What is the difference between a hothouse and a greenhouse? If you’re like most people, you have probably used these terms interchangeably for the majority of your life. In fact, many people think that the two terms mean exactly the same thing. However, that isn’t entirely correct. While a greenhouse can sometimes be a hothouse, that isn’t always the case. These two terms are, in fact, used to describe two completely different things. If you want to know more, keep reading.
What Is A Greenhouse?
A greenhouse is a building that you use to grow plants and keep them warm so that they are able to grow at an optimum rate. They are typically used in warmer climates or they can be used during warmer times of the year, such as during the Spring and Summer. Typically, they are constructed from either glass or they are wood structures with durable plastic covering that is stretched from one end to the other. The idea is to keep the plants inside protected from the elements such as severe storms, all while keeping them warm. In cases where the durable plastic is used, it is often frosted. This helps keep the plants warm without allowing direct sunlight to make contact with them. This is often done because in some parts of the United States where the weather gets especially warm, it can become so hot that it actually burns the plants as opposed to just keeping them warm. Therefore, there has to be some layer of protection put in place in order to prevent this from happening.
The Hothouse Defined
Now that you know what a greenhouse is, it’s time to find out what a hothouse is. By definition, it is essentially a greenhouse that is heated by supplemental heat. In some cases, people use propane or even gas as a supplemental form of heat. In other cases, hothouses are all electric. Regardless of the form of supplemental heat being used, a hothouse is often used in colder climates where it can get too cool for a regular greenhouse to be effective, even during what are typically considered the warmer months of the year. Even in many parts of the United States that get extremely hot during the Spring and Summer, hothouses are still used during the late Autumn and Winter in order to keep plants healthy and growing all year long.
Can A Greenhouse Also Be A Hothouse
If a greenhouse and a hothouse are two different things, is it also possible for a greenhouse to also be a hothouse? Do they have to be two completely different buildings? The answer is that sometimes, a greenhouse can also serve as a hothouse, but not always. Remember, a hothouse is a building that has supplemental heat. Therefore, it is impossible for a greenhouse that only uses natural heating to also be a hothouse. That said, you can add supplemental heating to the exact same building and you would have a hothouse. It all comes down to how the building is heated. It doesn’t matter how the building was constructed, where it is located or how big it is. The only thing that matters is how it is heated. If there is supplemental heat involved, you effectively have a hothouse. On the other hand, if you are relying on the sun to provide heat for your plants, the building in question is a greenhouse.
What Are They Used For?
Both hothouses and greenhouses are used to keep plants healthy year-round., as previously discussed. There are many reasons why a person may choose to utilize one or both of these types of buildings. Anyone that grows their own vegetables or herbs could potentially have one of these types of buildings so that they can continue to enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs during times of the year when it would otherwise be impossible to do so. The same is true of anyone who grows flowers or herbs for a business. They have to be able to cultivate those types of plants all year long, not just when the weather decides to cooperate. Therefore, it is highly likely that you would find these individuals using a greenhouse or potentially, even a hothouse. In addition, it is important to remember that there are certain types of plants that do better at higher temperatures than others. Individuals who have put in a great deal of research and effort into these types of things know which temperatures are optimal for the plants that they are growing. Therefore, they might use a greenhouse or a hothouse as a means of having better control over that temperature, all while providing some type of shelter for the plants themselves as opposed to leaving them out in the elements.
Both greenhouses and hothouses come in all types of sizes. Sometimes, you will see a very small greenhouse that is only capable of housing a few plants at a time. At other times, you will see these types of buildings, only they have a much larger capacity. In some cases, the buildings resemble a large gymnasium or even an airplane hangar. Of course, buildings this large are typically used for individuals who cultivate plants for a living, as they would be impractical for an individual who is only growing a few vegetables. Either way, these types of houses can be used effectively all year long. The fact that a greenhouse can be turned into a hothouse with the addition of supplemental heat makes it possible to have plants during any time of the year, even during the coldest months. Perhaps the best thing about these types of houses is that you can control the size and heating to fit your needs. This in turn gives you the opportunity to adapt to an ever-changing climate without forcing your plants to take a beating.