Updated at: 10-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Shade a greenhouse with paint, netting and curtains is needed. Shading the greenhouse can save electricity and water while also improving the environment, according to a study conducted in 2016. In addition, the University of Massachusetts Amherst noted that it successfully cools greenhouses at minimal costs.

With a little effort, you can create a shaded greenhouse. Outside weather conditions can have an impact on a greenhouse in the same way that wind might affect the building. Since environmental concerns can’t be predicted, it’s imperative to know how to protect or strengthen the greenhouse now.

How To Shade A Greenhouse For Beginners

Shade paint

Shade paint is one of the quickest ways to cover a greenhouse in a layer of protection from the sun. If you don’t have access to a retractable curtain in your greenhouse producing area, this is a viable alternative. When the season demands it, you’ll apply it like a conventional paint on the outside of the glass.

Internal vs External Greenhouse Shade Cloths - What's Better?

Forget about how long shade paint lasts because showers aren’t a problem and you’ll wash it off after the season ends regardless. Applying and removing shade paint can be time consuming, but that is the only drawback to this method. On the plus side, because it’s a cheap substance, you may keep adding extra coats as necessary or when the paint starts to fade.

What is whitewash?

You’ve probably heard about whitewash while looking for shade paints. Since it is the actual shade compound, this term can be used interchangeably with shade paint. As a result, when the shade ingredient is diluted to a high concentration, it produces less shade than when it is diluted to a high concentration.

Whitewash should have a shade factor of 40% because too much can reduce light conditions and harm plants. Infrared light can be reduced by using different materials that do not effect the light requirements of plants. Applied correctly, shade paint should be able to reflect and scatter light in the home.

How to apply shade paint?

Outside of the dry greenhouse glazing material is the most popular way to apply shade paint. As a result, sunlight will be reflected off the paint, keeping the greenhouse cooler because it will not be able to get inside. In the morning or late afternoon, use a brush, sprayer, or roller to apply the shade compound.

Make certain there will be no rain on that particular day, as the paint may wash off if it is exposed 24 or 12 hours after a fresh application. As a follow-up step, you can wash the paint off in autumn to make sure that your plants receive enough light in low-light seasons.

Shade netting

Shade netting, both external and interior, can help shield the greenhouse from the sun’s harsh rays. Clips on the frame allow you to attach a plastic weave shade to the interior. It’s better to have an indoor shade than an outdoor one that can be blown away by the weather. As an alternative, you can use the same material or hessian to create an external shade netting by stapling the netting to the roof.

Shade curtain

Retractable shades or energy curtains, as recommended by Michigan State University, are an easy solution to moderate hot temperatures and conserve water. Shade curtains are more versatile than the other two options since they can be used both at night and during periods of bright light. They begin adopting this shading method as early as April or May in the upper Midwest.

Shade curtains can be made from a variety of materials. They include saran, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester woven or knitted materials. They come in a variety of shades, and you can even add UV protection to extend the life of the product.

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding the material to use. The shrinkage of Saran necessitates some sagging during installation, although it is fireproof. When it comes to durability, polypropylene holds up well to everyday usage and abuse, whereas polyethylene is mildew-resistant and will not fray if cut.

Having the flexibility to open and close your shade curtains is one of their best features. When they’re installed, you can have them run from gutter to gutter or from truss to truss. As a result, you have complete authority over how it is set up.

Importance Of Shading A Greenhouse

Since high temperatures affect photosynthesis and respiration, shading a greenhouse would help sustain plant productivity. Some crops, such as tomatoes, will be harmed even worse if they are exposed to excessive amounts of light. When the weather is hot, shading can help keep the temperature of the plants’ leaves stable, so reducing the risk of burns and evaporative cooling.

Ventilating a Greenhouse

To keep plants cool, it’s a good idea to make sure there’s plenty of air flowing through them. The flow of air required to cool down overheated plants can be achieved through ventilation through the use of roof vents, side vents (often louvered), and the greenhouse door.

Air can be exchanged every two minutes with an air flow of one-fifth as large as the area of the roof vents. Most greenhouses don’t have as many roof vents, but by opening up the side vents and doors, you can get the air moving enough.

Some plants may suffer harm if the temperature rises above 27°C (81°F), so keep a maximum-minimum thermometer handy to keep an eye on things. Open all doors and vents as early as possible on sunny days, and leave them open throughout the night if it’s going to be warm. Peg netting over the door to keep out local wildlife and cats, but make sure the netting enables pollinators to pass through.

While automatic vent openers can help speed up the process, you will still need to open the door to get an early start on the cooling off process because of the lag time.

Greenhouse Shading – Gardeners Tips

Shading a Greenhouse

It’s important to use shading to combat the heat. Grow your plants to their fullest potential by using it wisely, daring gardener!

A easy and inexpensive technique to reduce the intensity of the sun’s rays is to use shade paints. As the weather warms up, you can add extra layers, which you can then wash and brush off as the temperature drops. Not all greenhouses can benefit from shade paint, such as those with unpainted timber, thus netting and blinds come in handy.

Internal or external blinds are available. Since they exclude sunlight from entering the building, external shutters are the most efficient way to reduce solar heat gain. They can be taken off in the evenings when it’s cooler. In order to get around this, you’ll need some creative thinking. Or, if you’re feeling flush, consider investing in motorized interior blinds.

Shade netting, also known as mesh or shade netting, is a less expensive alternative to blinds that is easily installed using clips.

Damping Down a Greenhouse

Another method for keeping plants cool in extremely hot conditions is called damping down. Hard surfaces like walkways and staging can be wetted to increase the humidity in a greenhouse. Increased humidity levels assist plants to better withstand the heat, as the water evaporates. The red spider mite, for example, thrives in dry conditions, thus increasing humidity has the added benefit of making the environment less conducive for the insect.

Is it necessary to dampen down the greenhouse on a regular basis? In fact, as often as you can — you can’t go overboard in the heat! You should water your lawn twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, assuming you don’t want to or can’t stand watch with a watering can all day. In the event that you’re at home and have the energy, a midday damp down would be ideal.

Avoiding Water Stress

It may seem apparent, but in hot weather, plants that get enough hydration at root level are much happier than those that do not.

It is the loss of water through the stomata (leaf pores) that plants use to cool themselves the most effectively. The leaf surface cools down as a result of this loss of water in the same manner that humans sweat. Overheating and wilting can occur when a plant’s capacity to’sweat’ is compromised. By ensuring that the plants have access to enough water from the soil, they will remain cool and stress-free as cucumbers!

The obvious indicators of heat stress are wilting plants, burned leaves, and dried out young foliage, so keep an eye out for them. These desperate adverse effects can be avoided if the preceding instructions are followed to the letter.

As always, if you plant in a hotter region of the world, we’d love to learn how you keep your greenhouses and tunnels cool in the summer. Please let us know by leaving a message in the section provided.

Why Shading Your Greenhouse Matters

Your plants will suffer if the blazing summer sun beats down on the glass of your greenhouse.

The leaves of plants are dried out by direct, hot sunlight, and the greenhouse might get too hot. Overheating and insufficient humidity can harm plants’ foliage, causing them to scorch and wilt, as well as other systemic issues.

Pests and diseases can be prevented by ensuring that your greenhouse is in optimal condition. All of these factors are critical to ensuring that your plants thrive in a healthy environment, including optimum air circulation, ventilation, and humidity levels.

There are numerous techniques to keep your greenhouse cool in the summer while yet providing the ideal growing conditions.

External vs. Internal Shading

To begin, let’s take a look at the process of installing shading. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using exterior or interior greenhouse shading?

It is possible to employ almost any shading method on the outside or interior of your greenhouse glazing (with the exception of shade paint).

Sunlight can enter through the greenhouse’s windows and be blocked by internal blinds. In this case, the temperature within the greenhouse will rise more than if the shade was attached to the outside.

Growers in locations with intense solar rays but not yet too hot for greenhouse plants may benefit from this (like high-elevation climates).

However, in the majority of cases, external shades are sufficient to keep a greenhouse cool. Protecting the greenhouse’s internal temperature from fluctuating due to the sun’s rays is made easier thanks to the usage of external shades.

External shading devices have the drawback of obstructing airflow through windows, doors, and vents. To ensure a healthy growth environment, it is critical to ensure that the external shade is able to allow air to circulate through and around it.

Depending on the design of your greenhouse, the local environment, and the ideal internal temperature for your plants, you can pick and choose which approach to utilize. This is why you need a decent greenhouse thermometer and hygrometer!

Greenhouse Shade Cloth

Because of its low cost and ease of use and storage, shade cloth may be the most popular choice for shading your greenhouse. It’s a no-brainer, really.

Windows and roofs can be covered with this tarp-like fabric made of plastic.

The UV and weather resistance of today’s shade cloths ensures that they will last for many years to come.

Knitted vs. Woven Shade Cloth

The distinction between shade cloth and what is referred to as “shade netting” might be difficult to discern.

The woven sort of shade cloth is frequently referred to as netting, while some are knitted. Why? When it comes to shade cloth or fabric, I’m on the side that doesn’t know.

Woven cloth is often heavier-duty and more durable than knitted fabric. That implies that knitted greenhouse covers are lighter in weight and simpler to handle, making the process of covering and removing them much more convenient.

Unlike a knitted shirt, a woven one will unravel if it is torn or sliced.

Greenhouse Shade Kit - Maze Products Australia


Some shade cloth is thicker than others, while some are lighter. A percentage value is used to indicate the density. The denser the cloth, the higher the percentage. 70 percent of the light will be blocked by a shade cloth that is 70 percent shaded.

You should pick a density that is appropriate for the plants you intend to cultivate in your greenhouse. Before deciding on a shade cloth, do some study on how much light your plants require.


It is advisable to go with a shade cloth that includes metal grommets and a hem. Once you’ve got the fabric, you’ll need some bungees and clips to attach it to your greenhouse.

If you put this on the outside of your greenhouse, keep in mind that the windows and vents will be covered by this material. This complicates the installation process and necessitates the use of many pieces of cloth of varying sizes.

Greenhouse Shade Paint

Another simple and customized method of shading your greenhouse is to use greenhouse shade paint. A longer-term commitment is needed than with shade cloth.

For the sake of convenience, it’s best to maintain your greenhouse glazing covered in shade paint throughout the growing season.

Using certain varieties of shade paint, you can keep your plants safe from overheating and sunburn while yet allowing them to get the light they need to perform their crucial photosynthetic function.


You can choose and change the density of your shade by diluting shade paint. Many different densities are possible with a single can of paint! Shade cloth won’t give you that.

Applying and Removing Shade Paint

Be sure to follow all safety precautions. On the container of your shade paint, you’ll find directions on how to use it, dilute it, remove it, store it, and keep it safe. Here are a few general guidelines.

The outside of your glazing should always be painted with shade paint. Because of the high humidity, painting within your greenhouse creates a fume-filled bubble that prevents the paint from drying.

As the weather warms up, you’ll need to apply shade paint. Take a look at the current weather conditions. For the next two days, make sure there’s no chance of rain.

Getting rid of it isn’t difficult. It’s as simple as putting on a coat of paint removal solution and then rinsing it all off with water!

Create The Perfect Greenhouse Climate

Regardless of which approach you pick, conduct some study into the amount of light your plants require and the temperature and ventilation in your greenhouse. Consider the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put in before purchasing a large, heavy shade cloth for your greenhouse!

Are you looking for more cost-effective solutions to cool and ventilate your greenhouse? Check out our useful articles on the following topics:

  • Cooling and Ventilation in Greenhouses
  • The Greenhouse Fan’s User’s Guide
  • Three of the Best Greenhouse Exhaust Fans


In order for it to execute its job properly, the greenhouse requires reinforcement to keep up with changes in the surrounding environment. You need to know how to shade a greenhouse effectively when the sun is too harsh. Shade paint, shade netting, or shade curtains can all be used to achieve this effect.

The shade paint is the least expensive option, but it is time consuming to apply and remove. Installing a shade curtain, on the other hand, is a more pleasant and flexible option for shading a greenhouse. It reduces radiant heat loss to such an extent that it can also serve as an energy curtain.