Shade cloth – an effective and safe way to shade your greenhouse

Greenhouses provide an ideal environment for plants to thrive, but sometimes the intense sunlight can be too much for them to handle. That’s where shade cloth comes in. Shade cloth is an effective and safe way to protect your greenhouse and create optimal growing conditions for your plants. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using shade cloth in your greenhouse and guide you on how to choose the right shade cloth for your specific needs.

Why shade greenhouses

Then another question arises – why shade plants from the sun if they grow in a greenhouse. After all, the polycarbonate coating itself scatters light, reducing the likelihood of burns and drying out of the bushes. This material actually prevents the unpleasant effects of sunlight. However, it cannot provide 100% protection, so the use of additional tools is welcome. In addition, different crops require different temperature conditions. If heat-loving plants can withstand even hot days quite steadfastly, then the rest still require more comfortable conditions.

What products can be used to darken

The darkening of the greenhouse narrows down to the formation of a protective shading filter. Although any material can be used to darken, special materials are required to ensure optimal microclimatic conditions. However, the level of lighting still needs to be maintained.

The following tools can be used for darkening:

  • Coating material

  • Whitewashing of polycarbonate

  • Special protective mesh

Coating material is an excellent way to limit exposure to sunlight. However, it has a downside of excessive heat accumulation.

Whitewashing of polycarbonate coating is a less effective method but still works fine. You can use either a composition of chalk and lime, a classic version with slaked lime, or any white water-based paint.

Why Use Shade Cloth in Your Greenhouse?

Prevents Sunburn and Heat Stress

One of the primary reasons to use shade cloth in your greenhouse is to protect your plants from sunburn and heat stress. The intense rays of the sun can damage the leaves and stems of plants, causing them to wither and die. Shade cloth helps to filter the sunlight, reducing the intensity and preventing sunburn. It also helps to regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse, preventing heat stress and allowing your plants to thrive.

Controls Light Intensity

Different plants have different light requirements. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. Shade cloth allows you to control the light intensity in your greenhouse by reducing the amount of direct sunlight that reaches your plants. This is especially beneficial for shade-loving plants that require lower light levels to grow and flourish.

Reduces Energy Costs

By using shade cloth in your greenhouse, you can reduce the amount of heat that enters the space, thus reducing the need for cooling systems such as fans or air conditioning. This can significantly lower your energy costs and make your greenhouse more sustainable and cost-effective to operate.

Protects Against Pests

Shade cloth not only provides shade for your plants but also acts as a physical barrier against pests. It can prevent insects and birds from accessing your plants and causing damage. This can help to maintain the health and productivity of your crops and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

Choosing the Right Shade Cloth for Your Greenhouse

When it comes to choosing the right shade cloth for your greenhouse, there are a few factors to consider. Let’s take a look at these factors to help you make an informed decision.

Fabric Density

The fabric density, or the tightness of the weave, is an essential factor to consider when selecting shade cloth. The density determines how much sunlight will be blocked by the cloth. Shade cloths are available in different densities, usually expressed as a percentage. For example, a 50% shade cloth will block 50% of the sunlight. Consider the light requirements of your plants and choose a shade cloth with an appropriate density.

Material Type

Shade cloths are typically made from two types of materials: knitted polyethylene or woven polypropylene. Knitted shade cloths have a looser weave and are lightweight and easy to work with. They can be cut to size without unraveling. Woven shade cloths have a tighter weave and offer more UV protection. They are generally heavier and more durable than knitted shade cloths.


The color of the shade cloth can also affect its performance. Light-colored shade cloths, such as white, reflect sunlight and heat, keeping the greenhouse cooler. However, they allow the full light spectrum, including harmful UV rays, to pass through. Dark-colored shade cloths, such as black, absorb sunlight and heat, making the greenhouse warmer. They filter light and provide protection against UV rays. Consider your climate and the specific needs of your plants when choosing the color of your shade cloth.

Size and Installation

Measure the dimensions of your greenhouse to determine the size of the shade cloth you will need. Most shade cloths can be easily cut to size or come in standard sizes that can be adjusted to fit your greenhouse. Consider the installation method of the shade cloth and choose one that is easy to install and secure properly in your greenhouse.

Different Ways to Use Shade Cloth in Your Greenhouse

Full Coverage

One option is to cover your entire greenhouse with shade cloth. This provides consistent shade and protects all your plants from excessive sunlight. It is suitable for greenhouses located in regions with intense sunlight or for plants that require partial shade throughout the day.

Partial Coverage

Another option is to use shade cloth to create shaded areas within your greenhouse. This is useful when you have plants with different light requirements. You can install the shade cloth over specific sections or rows of plants that need partial shade, while leaving other areas uncovered for plants that require full sun.

Adjustable Shade

Some shade cloths come with adjustable features, such as roll-up or retractable systems. These allow you to easily adjust the amount of shade in your greenhouse as needed. This is especially beneficial if you have plants that require varying levels of shade at different stages of their growth.

Exterior Application

In addition to covering the interior of your greenhouse, you can also use shade cloth on the exterior. Placing the shade cloth on the outside of the greenhouse can help to block sunlight and heat before they enter the greenhouse. This can be particularly effective in hot climates or if your greenhouse is located in direct sunlight.

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