En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Grafting edible plums onto Cherry Laurel in Austin
May 18, 2010 - Grafting edible plums onto Cherry Laurel - possible? Insane? What? Could I do that? Could I graft, say, Green Gage Plum, or Mexican Plum, or Saturn Peach, on a Cherry Laurel and have any success? I ha...
view the full question and answer

Time to plant echinacea seeds in Austin
March 28, 2010 - When should I plant echinacea seeds in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Should I remove the flowering stalk from my Dasylirion leioiphyllum?
March 23, 2009 - We transplanted a plant that is new to us but going through your photos on your website, it appears that we have a Dasylirion Leiophy. My question is this.. Are we supposed to cut the 6' stem that f...
view the full question and answer

Native bulbs for the northeastern U. S.
November 23, 2007 - What native bulbs could we plant in the Northeast? Can they only be planted in the fall as Dutch bulbs are?
view the full question and answer

Rooting desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) from a cutting
May 12, 2009 - I found a desert willow with great bloom color and I am trying to root a cutting. I have never tried to root a cutting but I have read that desert willow is easy to root. My first attempt was in a vas...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center