The Top 5 Plants for Your Green Roof and Their Benefits

May 2, 2022

Green roofs have emerged as an excellent way to enhance the natural beauty of urban spaces while simultaneously addressing the problem of deteriorating air and water quality. These roofs are also ideal for protecting buildings from heat and moisture, enhancing energy efficiency, and creating habitats for wildlife. One of the most crucial factors in achieving a thriving green roof is the selection of plants that suit the local climate, soil type, and sun exposure. In this article, we will take a look at the top five plants for a green roof and their benefits.

1. Sedums

Sedums, commonly known as stonecrops, are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that are perfect for a green roof. They are available in various colors, including green, yellow, and red. Sedums are notable for their ability to resist damage from wind, frost, and drought. These plants also have the added benefit of being capable of storing water in their leaves, helping to reduce watering frequency.

Sedums don’t have deep roots and can grow in thin, shallow soil layers. They also provide excellent greenery and ground cover, making them ideal for green roofs. In addition, they are insect-resistant, making them a great choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your green roof.

2. Native Grasses

Native grasses are an ideal option for green roofs because they are well-adapted to the local environment, including climate and soil conditions. By planting native grasses on a green roof, you can promote biodiversity and enhance the natural beauty of your rooftop garden.

Native grasses are an excellent choice for reducing urban heat island effects because they are tolerant of drought and can survive in areas with limited soil nutrients. These plants also help to reduce water runoff, increase carbon absorption, and can provide natural habitat for wildlife.

3. Wildflowers

If you want a diverse range of colors and fragrances in your green roof, wildflowers are your best choice. These plants are perfect for creating a natural Green roofing meadow-like appearance, which can attract a host of beneficial insects, including bees, butterflies and ladybirds.

Wildflowers require adequate soil depth, so make sure to leave at least six inches of soil for planting. They are also an excellent way to combat urban heat, absorb rainwater, and promote carbon sequestration. In addition, wildflowers can help control soil erosion, making them ideal for steeply sloped green roofs.

4. Herbs

Herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano are ideal for green roofs because they are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and offer a range of culinary and medicinal benefits. These plants require well-drained soil with moderate moisture, so it is important to ensure that the green roof’s drainage system works effectively.

Herbs are also ideal for promoting biodiversity on green roofs. These plants can attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects, resulting in a thriving and natural ecosystem.

5. Shrubs

Shrubs such as Juniper, euonymus, and Yew are an excellent option for green roofs because they offer a range of benefits. They are drought-tolerant, provide a natural habitat for wildlife and other beneficial insects, and can help to stabilize the soil, helping to prevent soil erosion.

Shrubs require a deeper soil layer than most other green roof plants, so be sure to provide at least six to eight inches of quality soil. Shrubs are perfect for creating a natural buffer zone between buildings and can be an effective tool for reducing noise pollution.

In conclusion, selecting the right plants is crucial to creating a thriving green roof. By choosing plants such as sedums, native grasses, wildflowers, herbs, and shrubs, you can create a healthy and resilient garden that offers a range of benefits, including reduced urban heat island effects, improved air and water quality, and increased biodiversity.