What to Plant on a Flat Roof


Roof gardens not only look beautiful but also contribute positively to the environment. During hot weather they cool down building temperatures, and in winter they help by providing insulation against cold. There are a number of processes involved in creating a roof garden, like waterproofing, filter sheeting, moisture blanketing, drainage layering, soiling and, lastly, planting. Seeding and planting is indeed the last part, which involves sowing seeds or putting plug plants into the soil. Since a roof garden is made differently than an ordinary one, you must grow only those plants that are suitable for rooftops.


Mosses are the simplest and easiest plants to establish on rooftops. According to theenvironmentsite.org, mosses are a cluster of tiny green plants that do not produce fruit or flowers; rather, they reproduce via spores. Mosses require very little in the way of nutrients; in fact, most species of mosses can survive in environments unsuitable for other plants. These plants are often found clinging to stone walls of residential buildings. Since they are low-maintenance, you will not need to worry about their upkeep.


Lichens are somewhat similar to mosses in the conditions required for growth. They are actually complex, symbiotic organisms that are made up of algae and fungi. Since the algae manufacture food for the fungi, and the fungi protect the algaie, lichen is capable of surviving intense conditions. Lichens can live in extreme cold and extreme hot weather. Moreover, they can also survive droughts. As it does not damage easily, lichen is a good option for a roof garden.


Wildflowers are an ideal choice for roof meadows. They bring color to the garden and comprise a number of species, creating different plant communities. Typically, these plants do not grow as successfully in ordinary gardens as they do on rooftops.


The plants most widely used in rooftop gardens are sedums. There are hundreds of species of sedum. As with the advantages of plants mentioned above, sedums tolerate drought and temperature variations. A leaf succulent, sedum stores a lot of water in its tissues, which helps it survive dry weather. According to theenvironmentsite.org, the original color of sedum plants is green, but severe stress can cause sedums to change their color to purple or red.

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About this Author

Joanne Cichetti has written articles and Web content professionally since 2009, focusing primarily on health and lifestyle. In order to further pursue her writing career professionally, Cichetti inducted herself in the Long Ridge Writers Group, and she looks forward to having a novel published under their guidance.

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