A sedum roof is one type of living green roof. 

A green roof is a layer of vegetation (living plants) deliberately put on top of a conventional roof surface and bringing 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 therefore don’t need an awful lot of growing medium.  In fact the word “sedum” comes from the latin word “sedeo” which means “to sit”, because it seems as though sedum plants are just sitting on top of the thin, rocky soils that they naturally 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?  Well, for one, the deeper the growing medium, the more weight is added to the roof and secondly – it’s a logistical nightmare to be lifting bags of substrate up on to a 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.  It doesn’t need watering, deadheading or mowing.  All it wants is to be fed once a year, have stubborn weeds pulled out and the surrounding gutters and drainage outlets kept nice and clear.  Simple.

sedum roof in flower; June 2012

Establishing a sedum roof

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

Enviromat sedum matting has a really good mix of sedum species so as to provide colour and interest all year round, it is also the only UK grown sedum matting with a reinforcing mesh woven into the growing medium to 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.

Scroll down to watch a video of an Enviromat sedum roof being installed or

Download our green roof installation guide