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Green Roof Plant Selection Guidelines

on February 8, 2024 at 12:59 pm under , , , , , ,

Selecting the right plants for your green roof is crucial to ensure a healthy, sustainable, and aesthetic pleasing system. The plants selected can vary in terms of the systems design, climate, and maintenance required, so it’s important to consider these factors before choosing the plants.

The following are some steps and considerations to help you choose the right plants for your green roof:

Climate and Location:

Consider your climate and location when choosing plants. Different plant species thrive in various climate zones. Plants should be able to withstand the local weather conditions, including temperature fluctuations, wind, and rainfall patterns.

Soil Medium Depth:

The depth of the soil used on a green roof will determine which plants can be grown.  Some plants have roots that grow deep needing extra space to grow healthy.  Typically, deep roots are seen with vegetation that grows tall or requires a substantial amount of water.  It is not recommended to grow these plants in shallow soil depths.

Plant Selection Criteria:

  • Drought Tolerance: Opt for plants that are drought-resistant since green roofs are often exposed to harsh weather conditions and limited water availability if no irrigation system is present.
  • Low Maintenance: Select plants that require minimal maintenance, as accessing the roof for frequent care can be challenging.
  • Biodiversity: Aim for a diverse mix of plant species to enhance ecosystem services and attract pollinators.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Consider the visual impact of the plants. Choose a mix that creates an aesthetically pleasing landscape.

Plant Types:

  • Sedums and Succulents: These are popular choices for green roofs due to their low water requirements and ability to thrive in shallow soil. They come in various colors and textures.
  • Native Grasses and Wildflowers: Native plants are well-suited for green roofs, as they’re adapted to the local climate and require less care. They also provide habitat for local wildlife.
  • Herbs and Small Shrubs: Intensive green roofs can accommodate a broader range of plants, including herbs and small shrubs, which add more diversity and visual interest.

Maintenance Plan:

  • Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the health and longevity of your green roof. Develop a maintenance plan that includes watering, weeding, fertilization (if needed), and seasonal checks for plant health and structural integrity.

Remember that green roofs are living ecosystems, and it’s important to consider the long-term sustainability of your plant choices. With the right plants and proper care, your green roof can thrive and contribute positively to the environment.

The GreenGrid green roof system was the first U.S. modular system developed in the late 1990’s and in commercial use since 2001. With over 20 years of experience, it is one of the leading suppliers in the country. It is the only green roof system that is manufactured and fully backed by a professional environmental engineering firm (Weston Solutions, Inc.). GreenGrid is one of the easiest, if not THE easiest, system to install and offers an array of options to it’s customers. These include but are not limited to, multiple tray depths, various planting options, technical expertise, and many more.

Visit GreenGrid Roofs in the Directory

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