RoofTop Proven™ Green Roof Plants

Green roof plants are not one-size-fits-all, and the individual requirements of each green roof design must be taken into consideration. Your LiveRoof® Licensed Grower is an experienced horticultural professional who will examine the particular needs of your project and assist in selection of the best plants to bring your design to life.

Some green roof companies also tout having a horticulturist on staff, but we have dozens, in different climates, most with decades experience growing plants for and in that local environment.

Climate Matters

Anyone who travels to different climate zones observes that typical landscape plants vary based on what is well-suited to the unique challenges of that environment.  

On the roof, attention to local conditions is even more critical. For example, in Toronto, plants that can handle the rapid changes in temperature and long winters are a necessity. In much of Texas, a plant palette must handle summer’s prolonged heat, high nighttime temperatures, low precipitation rates and heavy humidity.

Sedum reflexum Pine Forest™ ('Nontserf') is a LiveRoof developed selection that looks like a miniature pine forest, with needlike leaves colored fresh green.

Plant Development

We strive to be the industry leader in developing—through breeding, careful selection and extensive testing—plants specifically suited to harsh green roof conditions. With dozens of introductions, we offer a unique palette of exclusive plants which are vigorous, hardy, and consistent in color, texture and performance.

When you design with our RoofTop Proven™ plants, you can more precisely control the appearance and performance of your green roof plants.

Sedum spurium Promise™ ('Nonesim') is a LiveRoof developed selection that is a strong, durable grower compared to other white-flowering Sedums.

Lower Maintenance

When we select plants, we focus on longevity.  The plants must be hardy with strong growth habits that deter weeds through dense soil coverage.

Using lean, preventative maintenance practices as prescribed in the LiveRoof Maintenance protocol, owners can expect to have beautiful, healthy green roof systems that stand the test of time.

Regardless of the meticulous attention to plant selection paid by LiveRoof Licensed Growers, there is no such thing as a maintenance-free green roof.  Plants are living things and have basic requirements for survival.

Neglected green roofs, regardless of plant selection, location and design, are much more susceptible to stress from outside threats such as drought, weed encroachment, wind scour, pests and disease.

Frequently Asked Questions about LiveRoof Plants

Can I grow vegetables or fruits in a rooftop garden?

Numerous vegetables, herbs, and select fruits (such as strawberries and melons) may be grown on intensive green roofs that receive frequent watering, have ample sunlight, and have proper soil.

Edible plants require sufficient nutrients to support their rapid growth cycle and the energy needed to bear fruit.

When growing produce on green roofs, a blend of organic soil and traditional green roof growing media yields the best results; however, the soil will need annual amendments to maintain volume and provide sufficient nutrition.

LiveRoof installation with green roof herbs, vegetables, lettuces, greens and more produce / food.
What are the best plants to use on green roofs?

In the Lite and Standard systems, we only recommend plants which have extreme drought resistance through some means other than the root system.  This means succulent, water-holding plants like Sedums, Alliums, Sempervivums, and Delospermas in the northern temperate regions, and similar species farther south.

The best LiveRoof plants will both store water and have a special type of metabolism called ‘Crassulacean Acid Metabolism’ (CAM). CAM plants are unique in that under drought conditions their stomates (leaf pores) are open at night rather than during the day, as is the case with most plants.  CAM plants exchange gasses (oxygen and carbon dioxide) in the dark when it is cooler and less windy.  CAM plants are up to ten times more efficient with water conservation than non-CAM plants.

In the Deep and Maxx systems, with irrigation, a broader plant palette is possible.

In all cases, consult with your local LiveRoof licensed representative for recommendations of the best plants for the climate.

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