Do Greenhouses Work in Winter? (Answered)

As a home gardener, you may be wondering if your greenhouse will work in the winter. Of course, the short answer is yes – but there are some things you need to know to make sure your greenhouse stays warm enough to keep your plants alive. This article will explain when it’s too cold for greenhouses to work in the winter or if a greenhouse will operate year-round. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make sure your greenhouse stays warm during the winter months!

What Is a Greenhouse and How Do They Work

A greenhouse is a structure that uses sunlight to warm up the air inside it. When this happens, plants can grow all year round regardless of the outside temperature. Greenhouses keep heat inside them by having transparent walls and roofs that allow sunlight through but do not let the hot air escape back outside.

When the sun shines on the greenhouse, it warms up the air inside. The heat is trapped by the roof and walls of glass or plastic, which do not let the warm air escape. Trapping this warm air means that even though it might be cold outside, your greenhouse will stay warm enough to keep your plants alive!

However, during the winter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure your greenhouse stays warm.

When Do Greenhouses Not Work in Winter

There is a limit to how cold a greenhouse can be. If the temperature inside your greenhouse gets too low, it will not do any good for your plants, and they will likely die. The temperature at which a greenhouse stops working is called the “hardening off point.”

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The “hardening off point” is the temperature below which a greenhouse will not do any good for your plants.

There are two main reasons why it can get too cold in greenhouses:

  • The temperature outside the greenhouse is too cold
  • The greenhouse is not adequately insulated

The Temperature Outside the Greenhouse Is Too Cold

To keep your greenhouse warm, the temperature outside of it needs to be above the “hardening off point.” If the temperature is below this point, your greenhouse will not do its job and keep your plants warm.

It’s safe to say that there is a temperature below 55° F for a hothouse and 45° F for a cold house. These temperatures are the lower limit at which a greenhouse can still be practical.

If you live in a climate that frequently goes below those temperatures, then a greenhouse may not be the best option for you.

Tips to Keep Your Greenhouse Warm in Winter

It’s crucial to keep your greenhouse warmer when the temperature outside of it starts to go down. One way to do this is by using insulation.

Insulation is a material used to keep heat in or out of a structure. In a greenhouse, you can use it on the walls, floor, and even ceiling if there’s enough space. However, you do not want the temperature inside your greenhouse to drop below the hardening-off point. If it does, then your plants will die!

If you add insulation to your greenhouse, you’ll want to ensure you don’t block off the vents. You’ll also want to make sure there is still room for air to circulate inside the greenhouse. Air circulation is essential for plants to breathe and stay alive during the winter months.

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Be sure you don’t obstruct the sunlight from entering through windows or doors by hanging things like curtains over them. You also don’t want to place insulation over the windows because it will block light and make your greenhouse too dark for plants to do well.

Another way to keep your greenhouse warm during the winter is by using a heater. Heaters can be electric or propane, and you can buy them at most hardware stores. Be careful with this way to heat your greenhouse, as you don’t want to use too much heat and cook your plants.

If you do not want to use insulation, you can move your plants inside the house when the temperature gets too low.

Benefits of Having a Greenhouse in Winter

The main benefit of having a greenhouse in winter is keeping your plants alive. Even if it’s cold outside, your greenhouse will stay warm and allow your plants to continue to grow.

Another benefit of having a greenhouse in winter is extending your gardening season. You can plant things earlier in the spring and later into the fall because your greenhouse will keep them warm. In addition, extending your growing season provides you with more produce and allows you to do some winter gardening.

Greenhouses can also be used to propagate plants. Propagating plants is multiplying them by taking cuttings from the original plant and then planting them in soil. Propagation is a great way to get new plants for your garden without buying them from a nursery.

Do Greenhouses Need to Be Heated in The Winter?

You may be wondering if you need to buy a heater for your greenhouse during the wintertime. The answer to this question largely depends on where you live.

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If you live in a climate that is mild during the winter, then you do not need to heat your greenhouse. However, if you live in a cold environment, you will likely need to use some heating system to keep your plants warm.

Using a heater in your greenhouse is a bit of an extreme measure. However, you do not need a heater to keep your greenhouse warm during the winter.

Instead, you can use plastic over your greenhouse to maintain heat. This plastic works by trapping heat inside the structure so that it won’t escape into the cold air outside the greenhouse.

Ultimately, unless you’re running a business and need your greenhouse in the winter to supply your product to sell, heating your greenhouse with a heater will be a waste of money.

If you do not need to heat your greenhouse in the winter, do not do it. It’s better for your wallet and will help save energy too!


So, do greenhouses work in winter? The answer is yes – with a few caveats. If you live in a mild climate, you won’t need to do much to keep your greenhouse warm and plants alive. However, if you live in a colder environment, you’ll likely need to use insulation and/or a heater to maintain the temperature. Another way to keep your greenhouse warm is by using plastic over the structure. Heating your greenhouse can be an expensive endeavor, so it’s essential to weigh the costs and benefits before deciding whether or not it’s necessary for your situation.