What Is The Difference Between A Hothouse And A Greenhouse?

We often come across many people who use the terms green house and hothouse interchangeably. It would be a good idea to understand both these terms from a plantation and cultivation points of view.

Are they the same or are there any difference between the two? People use both these terms when referring to a glass or when there is a need to refer to plastic buildings that are used for the purpose of growing.

While both greenhouse and hothouse may seem to be the same, there are some obvious differences between the two. Let us have a look at the basic differences between the two for the benefit of readers and others who may be a bit confused when both the terms are used interchangeably.

What Is A Greenhouse?

When we talk about a greenhouse in a controlled environment, we refer to a specially constructed building that comes with a glass roof and glass walls.

Greenhouses are required to grow certain types of plants such as tropical flowers, tomato, etc. A greenhouse helps the temperature to remain warm inside even if the climate is cold outside. The gases that are available in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide help trap heat. The closed glass house also contributes by trapping hot cases from escaping.

This warm environment is ideal for cultivating and growing certain types of plants and others that normally would need a tropical climate. In other words, when we talk about greenhouse, we are referring to methods and techniques that help create the right climatic condition for the growing of certain plants that normally would not grow in cold and dry climates.

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What Is A Hothouse?

Hothouses are also similar to greenhouses. However, the entire closed space is heated up using controlled heating mechanisms.

This is done for small plants that need protection from the external temperatures that could be quite cold or even below freezing point.

A hothouse could also be referred to a controlled environment that helps certain plants to grow rapidly.

What Are Some Similarities Between Greenhouse And Hothouse

Before we get into the major differences between hothouse and greenhouse, we have to put in perspective a few things.

Both greenhouse and hothouse may need the help of sunlight to create the required impact. However, when we refer to a hothouse we are referring to heating of a closed environment using artificial sources. However, sunlight is also an important component for creating the right hothouse effect.

On the other hand, a greenhouse makes use of sunlight along with the natural process that follows when the greenhouse effect is set in motion in a controlled and closed environment. However, we need to bear in mind that

Climatic Conditions Make a Difference

The place where you are, the climatic conditions you are in and other such things will decide whether the greenhouse or hothouse is suited for you.

For example in an area that is freezing cold with mercury dropping below zero, then you may need a combination of greenhouse and hothouse. However, in moderate climates, having a controlled greenhouse approach may be enough for the plants to grow properly.

However, it is obvious that both artificial greenhouse and hothouse are put in place to generate the required heat that is necessary for the growing of certain types of plants.

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What Exactly Happens When You Have A Greenhouse Environment?

Greenhouse creates a natural process in an artificial environment. It helps to warm the closed area and this process is referred to as the Greenhouse effect. It leads to an exchange of incoming and outgoing radiation that helps to artificially warm up the closed area.

When you have a closed environment made up of glass walls and glass ceiling, you are able to allow penetration of sun rays into the space.

Additionally, plants on their own contribute to the greenhouse impact by releasing certain gases, the most important of them being Co2 or carbon-dioxide.

Why Hothouse And Greenhouse are Defined Differently?

It is clear from the above that both hothouse and greenhouse may lead to artificial heating of the closed spaces. However, there are some obvious differences between the two that cannot be ignored.

Greenhouse is about allowing nature to take its own course and create the right warmth that may help in growing certain types of plants. This heating process occurs because of exchange of radiation and gases.

The plants also contribute to the release of Co2 in the closed environment leading to warming up of the place. Hence, greenhouse is an effort to create a conducive climatic environment that can help certain types of tropical plants to grow properly. Though it is done artificially, it works very well in conditions where the weather is cold.

On the other hand hothouse depends on creating an artificially warm environment in closed space. This could be for plants that are nearing blooming or nearer to cultivation. Yes, it is a fact that hothouses also have some form of greenhouse impact taking place but the heat that is prevalent in a hothouse chamber is mostly because of artificial heat that is let into the closed space.

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A Hothouse also is known as a stove house. The conditions are carefully controlled and in most cases the temperature inside hothouses are kept above 16 degree C or around 60 degree F. This is the ideal temperature that helps in the growth of certain tropical plants like cattleyas, anthuriums, amongst other such plants.

Further, the overall construction of hothouses is different from greenhouse constructions. Greenhouse has a larger ceiling that allows natural light and heat to filter through the ceiling. However, this may not be the case as far as hothouse constructions are concerned. The main objective of hothouses is to provide a hot chamber where the plants can grow faster and be ready for cultivation within a shorter period of time.

The Final Word

We hope that the above may have given our readers a reasonably good idea about the basic difference between greenhouse and hothouse.

While both the technologies are used to provide the right warmth and climatic conditions for the growth of certain types of plants, they have some basic differences and approaches. Both of them are popular in their own ways and the end users can choose the right approach keeping in mind their specific requirements and needs.

However, some people may say that a greenhouse is a more natural approach to growth and cultivation of plants while a hothouse is more controlled and specifically targeted on certain plants for rapid growth.

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