4 Types of Greenhouses

A greenhouse is a building-like structure that creates the optimum environment to help plants thrive.

As gardeners or plant lovers, you might find that growing certain plants and getting the maximum yield could be a challenge. This could be due to many factors. The weather could be against you, or it could be a pest attack. Either way, a greenhouse would be a great option to get the most out of your plants.

There are many types and varieties of greenhouses so let’s have a look to see what might suit you best.

About Greenhouses

The usual structure of a greenhouse or a glasshouse, as by name, is made from glass or a transparent material framed by a wooden, plastic, or aluminum skeleton. These function in a way that they trap heat from sunlight which makes the inner environment warmer and provides a consistent climate inside.

With a stabilized environment in a greenhouse, you are able to create your own microclimate where plants are buffered from extreme climates and temperatures.

Your greenhouse could be as small or as large as you want according to your needs and resources.

4 Most Popular Types of Greenhouses

Here’s a look at four of the most popular types of greenhouses.

1. Lean-To Greenhouses

lean to greenhouse

Lean-to greenhouses are a type that is built against a wall that leaves only 3 sides to be covered using greenhouse sheeting material, and a slanted roof to ensure full enclosure. These greenhouses are one of the best choices for plant lovers and hobbyists to have their own greenhouse at home as it is cost-effective and makes great use of a limited area.

Lean-to-greenhouses maintain better heat and provide better insulation as one side of it is a wall.  They are also remarkably strong, durable and wind resistant which makes them one of the best greenhouses to build in a backyard. They also add a great architectural piece to your house.


  • Requires a small space for set up.
  • Inexpensive as less sheeting material is needed.
  • Quick access to amenities such as water and electricity can be taken from the main building.
  • Reduces exposure to garden pests.


  • Has restricted space for plants, and can accommodate a smaller number of plants.
  • Limits the source of sunlight due to the opaque wall on one side.
  • Temperature levels are hard to maintain.
  • Limits the height as a wall is attached to one side.

2.   Ridge and Furrow Greenhouses

ridge and furrow greenhouse

This type is usually more popular as a commercial-style greenhouse, in a larger area such as a field or a farm due to its inbuilt design. Ridge and Furrow’s greenhouse is a series of A-frame structured greenhouses attached together along the length of the eave which overhangs the face of the wall. The eave usually functions as a gutter to drain down the excess rain or melted snow.

An internal wall sharing these A-framed greenhouses is not present therefore providing a greater area for plants to grow in, thus increasing production and yield. Productivity is also facilitated by ample sunlight exposure to the plants or crops as no light is being blocked throughout.

As complicated as it looks, ridge and furrow greenhouses are inexpensive to construct as basic material such as wood, pieces of polythene sheets or simply a net is adequate. For home growers, this greenhouse can be attractive, giving a professional look to your own field or garden.


  • A large area for plant growth.
  • Plenty of light exposure.
  • The drainage system of water and melted snow allows durability.


  • Requires time for setting up and construction
  • A larger area of land is essential.

3.   Even Span Greenhouse

even span greenhouse

Even Span greenhouses are quite unique in their design. This is structured in a way that the pitch of the roof is equal to its length and angle and is roofed by a sloped, dome-shaped structure. Depending on the area and the size desired, this greenhouse is ideal to be built in your own backyard as it also adds a fine, architectural value to your garden.

When constructing an even-span greenhouse, the structure can be modified to your preference. It can be built by attaching one side to a wall of a building or your house, or it can simply be set up as a separate piece on its own. Either way, if you decide to build it, these greenhouses can catch an adequate amount of light required for the plants.

Wood, steel, or aluminum can be used as a framing material whereas, for sheeting, glass or polythene would be sufficient.

Even span greenhouses can be a good choice for gardeners or anyone who loves to plant a variety of flowers, and fruits. as enough space is given for your plants to flourish. However, during cold weather, a heating system might need to be set up to heat and keep the internal environment warm.


  • Can modify the design to your preference without affecting its functions.
  • Ample space for plant growth.


  • Additional cost for heating systems.
  • Construction may be costly.

4.   Gothic Arch Greenhouse

gothic house greenhouse

This is one of the most attractive and artistic-looking greenhouses and is well-known for its architecture. It is structured with a pointed roof which eliminates the need for trusses and also reduces the rainwater collection and drains it down from the roof.

Materials such as polythene sheets and glass, wood, and steel for frames can be used for construction.  A large number of plants can be grown and taken care of according to the size of the structure that is preferred. This greenhouse is best suited to both commercial growers and hobbyists. 


  • Attractive appearance
  • Flexibility with the size of the structure
  • Drainage of rainwater and snow is easy


  • Air circulation to corners is limited
  • Complex architecture and construction

Wrapping Up

If you are passionate about growing plants or a serious gardener, a greenhouse is something essential. Even though some maintenance and time are required, they provide all the basic requirements for a plant to thrive providing optimum growing conditions to help you nurture the plants that you grow.

The list here has some of the most popular types of greenhouses while there are many other designs out there. No matter what type you choose, you will most definitely be able to take care of your plants better.