Sunday, December 21, 2008

Succulents for Green Roofs and more Sunday Night musings...

The blog data here is a continuation of my previous Green Roof blog. Feel free to refer back to the site to my new Green Roof blog because it does contain alot of information - and I will be posting the same info both here and on the Green Roof for Florida blog for some time.

We use succulents in most all of our green roofs. Succulents are an excellent green roof plant in many different ways. Succulents generally store water in their stems and leaves in significant quantities. Cacti leaves are practically non-existent and most photosynthetic functions in cacti occur in the stems. Succulents have stomata on all green surfaces but at much lower surface densities than most other plants.

Because succulents store water they can survive and in most cases still 'look good' after a significant drought. Another benefit to succulents is one of offering a deterrent to fire through their water filled leaves and stems.

Some other drought tolerant non-succulents such as the sages and grasses produce flammable volatile oils that can add fuel or accelerant to a fire.

Most succulents do not need fertilizer in quantities required by non-succulents. We have seen the base nitrogen content in rain provide sufficient nutrients for many green roof succulents.

Succulents also do well in well-drained soils that will wick and absorb a minimum amount of water.

Today engineered soils, such as the MetroVerde engineered soil blends have taken the place of most 'dirt' on the roof.

And finally, we are now prepared to say in our opinion, the green roof plants we propagate and raise like round rays and pots better than square ones.

After viewing first hand the growth qualities and characteristics of our green roof plants grown from seed in round and square containers, and cuttings in both, we believe the round container has less negative impact on root formation than the square shape.

Although there is not a huge significant difference, we've noticed a definite difference in size and in transplanting issues.

Unfortunately round pots are not as space efficient as square pots.

Has anyone out there seen studies conducted on the difference between square pots and round pots? I'd like to hear from them.

Happy green roofing!

No comments: