Green vs. Clear: Which Greenhouse Walls Work Best?


Choosing what you want in a greenhouse can be an overwhelming process with how many options there are in every aspect of its building process. So how do you make the choices? What materials do you use? Are green walls or clear walls better? Which one works best?

Choosing which walls will work best between green and clear walls in a greenhouse will depend on what it is that you are growing. Clear walls work best for plants that thrive in full sunlight, and green walls help plants that prefer to have some shade.

Using different colored walls and different materials in your greenhouse’s walls can make a big difference in the outcome of the growth of the plants you are growing inside your greenhouse, so let us take a better look at clear vs. green greenhouse walls.

Is Clear Or Green Better For A Greenhouse?

When it comes to your greenhouse walls’ color, the choice will be entirely dependent on your personal preference and what you intend to grow in your greenhouse.

Choosing to have green walls in your greenhouse or clear walls in your greenhouse can make a difference when it comes to your plants’ growth, but what other factors are there to consider as well as the color?

Aesthetic

If the greenhouse will be in your garden or on your property, you may prefer to have it look a certain way purely from an aesthetics point of view.

If you have a very lush, green garden already, you may choose to have a greenhouse with green walls so that it will stand out less and really blend in with the rest of your greenery.

On the other hand, if you currently have a very elegant, sleek-looking garden, you may choose to rather have a greenhouse with clear walls because having a greenhouse with green walls would probably stick out worse than a sore thumb and would not suit your garden’s preexisting style and look.

There is also more of a variety when it comes to greenhouse wall colors than simply just green or clear walls.

You also have wall options such as clear green walls, which are completely see-through but are still green, solid green walls where the wall is a solid color that cannot be seen through, or frosted green walls, where the wall is green, but the plastic has a frosted effect to it, making it semi see-through.

And similarly, they have the same options in clear walls for your greenhouse. You can choose a clear and completely see-through wall, or you can choose a frosted clear wall, where the wall will be frosted and semi see-through.

The aesthetics of these colors and their varieties in what they can look like will be a personal choice and be determined by your personal preference and what you want in your garden.

Cost  

Different greenhouse wall colors will cost different prices and choosing which color to go with may be determined by your budget for your greenhouse is.

Depending on the country you live in, the different color walls’ prices may be the same, or one may be more expensive than the other.

The difference in price will usually depend on the cost of the materials used to make the different colored walls, but it will also largely depend on the supply and demand of the different wall colors in your area.

If green greenhouse walls are more popular where you live, they will generally cost less to purchase than the clear walls will.

This is because the company you buy your greenhouse walls from will be able to order more green walls in larger quantities at a time, which will usually end up costing the company less; therefore, they can sell it for less too.

And again, depending on the material that is used for the walling (for example, fiberglass, acrylic, plastic sheeting, glass), the price will vary.

Suppose you are not able to afford the material that you originally wanted to get. In that case, you will at least have the option of choosing from a different material that may actually be in your price range.

Are Different Color Greenhouse Walls Better For Different Plants?

What you are planning on growing inside your greenhouse will also play a large role in which color walls you decide to go with.

Clear walls really help when it comes to growing plants that thrive in full sunlight. Depending on what material your greenhouse walls are made from, clear greenhouse walls will let in between 78% to 90% of natural sunlight.

Plants that grow well in full sunlight include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelons
  • Squash
  • Eggplants
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Pumpkins
  • Jalapenos

These are just a handful of the plants that will grow well in full sunlight. There are many more flowers, plants, and vegetables that thrive in full sunshine, and therefore would benefit from growing in a greenhouse with clear walls.

Whereas if you plan on growing plants that need sunlight and also need a lot of shade, green walls will probably work far better for you as they will only allow roughly 75% natural sunlight.

Plants that will grow well in partial shade include:

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bok Choi
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Onions

These are just a hand full of the plants that would benefit from growing in a greenhouse that utilizes green walls and allows for partial shade all throughout the day.

If you are planning on growing a mixture of vegetables where some prefer full sunlight, and some prefer partial sunlight, you would need to decide which color walls you feel would then work best for you personally.

The only time there will be an obvious answer for this question would be if you have something very specific that you plan to grow in your greenhouse that would then require one level of sunlight.

For example, if you are running a small business from home where you grow and make your own pickles, and you want to build a greenhouse to grow your pickling cucumbers all year round, you would benefit from buying a greenhouse with clear walls.

Cucumbers thrive in full sunlight, and therefore it makes sense to buy the wall color that will allow the most amount of sunlight in.

However, if you have a small business making onion marmalade and you want a greenhouse to specifically grow onions in, it would be better for you to buy a greenhouse with green walls since onions prefer to grow in partial shade.

Do Green Walls Stunt The Growth Of Plants?

This is a common misconception about using green walls in a greenhouse.

Green walls do not stunt the growth of plants at all, and the only time plants may not grow as well in a greenhouse with green walls is if those plants needed to be grown exclusively in full sunlight.

These plants are still perfect and will grow to a good size because they will still get lots of sunshine; they may just not reach their full potential as far as size goes if they do not get as much sun as would be ideal.

It would be like saying that greenhouses with clear walls kill plants because they wilt in them; if a plant that does not cope well with being in the full sunlight is planted in a greenhouse that allows full sunlight in, of course, the plant is not going to cope well.

These two different types of walls work perfectly well and will help plants thrive in them, as long as the correct plants have been planted in the correct type of greenhouse.

Do Different Materials Make A Difference In Green And Clear Walls?

Different materials can be used to make both green walls and clear walls for a greenhouse, but does the material that is used make a difference in the outcome of the greenhouse?

Let us look at a few different types of materials that are used to make green and clear walls for a greenhouse and why the material used does actually make a difference.

Glass

Glass is one of the best materials that you can use for the walls of your greenhouse. You can choose to use clear glass or green glass as both options are available.

Glass walls in a greenhouse are great because they still allow in 90% of the natural sunlight that shines on it.

Glass is one of, if not the most, expensive materials that you could use for your greenhouse, though, so it is usually best to only use glass for your greenhouse walls if it is going to be a permanent structure that you are building.

Usually, when building a greenhouse’s walls with glass, a double strength glass will be used to help it be more durable towards outdoor conditions.

Usually, when people choose to go with glass walling, they will use clear glass as it is more aesthetically pleasing in your garden’s permanent structure.

Fiberglass Walls

Fiberglass is another really good option for greenhouse walls. Fiberglass also has the color choice of using clear or green walls.

Fiberglass has all of the benefits that glass does when it comes to your greenhouse’s walls, such as it also allows 90 percent of sunlight in; however, fiberglass is more durable than glass is.

Fiberglass is more durable than glass is, especially when it is exposed to drastic weather changes.

Another benefit to fiberglass is that it actually scatters the sunlight that it is letting in; this helps provide good light diffusion and, therefore, good light transmission throughout the greenhouse.

Fiberglass greenhouse walls can last you up to 10 years, but if you maintain it well and apply a new UV protection coating every few years, you will probably be able to make it last even longer.

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate greenhouses are made using polycarbonate plastic sheeting, which is a thick plastic sheet that can be stretched out over the structure of the greenhouse and then secured onto the poles/beams/structure.

Polycarbonate is a very popularly used material when it comes to greenhouses; let us look at why that is.

This kind of plastic will usually come standard with clear plastic as far as color choices go; however, you do get green Polycarbonate, and if you wish to have green Polycarbonate walls in your greenhouse, that is definitely an option too.

Some of the benefits to using Polycarbonate include:

  • The cost – Polycarbonate is a much cheaper material to build with, which means that the cost of making your greenhouse will be far cheaper when you use Polycarbonate for your greenhouse walls.
  • The light penetration – Polycarbonate allows 88% of natural light into the greenhouse; however, it diffuses the light that comes in, making the sunlight let harsh on the plants. This benefits the plants greatly.
  • It is very light – this means that in the event that you may want to adjust your greenhouse or even move the location of your greenhouse, it will be incredibly easy to disassemble your greenhouse and reassemble it elsewhere.
  • It is a sturdy material – due to the flexibility of this strong, thick plastic, it does not crack or break very easily when it is put under stress.

It makes sense that polycarbonate sheeting would be popular as a material to be used as greenhouse walling, whether you use clear sheeting or green sheeting, because of all of its benefits.

This plastic is a strong, durable plastic that is cheap to buy, easy to use, durable, and helps plants grow well; no wonder it is so popular.

Acrylic

Acrylic sheeting for greenhouse walls is another great option for many reasons, but one of the main reasons being that it ages well.

This may sound crazy, but acrylic sheeting in greenhouse walling can last up to 10+ years when it is looked after well.

Not only will it last, but it will also retain the light transmission and clarity that has been built up over time for many years, even decades still to come.

Acrylic greenhouse walls can be clear or green, and again, the decision is up to you with regards to which color will work best for you and the plants that you want to grow.

On average, the acrylic will allow roughly 91% of the natural sunlight into the greenhouse and transmits it evenly throughout.

Conclusion

There are a lot of options regarding the type of greenhouse walls that you are after, and many different aspects will play a role in what you will end up choosing.

Say, for instance, you decide that you want to go with green greenhouse walls.

Will they be a clear green, a solid green, or a frosted green?

Do you want to use glass walling? Or would you prefer to use something more like acrylic sheeting for your walls?

The color of your greenhouse walls does play a role in what will happen with your plants’ growth; however, there is no one color that is better than the other.

The color that will work best for you is the color that will help the specific plants that you have planted in your greenhouse thrive at their full potential.

Once you have chosen the color you would like your greenhouse walls to be, be sure to also choose the right material to get that color in; the material that suits your budget and suits your greenhouse needs is just as important as the color.

So at the end of the day, clear greenhouse walls work best for sunny plants, and green greenhouse walls work well for plants that need a little bit of shade – they both work best!

References

https://growagoodlife.com/vegetables-that-grow-in-shade/
https://www.weedemandreap.com/planning-your-garden-vegetables/
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/better-clear-green-greenhouse-105862.html
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/better-clear-green-greenhouse-105862.html
https://www.acrylite.co/industry/greenhouse.html

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