Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - January 09, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Panels for greenhouse in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am building a greenhouse for my plants here in Austin and and will be using PVC panels for the roof. Which would be better for starting and growing plants the clear or the white panels?

ANSWER:

We're assuming that when you say "white" you actually mean "translucent." We made a field trip to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to ask some of the experts on the staff about the answer to this question, and to look at the greenhouses on-site there. Of course, the greenhouses there are the large commercial type greenhouse, and there are several styles. The main Nursery greenhouses have clear glass side panels and a translucent corrugated PVC roof. They also have shade screens that can be opened or retracted to control the amount of sun. In the summer, of course, the greenhouses get very hot and even the open, unroofed plant beds have shade screens over them. The greenhouse functions to protect seedlings or tender plants being wintered over from the cold, but it also can be useful in the summer, provided arrangments are made to keep the plants (and the gardener) from frying.

Since construction is a little out of our area of expertise in native plants of North America, take a look at this Greenhouse Construction website, which has other links that might be helpful. Another useful site is Hobby Greenhouse Construction, which touches on the many different materials you might wish to use.

Because you are building your greenhouse in the same area as the Wildflower Center, you will be interested to know that the consensus seemed to be for translucent PVC panels with some sort of shade screen available. In Central Texas, you will be protecting your plants from extreme cold only a few weeks a year and from extreme heat most of the rest of the time, and need to keep that in mind when you are selecting design and materials.

 

More Propagation Questions

Will Hesperaloe parviflora Yellow propagate true from seed?
May 11, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have searched all over the internet and have not been able to find an answer to my question. Will Hesperaloe parviflora 'Yellow' propagate true from seed or is division requ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of native Ohio buckeye from seed
September 25, 2008 - My granddaughter has collected "buck eyes"; can we plant them to start our own tree? If so, how do we go about it!
view the full question and answer

Propagation of blackberry from Williamsport PA
January 18, 2014 - I have been told that if you cut a branch off of a black berry bush and stick it in water for a few days, and then put it in the ground it will grow into another bush. Please tell me if this is true a...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Moth Mullein as a garden plant from Starksville MS
July 09, 2011 - I collected seeds from a beautiful Moth Mullein growing in a lot which will soon be bulldozed. Would I regret sowing them in the back of a sunny perennial bed this fall. These are from the white-pin...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting sumacs in Ontario
August 23, 2010 - I live in Aylmer Quebec. I have 10 baby sumac in my back yard and want to transplant them at my cottage in southern Ontario on Lake Simcoe. When can I do this and how?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.