Why are Greenhouses Green? LEARN MORE!

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Are you shopping for a greenhouse to protect your tropical fruit trees from winter frosts? Then look no more! The two most common options are clear or green. But what is the advantage of each?

Greenhouses are green because green blocks light. UV lights can quickly stress plants but it also increases the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits. So, blocking infrared can make greenhouse cooler, too, which would be helpful in the summer, in hot areas.

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Personally, I don’t recommend any other color aside green. Clear is best as it is more natural (bears resemblance to outside) and allows more light in, which is generally a good thing. The only two light I would advise blocking would be infrared and UV rays, but you can still have a clear greenhouse with infrared and UV filters.

A lot of plastic greens out there already block UV rays. So, infrared making your greenhouse hot is almost what you shouldn’t worry about.

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Table of Contents

Why are Greenhouses Green?

The Green colour (like other colors) will block some light, but not too much. The only reason they still sell these green plastic coverings on a frame is because they’re pretty to look at compared to clear plastic, and the material they’re made from is a bit tougher than clear plastic.

While we are unable to determine which is better for the particular plant/tree you are planting, we do have some guidelines that shows the advantages and disadvantages of Clear/PVC vs. PE greenhouse cover.

  • PVC

The plastic used here might generate additional heat and is more ideal for areas with a cold climate. Plants can also be seen through, this adding beauty to your garden.

From experience, I have found out that it doesn’t generate heat but instead, it blocks heat and light and also helps retain it by not allowing cold air to enter and warmer air to leave.

Most plastic release some of their chemicals once they come in contact with water. Polyethelene may release less or various substances I forget which but high density polyethelene (HDPE) I hear leaches less.

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From what I’ve seen so far, there are some small greenhouses which may not have UV stabilized plastic sheeting which means they will degrade faster under the sun’s radiation. Maybe only lasting one season.

There are specific plastic films made to be used for outdoor greenhouses. I used one for my raised bed cover for the square foot gardening box I built last year. It’s a UV stabilized low density polyethelene. I believe since it breaks down slower it won’t leach as much of it’s chemicals as fast.

  • PE

Generally, greenhouse experts and gardeners prefer PE over PVC with claims that the PVC material features a dangerous load that can be damaging to sensitive plants.

The PE material is built from stronger elements, and protects from sun, for plants that perform better with less exposure to the sun.

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Green Colored Houses vs Other Colors

Green colored plastic, like the one you see online, allows more green light than other wavelengths to pass through. For plants, the red and blue part of the spectrum are the most important.

Since plant leaves are typically green, they reflect green light. Personally, I prefer clear plastic to green one.

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Red is better than green, in my opinion. A lot of people prefer to use red colored plastic to cover the soil before they commence planting as that helps to improve yield.

Green vs Clear Greenhouse

For maximum growth and productivity, we recommend clear rather than green as it allows for more sunlight penetration resulting in strong, happy and healthy crops.

Does Greenhouse Plastic Block UV Rays?

Newer modern plastic is made to resist UV light and help the plastic itself last much longer while still exposing your plant or trees to the sunlight they need.

why are greenhouses green

Is Green or White Better for A Greenhouse?

Do you mean white, as in clear? If so, they’re more recommended than green and other colored versions.

That is because covering your greenhouse with green, red (or any other color) will prevent some of the spectrums of the natural sunlight from getting to the structure and locating your plants.

What Color Panels Are Best For Greenhouse?

Clear is better than green, opaque or any other color variant out there. Green coverings prevents all of the sunlight from going through the structure but clear allows it

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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