Greenhouse Plastic: Picking the Right Variation for Your Plants

  • Home
  • Blog
  • Greenhouse Plastic: Picking the Right Variation for Your Plants

Navigate your way through the world of greenhouse plastic, understanding factors for choosing and its diverse types for a flourishing plant environment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Greenhouse Plastic

Understanding crucial selection criteria for greenhouse plastic, your choice should take into account certain factors, such as climate and weather conditions, UV protection, durability and lifespan, light transmission, and heat retention capabilities. These factors will ensure your plants have the optimum environment for growth.
Your decision in picking the right greenhouse plastic hinges on taking these key considerations onboard. Balancing the needs of your plants with these criteria can go a long way in maintaining a healthy and productive greenhouse environment. It's all about aligning your selection with your specific needs and desired outcomes.

Climate and Weather

Weather conditions, like temperature and humidity, play imperative roles in choosing the right greenhouse plastic. This is largely due to each plastic's resilience towards certain weather patterns and external elements.
  • Consideration of local climate: Dry, humid, cold, or warm
  • Understanding weather patterns: Rainfall, snowfall, sunshine hours
  • Accounting for elements like wind force and prevalent direction

UV Protection

UV protection is an indispensable factor when selecting greenhouse plastic. UV-resistant greenhouse plastic mitigates harms caused by the sun, thus preserving the longevity of the plastic and the health of the plants within.
  • Prolongs plastic lifespan by preventing UV-induced degradation
  • Prevents harmful UV radiation from damaging plant cells
  • Helps maintain a stable temperature by regulating solar heat
  • Reduces the need for frequent replacement, saving cost and resources
  • Ensures consistent growth conditions for plants

Durability and Lifespan

In the choice of greenhouse plastic, its durability and lifespan are critical metrics. They directly influence the effectiveness of the greenhouse and ultimately, the health of your plants. This is primarily because the strength and longevity of the material impact your greenhouse's ability to survive challenging environmental conditions and constant physical wear and tear.
  • Thicker plastics tend to have a more enduring lifespan.
  • UV-resistant plastics have a longer lifespan as they can withstand sun damage.
  • Polyethylene typically has a lifespan of 2-5 years, while polycarbonate and PVC can last up to 10 years or more under ideal conditions.
  • Infrequent replacement due to higher durability can lower long-term costs, providing economic benefits.
  • Durability affects the plastic's resistance to extreme weather conditions, such as strong winds and heavy snow.

Light Transmission

Light transmission in greenhouse plastics plays a pivotal role in plant growth. The right amount can significantly improve the health and yield of your plants.
The type of plastic: Some greenhouse plastics allow more light compared to others. Choosing the right type ensures optimal light transmission.
  • Consider sunlight intensity: Locations with high intensity sunlight might require plastics that filter some of the light hence preventing plant damage.
  • Plants' light requirements: Different plant species have varying light requirements. Choose a plastic that complements the light needs of your specific plants.

Heat Retention

Heat retention in different greenhouse plastics bears significant implications. The type of plastic and its thickness can greatly influence how efficiently the greenhouse can retain heat, thereby impacting the overall temperature inside the greenhouse.
Optimal heat retention in greenhouse plastics promotes plant health by providing a stable environment, especially crucial during colder seasons.
A strong correlation exists between the health of your plants and the heat retention attributes of your greenhouse plastic. If the plastic has excellent heat retention properties, your plants can enjoy a warmer, more stable environment, particularly beneficial during colder seasons.
Understanding heat retention in greenhouse plastics assists in making an informed choice. The decision can directly impact the survival and productivity of your plants, especially for those sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Therefore, choosing a suitable plastic with good heat retention is key.

Different Types of Greenhouse Plastic

An in-depth exploration of greenhouse plastics reveals diverse materials, each fit for different applications. Polyethylene (PE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polycarbonate, and Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) are among the popular options, each having unique features.
The properties of these greenhouse plastics vary significantly. PE offers superior light transmission, while PVC stands out for its durability. On the other hand, Polycarbonate provides excellent heat retention, while EVA combines light transmission capacity with resilience, showing its versatility.

Polyethylene (PE)

An economical choice, Polyethylene (PE) is a widely utilized greenhouse plastic attributed to its high light transmission and waterproof properties. However, the 4-6 mil varieties, also referred to as nursery plastic, it offers a shorter lifespan, often needing replacement after 1-3 years.
Another PE film that looks like bubble wrap is called, SolaWrap. SolaWrap stands out as a transparent polyethylene film with integrated bubbles, delivering energy savings, UV protection, and prolonged growing seasons.
Backed by a 10-year warranty surpassing polycarbonate, it boasts a substantial total thickness of 324 mil, ensuring robust durability at 0.34" (+/-0.04"). With an impressive 83% transparency and up to 83% diffused light, it offers a unique market feature. Capable of withstanding heavy snow loads (120 lbs/sq ft) and boasting a 100 mph wind rating, it has even survived 135 mph winds in Alaska.


Its flexibility allows it to be rolled up inside wall curtains, offering versatility in greenhouse design. Additional features include an anti-fog/anti-condensation additive, and after 30 years of proven performance in European houses, it remains free from yellowing or brittleness.

Available in various dimensions (Width - 4', 5', 6'; Length - 328 ft), it weighs 170-178 per square foot.
Its UV stabilization/durability of 1.8 x 10^6 BTU/sq ft is equivalent to 10 years in central Europe, and it boasts an insulation/R-Value (ASTMC177-10) of 1.7 (ft^2th)/BTU.
PE boasts properties that make it an attractive choice for greenhouses - including chemical resistance, flexibility, and ease of installation. While offering excellent UV protection, its durability can be compromised by harsh weather conditions.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is a prominent option for greenhouse plastic due to its superior durability and longevity. The material exhibits a remarkable resilience against extreme weather conditions, preventing deterioration over time. This makes PVC an excellent choice for greenhouses in regions prone to severe weather.
The benefits of using PVC extend beyond mere durability. PVC sheets offer excellent light transmission properties, meaning they can efficiently convert sunlight into usable energy for your plants. This feature helps in maintaining proper temperature and promoting healthy plant growth.
Nevertheless, PVC does present a few downsides. The chief concern associated with this material is its environmental impact. If improperly disposed of, PVC can leach harmful chemicals into the environment. Furthermore, it requires more energy to manufacture than other plastics, adding to its environmental footprint.


Polycarbonate greenhouse plastic is a highly compatible option for plant growth due to its unique features. Its intrinsic characteristic of superior light diffusion efficiently aids in the stimulation of photosynthesis, consequently promoting robust plant development.
In addition to fostering plant growth, polycarbonate exhibits exceptional robustness and resistance. Its long-lasting durability, coupled with the ability to withstand adverse weather conditions, makes it an appealing choice for greenhouse plastic material.

Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)

Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is utilized in the creation of greenhouse plastics due to its superior properties. With a composition that provides excellent mechanical and optical characteristics, it boosts plant growth outcomes.
EVA's upsides include higher light transmission and better UV resistance, ensuring plant protection and enhanced growth. It also provides superior flexibility compared to other materials, suiting varying greenhouse shapes and sizes.
However, the downside is that EVA is more expensive compared to standard PE plastic, posing an initial cost challenge. Additionally, despite its higher resilience, occasional punctures or tears may still arise, requiring timely repair to prevent potential damage to plants.

Choosing Greenhouse Plastic According to Your Plant's Needs

Deciphering the suitability of greenhouse plastic relies heavily on understanding the precise needs of your plants. Factors such as temperature tolerance, light preference, and moisture requirement should dictate the type you choose.
Attending to your plant's needs serves as a compass for selecting the ideal greenhouse plastic. A clear understanding of your plant's requirements helps ensure you provide the right conditions for growth using the most suitable greenhouse cover.

Temperature Requirements

A crucial aspect in choosing greenhouse plastic involves evaluating the influence of temperature regulations. Different plastics can manage different temperature ranges, this must be considered alongside your plant's needs.
Selection of an appropriate plastic material heavily relies on its temperature tolerance. Plants with distinct temperature needs may necessitate specific types of greenhouse plastic to maintain optimal growing conditions.

Light Requirements

The type of greenhouse plastic you choose should ideally be dictated by your plants' light requirements. Choosing the right plastic can help strike a balance between adequate sunlight exposure and necessary protection.
Greenhouse plastic permeability is integral to the selection process. It determines the amount of light that passes through, impacting photosynthesis rates and growth.
Different plants demand varying light intensity, therefore careful consideration of light needs can impact optimal growth and yield. From fruits to flowers, greenhouse plastic selection can indeed have a lasting effect.

Moisture Requirements

The moisture run-off properties of greenhouse plastic play a crucial role in its selection. Moisture-laden plastic accelerates condensation, creating an optimum environment for fungal diseases and hindering plant growth.
Therefore, it's instrumental to select greenhouse plastic offering superior moisture management capabilities. This aids in maintaining requisite humidity, simultaneously warding off damaging water accumulation.
The appropriate greenhouse plastic achieves a delicate balance. It facilitates optimal moisture levels for plant vitality while mitigating excessive water that could hamper plant health.

Maintenance and Care Tips for Greenhouse Plastic

Maintaining greenhouse plastic in good condition is vital in ensuring it serves its purpose efficiently over a prolonged period. Correct and regular maintenance not only increases the lifespan of your greenhouse plastic, but it also enhances its performance, saving you money in the long run.
Understanding the dynamics of your specific greenhouse plastic gives you an insight into how to best take care of it. Regular inspections for damage, correct installation, and understanding the impact of environmental factors can considerably prolong the life of your greenhouse plastic.
Check for tears and damages regularly and repair them promptly to prevent them from worsening.
  • Clean the plastic frequently to maintain high light transmission levels.
  • Install your greenhouse plastic correctly to avoid unnecessary damage and wear.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation to prevent overheating, which can degrade the plastic over time.
  • Replace the plastic when signs of aging such as discoloration, brittleness, or extensive damage become apparent.

Give us a call to discuss a wide variety of greenhouse plastic options whether it is SolaWrap greenhouse film or nursery plastic available in a wide variety of thicknesses.

Call for Pricing/ Info From mobile phone


Recent Posts