Definition - What does Hothouse mean?
Hothouse, or hot house, is often used interchangeably with the term greenhouse, although there are some differences. A hothouse is generally heated to withstand cooler temperatures, whereas a greenhouse may not be heated.
Using a hothouse allows gardeners to grow crops like vegetables and flowers throughout the year, even in the depths of winter, as long as there is sufficient heat available to protect the plants. Greenhouses generally only extend the growing season by a few weeks.
MaximumYield explains Hothouse
The quest to ensure a stable, year-long supply of food has led the agriculture industry to create a number of different solutions. Cold frames, hoop houses, and the development of cold-hardy vegetables are just a few of these. However, the use of a hothouse is probably one of the most important developments in agriculture.
A hothouse is nothing more than a heated structure that is mostly closed to the outside world. It can resemble a greenhouse, but the two are not necessarily the same. A greenhouse can provide temperature against fluctuations to some extent, but may or may not be heated. A hothouse, on the other hand, is always heated (thus the name). Other than being heated, there are few differences between hothouses and greenhouses.
Like a greenhouse, a hothouse is generally made from clear materials. Glass is the most common, but plastic is beginning to see more use, and is the more economical option. Like greenhouses, hothouses can be almost any size. They simply require a heat source that is sufficient to warm the interior air enough to prevent damage to crops from cold weather.
A hothouse may have artificial lighting and a manufactured floor, or it could rely strictly on sunlight and have a natural earth floor, depending on the type and design in question.