need to know about the greenhouse in ARK. Building a greenhouse is simple once you get used to it. Just place foundations, build a greenhouse around it, and add crops. Then, all you need is fertilizer and an irrigation system.

Greenhouse Structures in ARK: Survival Evolved

Greenhouse structures are made with Metal Ingot (or Scrap Metal Ingot,) Crystal (or Primal Crystal), and Cementing Paste (or Achatina Paste.) So it will take a while to gather materials for your first greenhouse.

ark greenhouse
Image from: ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki


  • 7× Metal Ingot
  • 25× Crystal
  • 7× Cementing Paste

Sloped Wall Left

  • 4× Metal Ingot or Scrap Metal Ingot
  • 15× Crystal
  • 4× Cementing Paste or Achatina Paste

Sloped Wall Right

  • 4× Metal Ingot or Scrap Metal Ingot
  • 15× Crystal
  • 4× Cementing Paste or Achatina Paste


  • 5× Metal Ingot or Scrap Metal Ingot
  • 20× Crystal
  • 5× Cementing Paste or Achatina Paste

Double Doorframe

  • 5× Cementing Paste
  • 20× Crystal
  • 5× Metal Ingot


  • 3× Metal Ingot
  • 10× Crystal
  • 4× Cementing Paste

Double Door

  • 8× Cementing Paste
  • 20× Crystal
  • 6× Metal Ingot


  • 1× Metal Ingot
  • 3× Crystal
  • 1× Cementing


  • 10× Metal Ingot
  • 35× Crystal
  • 10× Cementing Paste

Triangle Ceiling

ARK survival Evolved Triangle roof structure
Image from: ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki
  • 5× Cementing Paste
  • 17× Crystal
  • 5× Metal Ingot

Sloped Roof

  • 10× Metal Ingot
  • 35× Crystal
  • 10× Cementing Paste

Triangle Roof

  • 7× Cementing Paste
  • 25× Crystal
  • 7× Metal Ingot

How to Get Each Greenhouse Material

The materials needed for the crop plots are easy to find. But the ones you need for glass aren’t what you may keep in your inventory at all times. You need to go out and get it.

Cementing Paste

You can find cementing paste in beaver dams or gather it with a Beelzebufo, which converts chitin into cementing paste. However, my favorite way to get this paste is by getting an Achatina (the snail.)

This snail can be set to wandering, and they will get one Achatina Paste every minute. This works just like cementing paste and can be used to make greenhouse structures. The Achatina usually spawns in wet places like swamps and jungles.


crystal ark survival
Image from: ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki

Crystal can spawn almost anywhere, but it is usually near mountains. The best way to harvest it is with an Ankylosaurus or Mantis with a Metal Pick. I strongly suggest at least using a Metal Pick yourself before harvesting it.

Metal Ingot

To get metal ingot, you need to harvest metal which can usually be found near mountains. Again, the Anky is your best bet, but you can get it with a Metal Pick. Once you have the metal, you must put it in a Forge to create metal ingot. Each metal ingot takes two metal, so keep this in mind when calculating.

How to Build a Simple ARK Greenhouse Step-By-Step

Though there are plenty of ways to amp up your greenhouse game, these are the steps that you must take to make an operating greenhouse in ARK: Survival Evolved. This is what I do as soon as I can, then improve it later.

Note: Materials are based on my basic build.

Simple ARK Greenhouse
Image from: ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki

Step 1: Find Water

Before you begin building a greenhouse, you must find a water source. The closer to the water (river, ocean, lake), the better. If you don’t have a water system near your base, then you can slowly get water from reservoirs.

Step 2: Add At Least Two Foundations

Two Wood Foundations

  • 160× Wood
  • 40× Thatch
  • 30× Fiber

Place at least two foundations of any kind near the water or wherever you decide to build your greenhouse. I like wood foundations early game because they’re a nice middle ground that’s easy to get and it looks nice.

Step 3: Add Greenhouse Walls (leave one open space)

Five Greenhouse Walls

  • 35× Metal Ingot
  • 125× Crystal
  • 35× Cementing Paste

While the next few steps can be done in any order, this is the order I do them. After I place two foundations, I place five walls around them. This will give the best greenhouse effect.

Step 4: Add Plots

One Large Crop Plot

  • 80× Wood
  • 40× Thatch
  • 60× Fiber
  • 100  Stone

Go through the open space (add steps leading up to it if you want) and place one plot if you use two foundations. I always have at least one foundation near the door without any plots.

Step 5: Start Irrigation System

Stone Intake Pipe and Stone Tap (number of other pipes vary)

  • 35× Stone
  • 15× Wood

All you need for an irrigation system is an intake pipe, connecting pipes, and one tap. Place the intake pipe in the water, connect the pipes you need to reach your greenhouse, then place the tap over the crop plot. You may have to get creative with your pipes to ensure they don’t look wonky in your yard.

If you don’t want to mess with this system and instead want to use a reservoir, all you need is a straight pipe and a tap. Either way, make sure that the pipes are tinted blue, which means they are working.

Step 6: Add Greenhouse Roofs and Door

Greenhouse Door and Roof Pieces (including gable ends)

  • 26× Metal Ingot
  • 95× Crystal
  • 27× Cementing Paste

Now is when I add the greenhouse roof pieces and the door. You can even add ceilings instead of roof pieces if you want, but if you do, I suggest adding another layer of walls first.

Step 7: Get Planting

Now you can start planting your garden. Use the seeds you find in the wild to start your garden. I prefer to plant vegetables (or what the game considers veggies) only, which are Citronal, Rockarrot, Longrass, and Savoroot.

Step 8: Fertilize

Finally, you need to fertilize your garden. You can actually use feces to fertilize your garden, but making fertilizer will be a better option. All you need are feces and thatch made in a Compost Bin.

Alternatively, you can get Dung Beetles which collect feces and turn the feces into fertilizer. This is what I do as soon as I find a Dung Beetle.

Best ARK Greenhouse Builds

I’ve made a ton of greenhouse builds in ARK, but I have yet to capture any of them. That said, much of my inspiration comes from YouTubers like Aaron Longstaff who share amazing ARK builds.

Efficient Greenhouse

If you want the best all-around greenhouse build, this is it. The build is cheap, easy, and works great. You get the 300% greenhouse effect without forgetting a ton of materials. Not to mention, the video is only three minutes.

Unique Octagon Greenhouse

This is my first Aaron Longstaff share. If you’ve been playing ARK long, you are probably familiar with this guy and his top-notch builds. This greenhouse isn’t the most material-efficient, but it does have the full 300% effect, and it is super unique.

Complex Greenhouse with Tips

Aesthetic-wise, this build isn’t the most unique. But the methods used for this are insane. So if you want something a little crazy where you can build hundreds of crop plots in one greenhouse, this should serve you well.

Fancy Greenhouse

This greenhouse build makes me happy. It’s like a state-of-the-art architect designed it, and a tour is something you’d see on HGTV. But it was actually created by a genius ARK player named SWChris.

Simple Greenhouse

If you’re short on time and resources, Aaron Longstaff’s small greenhouse build is a good choice. This is very similar to one of my builds because I keep it simple with greenhouses early on. His tutorial even includes a dung beetle/phiomia feces farm.

Perfect Greenhouse

This is the perfect example of how you can build a greenhouse right next to the water. If you’re struggling with irrigation, this will show you the basics of the greenhouse water system.

Tower Greenhouse

This tower greenhouse is more tower than greenhouse, but it looks terrific and gets the job done. If you’re on a PvE server and want to show off, this is a good way to go because it will be seen from halfway across the map.

High-End Greenhouse

Are you in the late game with more crystal and metal than you know what to do with? This greenhouse build is the most impressive I have seen. The best part is that it’s built in the desert.

Base Add-On Greenhouse

I love adding a greenhouse onto my base so I can have direct access to my house from the greenhouse. This makes things faster whenever I forget something from storage, which I always do.

Floating Lake Greenhouse

I love building on water because it is safer and it looks cool. One of my favorite builds I ever made was a cute lakehouse. As for this greenhouse, out of every build on the list, I’d say I’d be most likely to build this one.

Cliff Greenhouse

I’ve never been a fan of cliff builds because I don’t like cliff platforms. But I would be tempted to build this in Aberration too. It looks so good, and the wraparound crop plots are such a good idea.

Greenhouse Checklist and Troubleshooting

  • Sunlight – greenhouses need sunlight. So if you’re building in a cave, then that may be why you’re not getting the greenhouse effect.
  • No Tek Shield – you can’t build greenhouses under tek shields and expect them to perform well.
  • No More Than Three Stories – if you have a tall greenhouse, know that the greenhouse effect will not take effect unless it is less than four stories.
  • Unobstructed Ceilings – if you place greenhouse ceilings and then place something on top of them, it voids the effect of the ceilings.
  • Reservoirs Don’t Autofill – you either have to wait until it rains for the reservoir to fill or manually fill it with canteens, jars, and waterskins.
  • The S+ Beehive – this is a little tip I have for S+ players. If you have the mod, you can place an S+ Beehive next to your greenhouse to irrigate it automatically.


Question: How Does the Greenhouse Work in ARK?

Answer: The greenhouse isn’t necessary to plant crops in ARK. But having it ensures that you can plant more crops because they grow faster and use less fertilizer, saving you time and resources.

Question: How Fast Do Plants Grow in ARK?

Answer: Under normal circumstances, the plants take one real-life day to grow. This can be changed with server settings or by adding the greenhouse effect, which speeds them up significantly.

Question: Does a Greenhouse Have to Be Near Water?

Answer: No. While it is easier to irrigate the greenhouse if it is near water, you can use a reservoir to irrigate it. Make sure you manually fill it, to begin with unless it is raining.

Question: How Do I Farm Feces in ARK?

Answer: The best way to farm feces is to get a few Phiomia and Dung Beetles and place them in a fenced-in area. Set the Dung Beetles to wandering, and they will collect the feces of the Phiomia, which poops more than any other creature. The Dung Beetle can even make Fertilizer with the feces they collect.

Question: What is the Max Greenhouse Effect?

Answer: The maximum greenhouse effect is 300%. You can see this by hovering over your crops. There is a rumor that it can reach 500%, but this is unnatural and can only happen with adjusted settings or mods.

Making an ARK Greenhouse Into a Greenhome

I find making greenhouses in ARK fun because I enjoy gardening and playing with glass structures. After I learned how to reach 300% greenhouse efficiency, I started learning about how to make my greenhouse space efficient.

As much as I love aesthetics and making things look fancy, I like to have my base as convenient as possible. If that means having a Gigantopithecus, Dung Beetle, and Phiomia do all of the dirty work, then so be it. More time for extravagant base builds and Wyvern breeding.

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