Land of Perpetual Spring

Metrolina Greenhouses cultivates 162 acres of plants and flowers year-round
Holly Gernatt

Picture a chunk of land the size of four Concord Mills malls bursting with vibrant flowers, green vegetables, and the unmistakable scent of spring. Metrolina Greenhouses has been quietly humming in Huntersville for 41 years and is now the nation’s largest heated greenhouse on one site.

Metrolina cultivates 162 acres of plants and employs more than 600 people year-round. Founded by the late Tom VanWingerden and his wife Vickie in 1972, the company is known for its sustainability efforts. For every inch of rain that falls on the vast roof, three million gallons of water are collected to water the plants. The greenhouse stays cool in the summer thanks to an open-roof-ventilation system and is heated in the winter by burning wood chips. To book a tour or to find stores that sell Metrolina’s products, visit

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