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How to buy the best greenhouse

Greenhouse features & extras

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Greenhouse features & extras

Find out more about all the key features and accessories you'll need to get the most from your greenhouse in this expert guide.


Our advice is to step inside different makes of erected greenhouses at showrooms and garden shows to get a feel for them. The key features to consider are:

  • the amount of ventilation
  • how easy the frame and glazing will be to clean
  • the specification 
  • the design. 

Accessories such as staging and shading are also worth your time to consider, as they make all the difference to how well your greenhouse works day to day.

Discover which are the best and worst greenhouse brands.

Greenhouse vents

You will need at least two vents in the roof and one at the side to give a good flow of air. The number of vents depends on the size of the greenhouse, but consider paying extra for additional ones. An automatic vent-opener is a feature well worth paying for; it contains a cylinder of wax that expands and opens in heat, then closes when cooler.


Anyone who will be using the greenhouse should make sure they can get in and out of the door easily and that the space feels comfortable once inside (low greenhouses can feel claustrophobic).

Good design

Look at how the panes of glass fit into the frame: do the panes overlap? (which makes cleaning difficult). How sturdy is the door? These are all points worth checking before you buy your greenhouse.

Shelving or staging

Greenhouse shelving, also known as staging, will display plants and provide a surface for you to sow seeds, take cuttings etc. It is made of the same materials as a greenhouse frame. Slatted staging is good for letting light through the lower shelves. Solid staging is needed if you want pots to sit on capillary matting.

Greenhouse heaters

Sheets of bubble insulation will keep the greenhouse warmer in winter, but to keep it frost free you need a greenhouse heater. An electric fan heater with a thermostat is the best option.


Shading blinds can be fitted outside or inside the greenhouse to shade young plants; fitting them outside will keep the temperature down. A cheaper alternative is to paint on a white shading wash, which looks a bit unsightly in the summer but soon washes off.