The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Greenhouse heating

United Kingdom Gb

I would like advice on the best method to heat my 8 x 6 greenhouse. I currently have no power point there. I have heard parrafin heating is expensive to run. Help please.
I went to B&Q and the cost of buuble wrap would be between 150 and 200 which seems alot. It may have to be parrafin or nothing. I am told by an electrican the cost of getting an electric point could be several hundred.
Will check out amazon for byubblewrap but B&Q was 15.98 for 250cm x 35cm including clips for fitting. It would appear that B&Q gave me incorrect info which I discovered when I looked for myself, their measurements were incorrect and I did only need one roll not ten as they suggested. It was 30m by 250 cm nothing like I was told!
Thanks everso for your help and advise sorry to be such a divvy.



The other trouble with paraffin is that it runs out and you have to keep topping it up - also you have no control over the temperature, apart from turning the wick up a bit! Another problem is ventilation - needed because of the oil burning and causing condensation.

I wonder if insulating your greenhouse might be a better option? Fixing up bubble wrap with clips is not very fiddly.

Otherwise, consider getting an electrician to run a cable out to the greenhouse. An electric heater does the lot. Temps are thermostically controlled and it only comes on when needed - unlike paraffin. I find my power points indispensable, as I can also plug in my heated propagator in the spring!

5 Dec, 2008


~I have power in my same size greenhouse~and use a thermostatic electric heater at around 10 degrees~you could try putting in the bubblewrap everywhere and cover everything inside with an extra layer of heavyweight fleece when really cold ~unless you need really high temperatures that will probably work!

5 Dec, 2008


I used to use fresh manure -- not kidding. Some solar elements, you see I had no electicity.Water barrels that were painted black and are fed by coiled black tubing on the shed roof just above. Large amounts of rock in the supports for the tables. etc. A small D.C powered fan pushed air in tubes to the floor of the greenhouse and the rock stored avove the buried drainage pipes.

All helped, but when I got electricity I jumped for joy.

Heat cabled benches will do a wonder. Many plants can deal with a cold air ambience, but not so for the roots. IMO, putting heat cables or hot water tube heating to the soil/pot region is the most cost effective way to grow plants.

6 Dec, 2008


well, Patricia, I see that you've been doing your homework on costing! If you really have to use paraffin, then make sure that you ventilate the greenhouse every possible day to avoid condensation, and wipe off the overnight moisture every day.

I really would advise you that saving up the cost of running a cable out for next year would be well worth it for you. It would save money in the long term, as I said before - on a thermostat, the electric heaters cut in and out according to the temperature - while paraffin heaters stay on all the time.

6 Dec, 2008


~are you sure about the cost of the bubblewrap~I had a look on Amazon and a roll of 750mm by 100 metres is £21.I would think you would only need half that much!

6 Dec, 2008


Did anyone notice that all the avatars but one are dogs.
Even the gopher has his prejudicial answer regarding the need of warmth.

6 Dec, 2008


Even if you heat the greenhouse you need the bubble wrap. I have a similar sized greenhouse and the bubble wrap cost me about twenty pounds from the local garden centre.
I used to use paraffin but all the cacti went brown and it became very hard to buy eventually.
I've just stopped using heating because of the cost of electricity but I have the thick bubble wrap covering all the interior. So far nothing has died although the temperature has been down to -3deg inside!

9 Dec, 2008


"Your cacti went brown?"

I am in the States, and I do not know if we have this "parffine." Is this your name for Kerosene? I just borrowed such a heater and fuel and am ready to use it if the power goes out.

We are expecting 17. F. by the weekend. Lasting for a few days. I just pray that we get some insulating snow with it. My small electic heater will probably not be able to keep up ... and all my cacti may be toast.

I think their might be some residue, but a few days useage should be okay. I think" I might go buy some shrink wrap and put it around the greenhouse. It is very cheap here.

10 Dec, 2008


~ what about putting a layer of fleece over the cacti Herb?,if in doubt put it on double~I have plants wrapped in the heaviest weight and although freezing out there they seem to be doing alright.

10 Dec, 2008


Thank you, but taking the fleece off might be a bit tricky, athough I would have more than enough. Chores of a wet day.

Do something quickly for my 60 bonsai.
Wrap plastic over the windows of the greenhouse.
Getting the kerosine heater to work..
More firewood, for myslf.

Prioritize! I think I just did.

10 Dec, 2008


~if you just rest it very gently as I do with my fuchsias you may be ok although I appreciate they are prickly!
I hope you have everything including yourself tucked up warmly before your bad weather arrives!
Have you pictures of your bonsai?

10 Dec, 2008


Considering the weather forcast, I just buried them in leaves. It is supposed to be VERY bad. The state Weather people just issued a weather warning.

A full week OR MORE! of highs at or below freezing. Lows in the -5 C range. This is until next weekend. Of course no prediction for after.

60 mile winds, cold and HOPEFULLY snow. It might just save my plants.

My Bonsai are protected and so are my pipes.
The cactus house tomorrow.

I fixed the generator for a customer I work for. It is all set to fire up when he loses power. (very likely) and built up a wood pile in the front porch. His wife now has to do all of this, as he is bed bound.

12 Dec, 2008

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Greenhouse
  • DSCN4148.jpg
  • hanging baskets in allotment
  • Rhododendron

Related blogs

Related products


Related questions

Not found an answer?