Using Shade Cloth in a Greenhouse

Shade Cloth has an abundance of uses from dust containment to outdoor advertising, however one of the biggest uses for shade cloth is in both commercial and domestic greenhouses. An affordable and highly effective way to create perfect climatic conditions ensuring a healthy plants and a fruitful harvest, shade cloth is long-lasting and is available in a range of types and colours to suit any style of greenhouse and the plants grown inside. At Commercial Netmakers, we are the leading supplier of high quality shade cloth solutions to homes and businesses across Australia. Read on for our guide to using shade cloth in your greenhouse.

Why is Shade Cloth Important in Greenhouses?

Greenhouses are built to let the right amount of sunlight in, not only so that plants can use the sunlight for photosynthesis, but also to trap heat from the sun to keep plants warm in colder climates and during the winter months. However, in warmer conditions too much heat can do more harm than good. The challenge is cutting enough sunlight to prevent stress, while allowing in enough light to promote good photosynthesis and healthy plants. This is where the right shade cloth can mean the success or failure of your plants.

Choosing the Right Shade Cloth Type

Typically, shade cloth is either a woven or knitted fabric, and comes in a variety of materials and colours and is graded based on the amount of shade it offers.

Density Percentage

This is a percentage number that describes the density of the cloth. The higher the percentage of the cloth, the less light that will penetrate through. What you grow will help determine the percentage of shade cloth you need. As we all know, sunlight is so crucial to a plants’ growth, so choose the right density and as low a density as you can get away with. Most plants will do best with a maximum of 40% – 60% shade. However, some shade-loving plants you may need a density of 75% or higher maybe to get correct light levels.

40-60% Shade Cloth is most suited to plants that require partial shade such as:

  • nursery stock
  • cabbage
  • peppers
  • lettuce
  • some Orchid varieties
  • pot plants
  • geraniums
  • caladiums
  • irises

70-80% Shade Cloth is most suitable for plants that require dense shade, including:

  • orchids
  • some ferns
  • large olive trees

High density shade cloth is also used as protection barriers on buildings, as fencing, awnings, livestock shading and as domestic shading including pergolas and shade sails.


The most common colours for greenhouse shade cloth are black and green. There are also other colours available such as white, red, yellow and blue. Choosing the shade cloth colour more than just a matter of personal preference. Lighter shade cloth colours can resolve ventilation issues as they will reflect more heat from the sun. White shade cloths reduce the quantity of light but not the quality of light spectrum therefore the growth of the plant is more rapid than using green and black shade cloth. Darker coloured shade cloth absorbs the sun’s heat so green and black shade cloths behave like filters and deprive the plants in receiving too much sunlight. Colours such as red can benefit specific plants by filtering different wavelengths of light.

Using shade cloth can make a huge difference to the plants in a greenhouse so it is important to consider the fabric material, density and colour when choosing the best option for your needs.

If you are looking for high-quality shade cloth to maximise the growth and health of your plants, then contact the team at Commercial Netmakers today. We specialise in providing custom made netting and shade cloth solutions to protect crops, people, dams, livestock and other valued assets from exposure to the harsh Australian climate. Get in touch with online today or give us a call on (08) 9434 6000 for expert advice from our experienced team.

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