Ideal Growing Temperature for a Greenhouse

Written by angela ryczkowski
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Ideal Growing Temperature for a Greenhouse
A greenhouse heated to the correct temperature can yield many rewards. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

It is certainly no small joy to enter a warm, green-filled room when the world outside is experiencing rain, wind, frost or snow. Growing plants in a greenhouse can be extremely rewarding, but it also requires planning and knowledge. Growers should know the ideal temperatures at which to grow their plants.

Optimum and Tolerable Temperatures

Each plant species may have different optimum and tolerable temperature ranges. When kept within the optimum range, plant growth and flowering is rapid. Plants kept outside their tolerable range will have halted growth and may be damaged. Temperature range information generally is available for a given species in a growing manual, on seed packets or by searching extension websites or talking to an agent.

Tropical and Subtropical Plants

Most plants grown in greenhouses are tropical or subtropical in nature. These species generally grow best when the greenhouse minimum temperature is 15.6 to 18.3 degrees Celsius. Cool-season plants such as pansy, primula and some orchids are exceptions to this rule and can have much lower minimum temperatures.

Daytime vs. Nighttime

Daytime temperatures should be warmer than night temperatures by -15 to -12.2 degrees Celsius on cloudy days and -12.2 to -9.44 degrees C on sunny days.

Plant Growth Stage

As a general rule, germinating seeds, seedlings and rooting vegetative cuttings require warmer temperatures than older plants that are growing vegetatively or flowering. While this may be difficult to take into account in a greenhouse full of plants in different growth stages, an attempt should be made to place germinating seeds and rooting cuttings in a warmer setting.

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