Roof Garden Plants: Select Best Suit to Your Rooftop Garden

Roof Garden Plants Select Best Suit to Your Rooftop Garden

As readers of this article, you might have some experience in buying rooftop plants or are new to this. Many gardeners love to have some plants on their terrace/ roof but fail to select the best roof garden plants out there. In this article, I would like to share my experience & knowledge by discovering Rooftop Gardening.

Growing Plants on Rooftop

Why do people often face difficulties when they selecting plants for their rooftop garden. Mainly as we, all know that on the rooftop, growing conditions hard than in a ground-level garden.  High Heat during the day, Cold, stronger Wind & more chance to evaporate. So it has become quite tough to make your garden on the rooftop.

Not only that your selections are limited due to rooftops are not suitable above conditions, sometimes This is not designed to bear higher weight, sometimes water management is hard, has to depend on minimum soil, or has to go for container gardening, etc.

Then as a plant nursery owner, Gardner I also believe selecting the right plant is necessary. So we need to choose suitable plant varieties or types that can bear the above conditions meanwhile give you the best results. It will help you to save your money as well as time.

Before Select Roof Garden Plants

Before select plants for the rooftop following aspects or situations need to consider because if your plants are not matching to your garden or go for high cost, less effective methods. You will face a lot of trouble maintaining your rooftop garden.

Container Gardening

rooftop container garden

Probably, almost all of you go for container gardening, I want to make you think about something that we are less focused on. In container gardening, there are many high chances to affect outside cold conditions to your root system. So be careful If you are in a place in which the outer environment can easily affect the plant roots and cause them to die.

So always choose the right plant category suitable for Container gardening at a low temperature. Another aspect is the weight of the container & responding to the weather conditions. You may choose terra cotta, metal, wood, fiberglass, or plastic containers to grow plants. Though plastic is low in weight has the potential to be fragile.

Containers, which are made from terra cotta, wood need more water than containers, which are made from metal, plastic, fiberglass because there are easily died due to their porous material. Water evaporate frequently through the outer layer of containers.

Soil Mixture for Rooftop Plants

rooftop garden soil mix

If your rooftop has space, strength to do gardening by using more containers it is ok. However, if you are unsure that still need waterproofing before begin a rooftop garden complete those requirements.

You can add a light potting mix or heavy topsoil to grow your roof garden plants as per the plants you select. Though which type of soil select both have pros & cons. The soil-based mixture will absorb & retain water for a longer period of time compared to a lightweight potting mixture.

Irrigation to Rooftop Gardens

A water sprinkling system might not effective for your terrace gardening as ground gardening. However, drip irrigation or manual water supply is more convenient than other methods. If you are busy with day-to-day works drip irrigation help you to avoid you keeping plants alive for the whole day. Manual (hand) watering will make you more engaged with plants and has a chance to look at any improvements.

Managing Your Space Well on Rooftop

roof garden spaces

The design of your roof garden is important because it not only affects the view of your garden but also how to control the environmental conditions. For Example, you can go for vertical gardening & it will create more space as well as shade for other plants. We can use more effectively unused space & create more attractively.

Roof Garden Plants: Based on Special Qualities & Types

The best rooftop plants can be decided based on the special qualities of plants & the plant species that can tolerate growing in suitable conditions.

So think about these physical characteristics before buy plants to grow on your terrace or rooftop, which can overcome the harsh condition in your roof garden.

#1. Fuzzy Leaves & Silver Foliage Plants for Roof Garden

fuzzy leaves rooftop garden

Silver & grey leaves indicate us this plant can survive in drier conditions. Leaf color originated because of adopting to reduce transpiration in plants. These plants have a low potential to evaporate water from leaves and because of that, plants have less chance to wilt.

They can thrive in full sun & in drained soil. Using these suitable plants to your roof garden, not only gives benefits you also add more beauty to your garden. You aid this rooftop plant list, which has these characteristics. Following are the few of these plants that best match the rooftop garden.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Rose Champion (Lychnis coronaria)4 - 8
2Fuzzy foxglove (Digitalis dubai)5 - 10
3Gray Yarrow (Achillea "Moonshine")4 - 10
4Dusty Miller (Sencio cineraria)8 - 10
5Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)3 - 7
6Lavender5 - 9
7Wormwood4 - 8
8Lamb's Ears4 - 8

#2. Taproots Plants for Roof Garden

taproots plants for roof garden

Taproot plants have the capability to grow well and survive in the most drought environment. Taproot plants have the capability to retain moisture in their roots Some Taproot plants also store food in their roots. So might help plants have less chance to wilt. You can help with below rooftop plant list, which has these characteristics.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)3 - 8
2Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)3 - 9
3Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)5 - 9
4Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa)3 - 9
5Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)3 - 9
6Dill (Anethum graveolens)3 - 7
7False Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis)4 - 8
8Sea Holly (Eryngium)4 - 8
9Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)3 - 9
10Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)3 - 8
11Parsley (Petroselinum Crispum)4 - 9
12Cushion Spurge (Eurphorbia polychroma)2 - 9
13Coneflowers5 - 8

#3. Evergreen Plants for Rooftop Garden

evergreen plants for rooftop garden

Evergreen plants are drought tolerant though all the evergreen plants are not suitable for a container garden or roof garden, there are some plants that can be grown in containers & later can be developed as bonsai plants. In the evergreen plant stiff leaves, waxy layer, or small leaves act as protection in the environment.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Wintergreen Boxwood4 - 9
2Yew - Hicks Yew5 - 8
3Juniper -Skyrocket Juniper, Greenmound Juniper3 - 9
4Agave Plants8 - 11
5Amaranth (Amaranthus)2 - 11
6Oregon Grape5 - 9
7Emerald Green Arborvitae4 - 8

#4. Mounding Plants for Rooftop Garden

mounding plants for rooftop garden

Mounding plants identifies as the ability to grow both vertically & horizontally. It also considers low-maintenance plants for landscape purposes.  Most Mounding perennials plants use for groundcovers in drained soil as well as well grown under full sun. Below is the list of Mounding, plants that many gardeners add to their rooftop.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Daisy Bush (Senecio greyii)8 - 11
2White Sage (Salvia aplana)8 - 11
3Silver Horehound (Marrubium incanum)4 - 10
4Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria)8 - 10

#5. Vegetables for Roof Garden

vegetables for roof garden

We all love to have vegetables on the rooftop but every plant might not be suitable for the rooftop garden. between 6-8 hours of light during the day will help plants to grow. Container vegetable gardening is far more advantageous than other methods especially since you garden on a roof, balcony, or terrace. Some of the easiest vegetables to grow in containers are Cucumbers, Squash, Eggplant, Tomatoes & peas.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)4 - 12
2Squash (Curcurbita)3 - 10
3Eggplant (Solanum melongena)5 - 12
4Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)8 - 11
5Peas (Pisum sativum)2 - 11

#6. Fruit Plants for Roof Garden

fruit plants for roof garden

Though there are many fruits that can be planted in a small area you have to select the best fruit plant suitable for your rooftop garden. The below list consists few of my favorite which can add you to your garden.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Figs6 - 9
2Pineapple9 - 11
3Mulberries4 - 10
4Gooseberries3 - 8
5Lemon8 - 11
6Pomegranate9 - 11
7Guava9 - 11

#7. Ground Covers for Roof Garden

ground covers for roof garden

Like most of the other perennials, the ground there are some ground covers are thrive on full sun. Some varieties have a pleasing aroma, berries, colorful flowers, evergreen foliage, etc.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)5 - 8
2Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)3 - 8
3Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantia)4 - 8
4Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)3 - 9
5Yellow Alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis)4 - 7
6Silver Mound Artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana)3 - 7
7Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)5 - 10

#8. Grass for Roof Garden

grass for roof garden

Do you want to make a rooftop grass garden or add grass to your rooftop vegetable garden? There are a number of grasses but some need good drainage also better climate to grow. Especially need to water constantly in summer. Here are some good grass varieties that can add some value to your selection.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)4 - 9
2Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)9 - 11
3Sedge (Carex nigra)4 - 8

#9. Herbs/Medicinal Plants for Rooftop Herb Garden

medicinal plants for rooftop herb garden

People are interested to add some herbs to their garden. There is an advantage because there is a wide variety of herbs that are well grown in dry & under full sun. The below list are some of the ideal herbs that are suitable to grow on your balcony, terrace, or rooftop.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)5 - 9
2Oregano (Origanum vulgare)4 - 10
3Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)7 - 11
4Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)7 - 10
5Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)10 - 11
6Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)10 - 11

#10. Succulents for Roof Garden

succulents for roof garden

Many succulents have grey and silver and have adaptations to help the plants survive climate extremes. But everyone can’t do survive in these conditions. Especially if you planted small plants.  Below succulent plant, list much suitable to your garden.

NoPlant NameUSDA Zones
1Painted Lady (Echeveria derenbergii)9 - 11
2Shining Pink Rock Purslane 9 - 11
3Sedum Spp.4 - 10
4Crassula Spp.10 - 11
5Echeveria9 - 11
6Sempervivum Spp.4 - 9
7Delosperma Spp.5 - 9
8Tree Houseleek (Aenoium arboreum)9 - 11


There are a number of plants that can be grown in a place like a rooftop, terrace, balcony. Most articles written about this topic might not enough to give an idea about suitability. The above-listed plants may or may not exactly match your condition. So my request is to go through with each plant that intends to grow. Find more info about the plants grow them & share your ideas & suggestions with us.

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