More Information About Green Roofs
What do you do when you run out of room in your garden for new plants? Look up and you'll see the answer. Over the last two decades, green roofs and green walls have emerged as popular ways to garden and help the environment too.
What is the purpose of a green roof?
Other than aesthetics (plants for green roofs look great!) green roofs help the environment and reduce electricity consumption. Much like a shade tree, a green roof prevents sunlight from warming buildings during summer. Plants for green roofs also transpire water which provides evaporative cooling during summer. Green roof plants reduce winter heating costs because of their insulating effect. Plants for green roofs filter air pollutants and reduce stormwater runoff, keeping the local air and water clean.
What are the best plants for green roofs?
Any drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, wind-tolerant, low-maintenance, sun-loving plant with a shallow root system is a good candidate for a green roof garden. Nationwide, the most widely used plants for green roofs include Sedum, Carex, Sempervivum, Opuntia cactus, Aster, Oregano, Dianthus, Rudbeckia, to name just a few. We have assembled a list of many great plants for green roofs from our massive on-line plant catalog and have included plants that are widely used. A good green roof will have at least 10 different plant species in order to provide visual interest, attract the widest variety of wildlife, prevent the disease problems of monoculture (if one species falters, there are several others to replace it). Due to climatic differences, a green roof in Seattle will have different plants than a green roof in Atlanta. Our list below of plants for green roofs includes both extensive and semi-intensive green roof species for a variety of environments nationwide. Not every plant on this list will work well on every green roof. Green roofs are a fairly new field and we are always discovering new plants that perform well, so check back often for periodic updates.