What Is a Greenhouse Shade Cloth?


Greenhouses operate on the principle that the temperatures from day to night are kept ideal for the plants to grow in no matter the weather outside. As a general rule, the greenhouse is made relatively cooler during the day and then comparatively hotter during the night.


  • There are various means to achieve both of these temperature-related goals of which the most common and most effective is the use of a shade net.
  • This is especially true for greenhouses located in hot and humid climates where the sun often beats down mercilessly on all earthly things.


The Greenhouse Shade Cloth Defined

Basically, a shade cloth is any material that can be placed over the greenhouse’ roof and walls that, in turn, will block out the sun’s direct heat from entering the structure.


  • The most common material is loosely-woven polyester with varying intensities from 5% to 95% depending on the shade levels required.


Greenhouse gardening experts recommend using a cloth with 40% to 60% density for most plants although exotic blooms like orchids require a minimum 75% density. The general rule is to go for the lowest density possible and then adjust as the plants grow.

Be sure to take the cloth or net off the greenhouse at night.


  • If you fail to do so, the greenhouse will be cooler than necessary, which will produce a similar effect as when you failed to place the cloth on the greenhouse during hot days.


Importance of Greenhouse Shade Net Cloths

From the above mentioned definition of a shade cloth for greenhouses, it is easy to conclude about its importance to the proper maintenance of the greenhouse.

• Since it blocks out the sun’s direct sunlight, the shade cloth lessens the energy costs necessary to keep the greenhouse cool during the mornings and then well into the early evenings. Most greenhouse owners will put up the cloth from 10AM and leave it on until 5PM, perhaps even later in places with extreme western exposure. This is particularly true during the hot summer months.
Conversely, the new shade also helps in heating up the greenhouse during the evenings. Just pull up the shade cloth to let the cool air into the structure.

• Also, it prevents irradiation damage to the plants. Many crops have been destroyed by excessive sun exposure, which counteracts the purpose of the greenhouse in the first place – to protect the plants from the whims of the weather outside including extreme levels of sunlight.

• The cloth also plays a significant role in keeping the greenhouse’s ventilation up to par. Keep in mind that proper ventilation is also of great importance to keeping the ideal temperature within the greenhouse. The trick is in using the shade cloths to aid in such purpose.

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