Greenhouses vs Potting Sheds – Which is Best for You?

portable greenhouse with plants

Do you need a safe place to store and grow your plants? Keeping your plants outdoors can prove to be problematic. From freezing temperatures to rodents, there are many outside threats that can be detrimental to your plant’s well-being. Therefore, you should invest in a greenhouse or a potting shed, but which one is right for you?

What is a Greenhouse?

portable greenhouse with potted plants

A greenhouse is a structure composed of transparent walls and roofing, with the purpose of growing and storing plants. The transparency of the building allows for ample sunlight to shine through to provide the plants with nourishment to grow. A greenhouse’s climate is also regulated from humidity to temperature, to provide plants with the ideal environment to grow.

What is a Potting Shed?

A potting shed is also a structure used to store and grow plants, however, it does not have fully transparent walls and roofing, instead, just a few windows to allow some sunlight in. A potting shed is great for growing plants as well as storing equipment.

If sheds are your style, be sure to check out our garden sheds!

Greenhouses vs Potting Sheds

Greenhouses and potting sheds may sound very similar, however, there are some key differences:

Light Exposure

Since a greenhouse is completely transparent, plenty of light can shine through and nourish your plants. Regardless of the time of day, so long as the sun is up and you placed your greenhouse out of the shade, your greenhouse will be receiving plenty of sunlight! Meanwhile, in a potting shed, not all sides are transparent, and sunlight can only pass through the available windows. Therefore, a greenhouse is superior when it comes to light exposure.

Did you know, you can use grow lights to improve the overall wellness of your plants, you can read more about it here!

Structural Integrity

Depending on where you live, the structural integrity of a building can be a dealbreaker. This is especially true if you live in an area where earthquakes and other natural disasters pose a threat to your property. A greenhouse is fragile as the walls are typically made from glass or plastic, which means that hazards like high winds can cause an object to shatter the glass on impact. But, when it comes to potting sheds, they are stronger than greenhouses as they usually have walls made from wood on at least one side. This protects them from hard impacts as well as increases their stability.


The typical potting shed has windows on only 2-3 sides of the building and even if it has windows all around, this does not compete with the sunlight let in by a greenhouse. Since the potting shed won’t be fully exposed to sunlight, you will need to strategically place it to harness as much sunlight as possible. If you use a greenhouse instead, you won’t have to worry about positioning.

Here‘s an article detailing how to position a potting shed!


You also want to consider functionality when comparing greenhouses vs potting sheds. A greenhouse is great for when you want to store and grow many plants. Meanwhile, a potting shed is good if you’d like to grow plants as well as store equipment, as a potting shed has walls that allow for shelving, hooks, and other types of storage. So, pick whatever suits your needs.

Temperature Control

When temperatures drop in the winter, your greenhouse or potting shed will be susceptible to the weather. Because a greenhouse’s walls are made of glass or plastic, the greenhouse won’t be able to retain heat too well, this is because glass is a poor insulator compared to other materials. However, a potting shed won’t be affected as much because wood is a better insulator than glass. If you plan on using a greenhouse in the winter, it is a good idea to have some sort of temperature control to negate the effects of the cold weather. This can be something as simple as using an electric heater.


Like any other purchase, pricing is something you should consider when comparing greenhouses vs potting sheds. When it comes to potting sheds, the structure itself is made from many different materials, you need different types of lumber, glass, windows, doors, roofing, etc. Therefore, the average price for a potting shed starts at around $7,000. However, looking at greenhouses, the materials aren’t as pricey as they are for a potting shed. For the most part, a greenhouse just needs glass/plastic, windows, a frame, and a door. Here at Montana Structures, our Portable Pre-Made Greenhouses are super affordable, starting as low as $3000!


Now you know the differences between greenhouses and potting sheds, from functionality to structural integrity, you know how to pick the right one for you! We hope you found this article helpful and wish you luck on your planting journey!

If you liked this article, be sure to check out our article on what to grow in a greenhouse!