Greenhouse VS Shade House: All You Must Know

Not everyone is lucky enough to count on perfect weather conditions to grow plants in their gardens. And if you know something about gardening, you are probably familiar with the help greenhouses can give to protect your plants from extreme conditions and recreate the optimal environments for their growth. But do you know the difference between a greenhouse and a shade house?

If you don’t, don’t worry: you are not alone. Most people use the two terms interchangeably or only use “greenhouse” to indicate both. But the truth is that these structures serve different purposes.

Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the differences between “Greenhouse VS Shade House.” While their names can suggest what each one does, keep reading to clarify any doubt. After all, it is never a bad idea to learn how to use the proper terminology.

What is a Shade House?

Greenhouse VS Shade House

A shade house is a mesh (or shade-cloth) structure that protects plants from the sunlight. It helps prevent excessive drying and retain moisture in the soil. So, even if shade houses look like greenhouses, their purpose is different. Plus, the structure is lighter and allows proper air circulation. Rain and air can permeate them.

Shade houses are perfect if you have shade-loving plants in your garden. Too much sunshine can damage them.

Providing them with shade will recreate the optimal conditions for their growth, even if you live in a hot and dry region. You can shade houses in various colors, each offering a different level of protection to your plants. Make sure you choose a suitable one for your plants.

What is a Greenhouse?

Greenhouse VS Shade House

Greenhouses are heavier and consist of structures with plastic or glass roofs and walls. Greenhouses allow light to penetrate, and their purpose is to raise the internal temperature and moisture levels in the environment around your plants.

They also offer protection against external elements and can prevent attacks from pests. If you live in a cold region but want to grow heat-loving plants, you might benefit from adding a greenhouse to your garden.

Greenhouse VS Shade House: Differences and Similarities

Greenhouse VS Shade House

As you probably know (thanks to this guide), greenhouse and shade houses have many differences. Depending on your local climate and your garden requirements, you’ll be better off adding one or the other to your yard. But let’s look at the uses you can make of both to clarify these structures’ similarities and differences.

You can use shade houses to harden your seedlings before planting them outdoors. If you live in a cold climate, you probably need to start your plant’s seeds indoors. Under such circumstances, it is always a good idea to gradually expose your plants to external conditions to prevent excessive stress.

And a shade house can help you achieve that. Plus, you can use these structures to grow plants such as orchids, spinach, arugula, or ferns: all shade-loving plants that might suffer from sunburn.

Of course, a greenhouse isn’t the ideal option for such plants. Inside this structure, the temperature will become too hot for them to survive. However, you can use greenhouses to grow vegetables and plants over the winter in places the outdoor temperatures drop too low.

Also, if you are struggling with attacks from pests like birds and other small mammals, a greenhouse can help you protect your plants.

Ultimately, what you should add to your yard depends on your local weather conditions and what you are looking to achieve. A shade house works best if you live in a hot and dry region and need to find ways to protect your plants from the scorching sun.

Keep in mind that such a structure can also help improve water retention in the soil. If you struggle with keeping your plant moist, consider getting a shade house.

But if you are trying to grow plants that need consistent temperatures or humidity levels, you will be better off installing a greenhouse in your garden. Greenhouses are perfect for growing tropical plants in cold weather. But keep in mind that this structure can become too hot or cold. Don’t forget to add a ventilating system to allow proper airflow and prevent the spread of diseases.

Greenhouse VS Shade House: The Bottom Line

There are considerable differences between greenhouses and shade houses. And now, you should be able to make an informed decision about which one will work best for you.

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