What is a sedum roof?

2 min read

What is a sedum roof – A sedum roof is one type of living green roof.

The green roof has a layer of vegetation (living plants) put on top of it. It brings a whole host of benefits to the building and the environment.  On a sedum roof, the majority of the plants are low growing succulents from the sedum, or stonecrop, family.

A newly installed sedum roof

Why choose sedums for a green roof?

The wonderful thing about using sedums on green roofs is that they are very shallow rooted and don’t need a lot of growing medium.  The word “sedum” comes from the Latin word “sedeo” which means “to sit”. Sedum plants appear to sit on top of the thin, rocky soils that they grow in.  The Romans knew sedum acre as “wall pepper” because it grows on walls and has a bitter, peppery taste.

Why don’t we want a lot of growing medium on a roof?  The deeper the growing medium, the more weight is added to the roof. The deeper the growing medium or substrate – the more has to be lifted onto the roof.

The other wonderful thing about sedums is that they are drought tolerant.  Most roofs are difficult to access and so it’s not practical to climb up there two or three times a week to water the plants and do a bit of pruning and weeding.  A sedum green roof is reasonably low maintenance. Not only does it not need watering, but it also doesn’t need deadheading or mowing.  All you have to do is feed it once a year. Then , pull out the stubborn weeds and keep the surrounding gutters and drainage outlets nice and clear.  Simple.

Establishing a sedum roof

There are various ways of establishing a sedum roof; hydro-seeding, plug planting, cuttings or sedum matting.  But, of all four methods, sedum matting is by far the quickest and easiest.

So, Enviromat Sedum Matting has a good mix of sedum species which provide colour and interest all year round. Furthermore, it is also the only UK grown sedum matting with a reinforcing mesh. So, this will keep substrate and plants from being displaced by heavy rain or mechanical damage.

Enviromat is used in conjunction with specially engineered, lightweight drainage mat and water retention fleece in a proven green roof system.

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