Best Trees For Rooftop Garden For All Seasons

Terrace gardens or rooftop gardens are becoming pretty common in urban areas. Due to the lack of space inside and outside the houses these days, people prefer to grow plants on their terraces. Not only does this bring more freshness and lively feeling to your roof, but the vibrant charm makes the surroundings pure as well. Majorly all the types of plants and trees can be grown on your rooftop due to the abundance of sunlight and the ideal temperature to thrive. But still, people find it difficult to identify which are the best trees for rooftop gardens.

Trees for Rooftop Garden

The plants or trees that you are growing on your rooftop need to tackle some issues like excessive sunlight. Also, if they are drought-tolerant, it could be a plus point here. You have to identify the right location for the plants that need indirect shade or direct shade. You can even use sunshade for your terrace garden to keep your plants and trees safe from direct sun. Now, there are several options to consider before planting any plant or tree. You can use succulents, fruits, vegetables, and decorative trees in your rooftop garden. Readout some suggestions below:

Best Trees For Rooftop Gardens

  1. Lavender: Known for its beautiful aroma and astonishing colors, this plant could be a beautiful pick for your rooftop garden. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region which means that it is quite habitual to dry conditions. Lavender is an instant attraction between all the green forage plants and trees due to its distinct color. The plant requires partial to full sun and soil that drains well. It is one of the best plants for a rooftop garden in summer as it requires minimal care and watering from your side.
  2. Bell Peppers: Bell peppers can thrive in a small place and it is one of the best vegetable plants or trees that you can grow in your terrace garden. The plant enjoys loamy or sandy soil which is well-drained and it tolerates the heat of the sun. The plant needs at least 6 hours of sunlight and an adequate amount of water for good growth. You can see the growth of the plant in 2-3 months. Overwatering can cause stunted growth of leaves turning yellow, so keep a check on your water sessions.
  3. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are considered to be one of the easily grown plants. They can not be very fussy about the choice of soil and grow on every sort of soil except for soil with high clay. The best soil however is loamy soil which is well-drained. They are very good plants when it comes to rooftop plants as they need at least 6 hours of sunlight exposure every day. They need at least 1-2 inches of water every week and the best time to water is in the morning.
  4. Arborvitae: Arborvitae is one of the major species of coniferous trees that comes from the genus thuja. The tall, pyramid-shaped structured tree is mostly used for its ornamental value. You need to make some space before planting such a tree. Although they maintain a conical shape at the top, they are quite wide at the bottom. They can thrive in the full shade quite easily and require well drained nutrient-rich soil. Water it once a week when you feel that the upper layer of soil is dry.
  5. Hibiscus: Hibiscus is another striking plant that will uplift the look of your terrace garden. It comes in a variety of colors like red, purple, pink, yellow, peach, and orange. They can be easily grown in small to medium-sized pots and you can see them flowering throughout the year. This is an all-weather plant for a rooftop garden but requires some minimal care for good growth. They prefer moist loamy soil with good drainage and good nutrients. Being a tropical plant they require at least 6 hours of sunlight daily and water whenever you see the upper soil dry.
  6. Juniper: Juniper is a very common ornamental plant that can be grown in your rooftop garden. Junipers can be grown at any given time of the year which means it is one of the best plants for rooftop gardens in winter. Juniper has many advantages as well like it is used for upset stomach, kidney or bladder stones, urinary tract infections, and bloating. The juniper tree needs nutrient-rich and well-drained soil. They thrive well when placed under the sun for 6 hours a day and water them around 2 inches every week.
  7. Lemon Tree: Lemon trees can be grown easily in pots with some care and precautions for optimal growth. It is also believed that lemon trees remove the Vastu Dosha. For your rooftop garden, you can consider dwarf or semi-dwarf lemon trees. Lemon trees require full sun for 6-8 hours every day which is why it is suitable for your terrace where it receives ample sunlight. A mix of regular garden soil, compost, and cocopeat is ideal for its growth. During dormancy, it requires water every other day but as it grows the water requirements are reduced.
  8. Bougainvillea: Another great tree that can be grown to enhance the look of your terrace is the Bougainvillea. They can grow from 3 feet till 40 feet depending upon how they are kept and where you have planted this tree. Slightly acidic soil with good drainage is required for this plant. They love being outdoors thrives when you receive at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Water only when you see the upper 2 inches of the soil dry. Different hues like magenta, red, pink, orange and yellow can be seen depending on the Bougainvillea species you have planted.

Major Problems with Rooftop Gardens

Even the best trees for rooftop gardens could pave the way to some problems. Although it is indeed a good idea to plant shrubs, trees and succulents at your terrace, there are always some cons to everything. Here are some major problems with rooftop gardens:

  • Extreme winds, heat and rainfall can ruin your terrace garden and you need to provide shelter to all your trees and plants in such conditions.
  • Most of the buildings in the urban areas are tall and it becomes a little uneasy to set up a rooftop garden as compared to the traditional garden.
  • You need easy access to water as plants potted in a container requires more frequent watering, especially when planted under direct sunlight.
  • Apart from water you need to make some place for gardening soil, tools, fertilizer and sunshade for emergency usage.
  • Another major problem is that both potting soil and containers are heavy and when the plant grows into a tree it becomes heavier with water in the soil. This puts great pressure on overall building structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the things to consider before setting up a rooftop garden?

You need to have permission from the landlord if you are on a rented plane and check for other things like the storage, costs, water supply, structure capacity, wiring and environmental factors.

Q2: What are the benefits of rooftop gardens in big cities?

Rooftop gardens reduce the heat of buildings, generate more oxygen, absorb more carbon dioxide, enhance air quality and enhance the ambience. 

Q3: What can you grow on your rooftop garden?

You can grow vegetables, ornamental trees, fruits, shrubs, vines, succulents, and dwarf trees on your rooftop garden.

By Pradeep Sharma