The Navier-Stokes granular hydrodynamics is employed for determining the threshold of thermal convection in an infinite horizontal layer of granular gas. The dependence of the convection threshold, in terms of the inelasticity of particle collisions, on the Froude and Knudsen numbers is found. A simple necessary condition for convection is formulated in terms of the Schwarzschild’s criterion, well known in thermal convection of (compressible) classical fluids. The morphology of convection cells at the onset is determined. At large Froude numbers, the Froude number drops out of the problem. As the Froude number goes to zero, the convection instability turns into a recently discovered phase-separation instability.