The best plants to include in your rooftop garden


A rooftop garden, also known as a green roof, an ecological roof or a living roof, is a structure covered with plants and vegetable soil, superimposed on a waterproofing system.


Considering factors such as root aggression, sun exposure, maintenance, and the local climate, the careful curation of plants for this roof is imperative in this context.


Keep reading to discover the ideal plants for your roof!



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Comfort, efficiency and sustainability


Before delving into ideal plant choices, let’s underscore the myriad benefits these installations bring. Enhancements in thermal insulation and energy efficiency lead to increased comfort and substantial cuts in heating and AC expenses. They also contribute to a prolonged building lifespan, sidestepping pricey maintenance.


These rooftops also act as effective acoustic barriers, reducing noise, ambient and impact levels, thus promoting a more serene environment.


In addition, they contribute to better urbanism, creating natural spaces in urban environments, and offer superior air quality by filtering polluting particles and producing oxygen.


They unquestionably represent an investment that transcends mere aesthetics, fostering a sustainable lifestyle in perfect harmony with nature.



Criteria for plant selection


The plant selection for the roof must align with specific criteria associated with the roof type. The distinction between extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive covers significantly influences this selection process.


In extensive landscaping, we prioritize plants resilient to harsh sun exposure, strong winds, water scarcity, and low air humidity.


Within semi-intensive landscaping, a rich array of herbaceous plants, compact shrubs, and aromatic varieties emerges. The substrate thickness elevates, spanning 15 to 30 cm, offering heightened adaptability in plant choices, catering to both aesthetic tastes and distinct needs.


Finally, intensive landscaped roofs, comparable to conventional gardens, provide space for trees, shrubs and even ponds.



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Which plants are ideal?


We’ve highlighted a few choices for their flexibility to specific conditions, offering not only aesthetic beauty, but also resistance and low maintenance.

Besides, consider the environmental advantages, such as contributing to urban biodiversity and improving air quality!


1. Sedum and Sempervivum (extensive)


These plants are resistant to intense solar radiation, strong winds, lack of water and air humidity. Their ability to store water in their leaves and recover easily from periods of drought makes them ideal for extensive hedging. In addition, they belong in dry mountain environments, deserts or dry meadows.



2. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) (intensive)


Lavender is known for its resistance to wind and intense sunshine. As well as adding beauty to the hedge, its aromatic properties can create a relaxing atmosphere. It is suitable for a variety of climates and soils, providing a versatile option.



3. Aloe Vera (extensive)


A resilient, low-maintenance succulent, adapted to dry and sunny conditions, with healing and cooling properties, it is a practical and aesthetically pleasing choice.



4. Cacti (extensive)


Like aloe vera, cacti are succulents that require little water and are resistant to adverse conditions. The variety of shapes and sizes offers decorative options, and their adaptation to different climates makes them ideal for extensive hedging.



5. Hostas (intensive or extensive)


In shady areas, hostas thrive, adding lush, colorful foliage. They are low-maintenance perennials, available in various colors and sizes, making them a versatile choice for adding texture and visual charisma to the hedge.



6. Dwarf Ornamental Trees (e.g. Dwarf Crape Myrtle) (intensive)


For intensive rooftop gardens, dwarf ornamental trees offer height without compromising space. They also add verticality and beauty to the garden, without overloading the roof structure.



7. Achillea millefolium (Aquilegia) and Coreopsis (semi-intensive)


Perfect for semi-intensive rooftops, it attracts pollinators and provides attractive flowers. With its vibrant flowers, coreopsis is a great choice due to its easy maintenance.



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Would you like to explore this solution further?


Incorporating a touch of green into urban landscapes is gaining popularity, and it’s more than just visually appealing. It provides substantial advantages for residents’ well-being and health.


At Prudencio, our integrated solutions seamlessly combine advanced waterproofing, thermal insulation, and drainage systems, harmonizing with the development of lush green roofs.


Cities such as Copenhagen and Toronto have already adopted policies that make the use of green roofs mandatory, highlighting the importance of this step for sustainability and quality of life.


Contact us to explore how we can make your project greener and more sustainable.


And if you enjoyed this article, we suggest you further your knowledge by reading our article: “Why choose Green Roofs?”.

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