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Greenhouse Growing Tips

Great greenhouse tips and useful information to keep your greenhouse running efficiently.

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Greenhouse Shading

Greenhouse Shading Guidelines

Keeping the greenhouse cool is accomplished by obtaining a balance of shading, ventilation and humidity. Providing the proper amount of each is the secret to a cool greenhouse. Here are some guidelines for shading:

Shading will be 40% more effective when installed on the OUTSIDE of the greenhouse. Improve cooling by suspending the fabric 4" to 9" above the glazing surface. (For SolarGro greenhouses, see our Stand-Off Kit #2090.)

Shading installed INSIDE the greenhouse will protect your plants from sunburn, but because of the "greenhouse effect" the sun's energy will be trapped in the greenhouse and overheating can result. Radiant/reflective shading (Revolux #2172) recommended.


The fiberglass shade screen is attractive and rolls up well. It has a life of 5-6 years as a roll shade, longer as a fixed panel.

Knitted plastic shades are popular because of their light weight and easy handling. They do roll up easily and do not ravel when cut to size. Life of the material is 5-10 years.

Black or green polypropylene is very durable (lasting 8-15 years) and is available in a wide range of densities. The dark green lath-weaving pattern is more attractive for residential applications. This material does not roll up easily.

Reflective (foil ribbon) shading is recommended where exposure to sun and heat is very high. Life of 3-5 years.

Liquid Shading Compounds

Shading "paint" is popular where neat appearance is not a major concern. The compound comes as a concentrate and can be thinned with water to the desired shading density.


A density number is the percentage of light blocked by the shade. The following can be used as a general guide:

30% - Snapdragons, Chrysanthemums, Geraniums
45% - Lilies, Bedding Plants, Caladiums
50% - Azaleas, Begonias, Camellias, Gloxinias, African Violets, Poinsettias
55% - Pachysandra, Ivy, Orchids
60% - Diffenbachia, Stag Horn Fern, Rhododendron
70% - Fern, Anthurium, Dracaena, Philodendron
75% - Palms, Chinese Evergreen

Experience has shown that 40 to 60% density is satisfactory in temperate zones, with the higher densities of 70 and 80%, and reflective shading, used in the Southern states. Consider using a high-density shade on the roof, and a lower density shade on the walls. A Light Meter (#6639) is a valuable tool in determining the proper amount of shading.

Shade Installation

The easiest method is to drape the shade over the greenhouse and secure it with lines through grommet clips (#2040) that snap onto the edges of the shade. If you have roof vents, fasten the shade loosely to allow the vents to open. Snap Hooks #1447 can be used to secure shading to greenhouse glass.

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