Why does a greenhouse grow such large plants?

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    Greenhouses are expensive, controlled environments. Humans construct and tend them specifically to enhance plant growth. When effort and expense is expended on plants in any situation, they will tend to grow better.

    The particulars of what make greenhouses successful are controlled temperature and humidity, protection from the wind, and protection from animals that would like to eat them.

    Public greenhouses will tend to have large plants for the “Ooo, wow, look at that!” effect. I.e., big impressive plants draw visitors. And along with that, it’s a certainty that among professionals, there’s a certain status to having the biggest and oldest specimens.

    So why don’t we use greenhouses more often? They are expensive to build and to maintain. Farming as a rule does not make a great return on investment, and farming tends to be done where the soil is good, water is cheap, and the weather is appropriate. For commercial farms, greenhouses may be an extreme to make an otherwise marginal area productive. But the first choice would be to farm a better area!

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