is reader-supported. That means as an Amazon Associate we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases (at absolutely no extra cost to you).

Greenhouses are one of the most popular ways to extend gardening seasons.

The best sort of greenhouse varies depending on what you want to grow, and factors like where you live, the climate, local weather patterns, and more.

But, before you can choose which sort of greenhouse is suitable for the job, you need to understand the differences between specific greenhouse types.

So, how many types of greenhouses are there? Read on below and find out!

Types of Greenhouses

Whether you want to start seedlings quicker, extend your gardening seasons by a few weeks each, or even garden outside all year long, there is a greenhouse type that’s right for the job.

Below, we discuss each of the main types of greenhouses that are currently widely available on the market:

High Tunnels

The high tunnel type greenhouse is one of the most popular in the world, they are also relatively easy to erect.

Even more, high-tunnel greenhouses are affordable considering how much space they give you.

This greenhouse type is used for growing everything from such common plants as peppers and tomatoes to berry bushes and dwarf fruit trees.

Low Tunnels

The low tunnel greenhouse type is a miniature version of the high tunnels.

They are also the most affordable type and simplest to set up.

Low-tunnel greenhouses are perfect for growing low crops like greens and small root vegetables.

Metal Frames

The metal frame greenhouse is one of the most sought-after types. But, they also cost more and take a lot more time and effort to set up.

Just about any type of crop that benefits from the conditions created by greenhouses grow well in this type.

The inside of most metal frame greenhouses has plenty of room for containers, shelving, raised beds, and even a potting bench area if you desire.

Wood Frames

The wooden frame-type greenhouse is one of the most picturesque, if not one of the least suitable for a wide variety of garden variety plants.

For the most part, wooden frame greenhouses like the one seen in the picture above are fashioned out of garden tool sheds.

If you have an old shed and want a greenhouse, consider turning one or two sides of the shed into a wall of windows or plexiglass.

Cold Frames

The cold frame is more of a grow box than it is a greenhouse. In some places, these cold frames are also called hothouses.

The primary use for the smaller cold frames is starting seedlings in the early spring and the late fall.

That said, cold frames are also great for overwintering some outside plants, like potted flowers and herbs that grow back each year.

Lean-to Greenhouses

The lean-to greenhouse type is an interesting one; it attaches to the side of your home, garage, shed, fence, or retainer wall.

The main use for these greenhouses are overwintering plants, starting seeds, propagating clones, and of course, growing a wide range of plants.

As far as price and construction go, they are more affordable than larger greenhouses, but still more complicated to put up than tunnels or mini-greenhouses.

Mini Greenhouses

The mini greenhouse type is a super popular one but lacks enough space to grow more than a few plants.

In fact, most gardeners use these little greenhouses strictly for starting seeds and cloning plants.

Mini greenhouses are the cheapest and easiest to put together straight out of the box.

Walk-In Grow Houses

The walk-in grow-house is one of the most useful greenhouse types on the market.

You can grow just about anything you can imagine in one of these walk-ins, including small trees and shrubs in addition to plants.

Most of the walk-in greenhouse kits come with a frame, covering, and some basic shelving.

Dome Greenhouse

The dome-style greenhouse is one of the least well-known and used by gardeners around the world because it is one of the newest innovations in the industry.

These greenhouses look more like martian gazebos than grow houses but they work just as well, if not better, than many of the greenhouse types on the market.

You can grow just about anything in a dome greenhouse, including fruits, herbs, flowers, vegetables, and houseplants.

Raised Bed Greenhouse

The raised bed greenhouse is, more or less, a modified low tunnel greenhouse.

In fact, if you build your raised beds to specs, you can order a low tunnel (possibly a high tunnel, if your beds are extra wide) and install it in just a few minutes.

Depending on whether your raised bed greenhouse consists of a low tunnel or a high one determines what sort of crops it supports.

Portable Shelf Mini Greenhouse

The portable shelf mini greenhouse type is incredibly popular with both simple gardeners and commercial gardeners.

The versatile nature of the portable mini greenhouse with shelving and wheels allows it to be moved and positioned exactly where you want, as needed.

The most common usage for portable shelf-style greenhouses is starting seeds, cloning, and growing microgreens.

Tent Style Mini Greenhouse

Last but not least, the tent-style mini greenhouse is an increasingly popular option these days for gardeners.

The main use of these types of miniature greenhouses is starting plants, cloning, overwintering, and growing plants (mainly flowers) that need higher than average humidity.

The tent-type greenhouse is one of the least expensive and literally takes one to two minutes to set up.

Which Types of Greenhouses Are Right For You?

Now that you know all about the different types of greenhouses available to you, it should be a breeze picking the right one(s) for you and your gardening needs.

Which types of greenhouses are right for you, and why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Good luck picking and setting up your new greenhouse, and thanks for reading!

Suggested Reading: 11 Cheap and Easy DIY Greenhouse Ideas

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.