When most people hear the word “greenhouse,” they think of shelters against the cold. They imagine harsh winter climates, and buildings designed to keep plants safe from the snow.
But climates with harsh winters aren’t the only ones in which a greenhouse may be necessary. Just as there are challenges to winter growing, there are also challenges unique to growing in the desert.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the best greenhouses for a desert climate. We’ll also explain why we chose each one, so you understand how to pick a desert greenhouse of your own.
Why Get a Greenhouse in the Desert?
While greenhouses tend to be used to keep plants warm, they also serve one other purpose that could be useful in any area around the world: shelter.
But even gardeners in the desert need to keep warmth in mind. Deserts are often prone to drastic temperature changes, with blazingly hot days and frigid nights. Aside from hardy things like cacti, many plants can’t endure these dramatic fluctuations.
Deserts also have extreme weather conditions. Flash floods and high winds are common to these types of climates internationally, and either of these weather conditions can destroy your delicate plants.
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Furthermore, a greenhouse can be designed to keep your plants cool as well as warm. We’ve even written about the ways you can design a greenhouse to prevent it from overheating here. Granted, the article refers to cooling in central Florida, but we think many of the concepts in it are applicable to cooling in general.
So, in short, a greenhouse can be as useful in the desert as it can be anywhere else. You just need to make sure you incorporate some design elements that are specific to hotter climates.
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Best Greenhouses for a Desert Climate
Sometimes, sticking to the basics is the best strategy. An unsophisticated tent-like structure staked to the ground can occasionally be all you need in a desert environment.
The Outsunny Walk-in Garden greenhouse is a great example of a tent-like structure perfect for the desert. It has large footplates that are created to keep it stable, and you can even bury the bottoms of the tent under the ground a bit to increase its stability.
Its material is ideal for blistering desert settings, as well. The steel tubing supporting the tent is resistant to chipping and peeling. On top of that, the tent itself grants protection from UV rays so your plants aren’t burnt to a crisp.
- Roll-up windows with screens allow air to circulate through the greenhouse.
- The frame, which is resistant to both chipping and peeling, is long-lasting.
- It’s not difficult to put together.
- Large footplates keep the tent in place.
- There are some reports of the tent leaking during rainstorms, requiring owners to seal up spots.
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If you’re searching for a greenhouse that can really stand up to intense conditions, the Grand Gardener Greenhouse could be the end of your search.
The panels lining its exterior are made from polycarbonate. This makes them pretty much impossible to destroy and resistant to impacts.
Dotting the top of the greenhouse, you’ll see a row of ridge vents. These are perfect for letting hot, stale air rise out, protecting your plants from the dangers of overheating.
Additionally, the frame is insulated. This prevents hot air from getting in and cool air from getting out, or vice versa.
- The curved shape and clear panels look beautiful.
- Vents on top allow hot air to rise out.
- Its panels are made from tough polycarbonate.
- Insulated frame keeps cold or warm air from seeping in.
- Can endure winds up to 55 mph.
- Some customers reported that the assembly was difficult.
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With this greenhouse, you’ll have no need to worry after setting it up. It’s rated up to 100-mph winds, which means it can endure most storms the desert may batter it with.
The vents on top are ideal for releasing excess hot air, while also promoting circulation. You don’t need to open them yourself, either – they’ll open automatically to vent as the temperature increases.
Perhaps even best of all, you don’t need a lot of tools to assemble it. All you’ll need is a power drill, step ladder, and tape measure.
- Automatic vents in the roof will open by themselves when it gets hot.
- Can withstand winds up to 100 mph.
- You won’t need many tools to assemble it.
- The frame is made from beautiful and natural redwood.
- There are some reports of customers not receiving parts they need for assembly.
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We were seriously impressed by the Hybrid Greenhouse. One thing that really blew us away was its innovative rain gutter design.
It has rain gutters and a downspout built into it. These gutters and downspout disperse any rainwater to their ends, which is perfect for collecting for later use. This kind of efficiency is crucial when it comes to water in the desert.
The panels also provide protection from UV rays, which in turn safeguards your plants from being scorched by the sun’s rays.
- Brilliant rain collecting system.
- Durable rust-resistant aluminum frame.
- The panels protect your plants from being burnt by excessive UV rays.
- Includes a roof vent for airflow.
- Some owners felt the assembly was hard, while others did not have this problem.
The bell shape of the Riga Greenhouse allows the wind to flow over it easily, which helps it stay firmly in place even in fierce windstorms.
Once you walk inside, you’ll find a host of wonderful features. For example, it has shelves inside that you can use to hold your potted plants. Look up, and you’ll see large roof vents that open automatically – no need to get a step ladder and struggle with them yourself.
For extra security, you can even lock the door behind you once you’re done caring for your garden.
- Capable of standing firm in winds up to 80 mph.
- Large vents on the roof open automatically to release hot air.
- Includes a kit to anchor the greenhouse in place.
- Has shelves inside to hold your potted plants.
- Resists mold, mildew, and UV rays.
- None reported yet.
Features to Consider When Buying a Desert Greenhouse
In the desert, your biggest challenge is going to be keeping your plants cool in the overwhelming heat. Aside from installing a more complex cooling system, ventilation will be one of the best ways to achieve this.
Your greenhouse should have as many vents as possible. Since heat rises, vents on the roof are a great option. When they’re open, hot hair will naturally rise out of them, preventing your greenhouse from getting too stuffy.
Some ridge vents are even designed to open automatically as the heat builds. With that kind of vent, you won’t need to need to waste your time opening and closing them yourself throughout the day.
Deserts are prone to extreme weather conditions. Although it will be sunny and hot the majority of the time, strong winds will happen frequently and when it rains, there’s a good chance it will flood.
Any greenhouse you have needs to be prepared to stand up under intense weather and temperature changes. A lot of this durability will come from what it’s made out of.
Polycarbonate panels are particularly strong, and will resist shattering. Some kinds of cloth and plastic greenhouse will also hold up under rain and temperature fluctuations.
When someone mentions insulation, you probably imagine that it’s mostly used to ward off the cold. Truthfully, insulation achieves one thing: it keeps the air you want in and the air you don’t want out.
This applies to hot or cold air. A well-insulated greenhouse will stop hot or cold air from seeping in, while holding on to the air within.
Since deserts are prone to dramatic temperature fluctuations, this is critical to maintaining a stable environment in your greenhouse. The greenhouse you choose should be well-insulated around its windows and doors.
Since greenhouses by design are excellent at retaining heat, you’ll need to incorporate a lot of ways to cool it down. Beyond ventilation, shade will be one of your strongest allies.
If your greenhouse doesn’t have blinds in it, think about installing a shade cloth similar to this one. It’s one of the most affordable ways of protecting your plants from being fried in the heat.
Fans are another wise choice. Air goes in the back and gets blown out the front, so you can use them to essentially suck hot air out of the greenhouse and blow it outside. They also promote air circulation.
Watering your plants will also be an immense help. It seems like a no-brainer, because your plants would need water, anyway. But beyond helping feed your plants, water can keep them cool through a process known as transpiration.
If you asked us to recommend only one greenhouse on this list, we’d suggest the Hybrid Greenhouse. It has the ventilation you’ll need to keep it cold and get air flowing through your greenhouse.
But we also can’t get enough of the rain collecting system. In the desert, there naturally isn’t as much water as elsewhere, so you need to be efficient with the water you do have. This innovative system will allow you to use your greenhouse to collect water for later use whenever it rains.