En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Panels for greenhouse in Austin

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

Propagation of Texas madrone (Arbutus xalapensis)
October 08, 2008 - I have seeds from a madrone tree and would like to know if you have had success propagating a madrone and if so, could you give me some tips, because I hear it can be tricky.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mexican bonebract in Floresville, TX
November 12, 2008 - My kids and I finally identified a small plant that we found growing in our pasture. There was only one and it is lovely. It is the Mexican Bonebract. What I am interested in finding out is how to tra...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting bluebonnets in late Fall from Georgetown TX
November 08, 2013 - Transplanting bluebonnets in October? Neighbor wants to share abundance of rosettes and good size plants- any suggestions or warnings? Will freeze/frost protection be needed if we get December freeze...
view the full question and answer

Grapes Grown from Seed
July 21, 2006 - Can mustang grapes be grown from seed? If so, how is the best way and when is the best time to do it?
view the full question and answer

Century plant offshoots in Denver
January 01, 2009 - Each year I get a small "baby" Century Plants in the early winter..December - January, But it dies off before summer. We live in Denver, CO My main plant is doing fine. Also, should I cut the lo...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center