6 Best Glass Greenhouses
Glass greenhouses add a classic, high-end look to your home, and their impressive light transmission provides the ideal environment for your plants.
What To Consider When Buying a Glass Greenhouse
If you’re a dedicated gardener and want to protect your plants from excess heat, cold and pests, consider a glass greenhouse. These transparent structures use real glass, not polycarbonate, which adds a classic, romantic look to your garden.
Their pleasing aesthetic aside, glass greenhouses have their drawbacks.
According to Shelby DeVore, founder of Farminence, a glass greenhouse’s impressive light transmission means you’ve got to clean the glass frequently. “Even a minuscule amount of dust on your greenhouse glass can reduce the amount of natural sunlight that comes in,” she says. The glass panes also lack polycarbonate’s durability, and the panes are troublesome and expensive to replace.
Consider these factors to ensure a glass greenhouse is the best option for you, your plants and your landscape:
- Weather: DeVore says if you live somewhere with frequent hailstorms or high winds, “choose a greenhouse covering durable enough to handle the weather, but also resilient enough to not break under hail or heavy wind.” Polycarbonate would be a much better option than glass in those areas.
- Light: Consider the natural light your greenhouse will get, keeping in mind trees and other buildings will have an impact. Because glass greenhouses provide the best light transmission, they’re ideal for areas with limited natural sunlight.
- Frame material: According to DeVore, “Since the frame is literally the backbone of your greenhouse, use the best materials that you can.” She recommends aluminum as the best choice, citing its durability and long lifespan. Wood is second-best, but humidity inside a greenhouse can negatively affect it.
- Flooring: You’ll need sturdy foundation to walk on and support shelving and planters, as well as to keep out pesky weeds. Concrete is best because of its durability, as well as weed and temperature control. If you can afford it, DeVore recommends pouring a concrete pad, a DIY project. If your budget is tighter, she suggests pea gravel covered with a weed control fabric.
After extensive outreach to gardening and landscape professionals, Ceres and BC Greenhouse were the only glass greenhouse manufacturers with products available to U.S. customers that made our list. Their high price may be an obstacle for many residential users. You may be better off going with an affordable and still effective polycarbonate greenhouse.
Ceres Glass Greenhouses
If budget is not an issue, DeVore recommends a Ceres glass greenhouse like this 11- x 18-ft. model ($30,880). DeVore describes Ceres greenhouses as particularly well-built and designed; this model features an extremely strong galvanized steel frame.
She adds Ceres will also help design custom greenhouses. All Ceres products are only available through the manufacturer’s web site.
BC Legacy Glass Greenhouse
Compared to other glass greenhouses, the price of this 8- x 8-ft. BC greenhouse ($5,545) is likely within reach of some avid gardeners. You get 64 square feet of floor space, and a frame sturdy enough to stand up to 32 pounds of snow and 85 mph hour winds.
When choosing her greenhouse, Laura Boissonnault, master gardener and founder of How’s It Growing?, went with this BC Greenhouse. It came delivered as a kit, and she and her husband handled the assembly together.
BC Cape Cod Glass Greenhouse
The steep gable and decorative ridge cresting this 12- x 16-ft. Cape Cod greenhouse ($19,830) adds a classic, sophisticated style to your outdoor space.
The 45-degree pitch of the roof is steeper than most other options, ideal for growing taller trees and hanging baskets. The steep pitch also allows snow to easily slide off. We prefer the classic white frame, but you can choose from brown or black as well.
BC Cottage Glass Greenhouse
Thanks to a 38-degree roof pitch, this 8- x 12-ft. cottage-style glass greenhouse ($9,980) is great for those who prefer their greenhouse to blend in with their existing architecture. The pitch allows for snow shedding, as well as extra headroom for taller plants. The added weather-stripping on the doors and vents increases energy efficiency.
BC Traditional Glass Greenhouse
The 23-degree pitch of this 8- x 12-ft. traditional glass greenhouse ($8,870) decreases the amount of space to heat, reducing costs and making it an energy-efficient option.
This pitch also makes these greenhouses perfect for those preferring an extra-large structure, and this model can be purchased as a 20- x 40-ft. building. Without a steep roof, it’s not ideal for areas with heavy snowfall.
BC Pacific Glass Greenhouse
The elegant curved glass roof of this 12- x 18-ft. Pacific Greenhouse ($20,490) creates a charming profile. Although expensive, it could be worth the investment for those seeking a distinctive structure.
Roto-crank roof vents provide convenient ventilation, and the solid, sturdy aluminum frame will last a long time. This model is available in several colors; we like the classic green.
All prices and links were current as of publication.