Thursday, February 2, 2012

Green Roof Plant Sleuthing! Understanding why some plants grow better on roofs.

I call the process - 'Green Roof Plant Sleuthing'!

Simply put, Mother Nature is the best teacher for what grows well on a wall or on a roof in hot, dry, arid and monsoon-like climates.

Nature created green roofs cool buildings and provide habitat

When students of Green Roof technology ask me for recommendations concerning plants and green roofs, the first task I suggest is always to do a little Urban Sleuthing.  Walk around downtown, watching your step and keeping an eye out for traffic yet looking up to the city roofs, gutters and tops  of building structures.

Most are amazed to see just how many plants actually grow out of cracks, with minimal soil and survive the typical harsh conditions of a rooftop.

Green Roof Sleuthing is fun & educational!

Excitingly, these naturalized plants can produce a full and flush growth habit, offering an almost tropical look to the roof.

Walking through St. Augustine the other day I ran across many nature inspired green roofs, all quite beautiful and providing habitat, cleaning stormwater, cooling the buildings and pumping fresh oxygen back into the air.

Hidden among the lush resurrection fern were also many interesting smaller ferns, vines and other plant species.

MetroVerde finds many new Green Roof Plants through Florida Green Roof Sleuthing

So next time you wonder about the type of plants to use on your next green roof project, be sure to consult with your local nurseries and growers but also do not forget to do some Green Roof sleuthing yourself.   Take a walk through the downtown and look up.

Chances are you may never use those plants you see growing out of the buildings but then again, knowledge is power, especially when working with plants on roofs!

1 comment:

Kermit Lukacs said...

Now they're aware of it! I guess students would love to check on other roofs now, LOL! Of course, they would have to ask permission first.