Greenhouse & Polyhouse: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Greenhouses and polyhouses are popular structures that cultivate plants in a controlled environment. While they share some similarities, there are also significant differences between the two structures. This article will explore the differences between greenhouses and polyhouses and help you decide which is best for your gardening needs.

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Greenhouses: A Closer Look

A greenhouse comprises glass or plastic walls and a roof that traps sun heat. This creates a warm and humid environment that is ideal for growing plants. The walls and roof of a greenhouse allow sunlight to enter, but they also prevent heat from escaping, which helps to maintain a stable temperature inside the structure.

Greenhouses typically grow plants that require a warm and humid environment, such as tropical plants, fruits, and vegetables. They also extend the growing season for plants that would otherwise not survive in colder climates. Greenhouses come in various sizes, from small backyard structures to large commercial facilities.

Polyhouses: A Closer Look

Polyhouses, on the other hand, are structures made of plastic walls and a roof. They are similar to greenhouses in that they provide a controlled environment for growing plants but are typically less expensive and easier to construct. Polyhouses are often used by small-scale farmers and gardeners who want to extend their growing season or protect their plants from harsh weather conditions.

One of the advantages of polyhouses is that they are more flexible than greenhouses. They can be easily moved or dismantled, which makes them ideal for temporary or seasonal use. They are also less expensive to construct than greenhouses, which makes them a popular choice for small-scale growers.

Key Differences Between Greenhouses and Polyhouses

Several key differences between greenhouses and polyhouses are worth noting. These include:

  • Materials Used: Greenhouses are typically made of glass or polycarbonate panels, while polyhouses are made of plastic sheeting. Glass is more expensive than plastic but is more durable and provides better insulation. Polycarbonate panels are a popular alternative to glass because they are strong, lightweight, and provide good insulation.
  • Cost: Greenhouses are generally more expensive than polyhouses, especially if made of glass. However, they are also more durable and can last decades with proper care. Polyhouses are less expensive to construct but may need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Size: Greenhouses are available in a wider range of sizes than polyhouses. They can be small backyard structures or large commercial facilities. Polyhouses, on the other hand, are typically smaller and more suited to small-scale growing.
  • Mobility: Polyhouses are more mobile than greenhouses because they are made of plastic sheeting that can be easily moved. On the other hand, greenhouses are more difficult to move because they are made of glass or polycarbonate panels.
  • Ventilation: Greenhouses provide better ventilation than polyhouses because they have more openings for air to circulate. This can be important for preventing moisture and mold buildup inside the structure.

Which One is Right for You?

Deciding whether to choose a greenhouse or polyhouse depends on several factors, including your budget, the size of your growing area, and the type of plants you want to grow. A greenhouse may be the best choice if you have a large budget and want a permanent structure for decades. However, if you are on a tight budget and want a more flexible structure that can be easily moved or dismantled, a polyhouse may be a better option.

Another important factor to consider is the climate in your area. If you live in a cold climate with harsh winters, a greenhouse may be necessary to provide a warm and humid environment for your plants. However, if you live in a milder climate, a polyhouse may be sufficient to protect your plants from frost and other weather conditions.


Greenhouses and polyhouses are valuable tools for growing plants in a controlled environment. While they share some similarities, several key differences exist between the two structures. By understanding these differences and considering your budget, growing area, and climate, you can choose the right structure for your gardening needs.

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