Choosing the best Seed Mix for your Green Roof
So you’ve decided to build your own green roof. An excellent decision. You’ve found a suitable roof, ensured structural stability, laid the waterproofing layer and decided against pre-made green roof kits.
You want the real thing. The Full Monty. To grow it from scratch.
But picking the best seed mix for your green roof is quite a personal decision in our opinion.
There are a considerable number of factors:
- Do you want the roof to bloom in the summer? (wildflower)
- Would you rather a roof with literally zero maintenance? (a sedum roof)
- Are you looking to encourage wildlife? (wildflower)
- Do you not care in the slightest and are building one because someone else thought it was a good idea? (sedum is actually still perfect in this scenario)
Ultimately it’s down to you. But we’ve collated what we believe are the best available seed mixes for living roofs.
Best Wildflower Seed Mixes for Green Roofs
Flower Garden Scatter Pack
Flower Garden’s Scatter Pack is perfect if you want to encourage pollinators, wildlife and a colourful roof. The pack contains two ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ seed sets, one ‘Annual and perennial Mix’ and one ‘Easy Anual Mix.’
We’re a huge fan for a number of reasons:
- Versatility: annual, perennial and pollinating flowers come together
- The seeds come mixed with a vermiculate mix which makes it easy to distribute evenly
- It comes form the UK’s largest mail order horticultural company who have decades of experience and a plant breeding company in the UK
PrettyWildSeeds Wildflower and Grasses Seed Mix
PrettyWildSeeds Wildflower and Grasses mix is a great value blend of grasses and wildflowers that is suitable for all soil types.
Perfect for those on a budget or with a roof large enough they don’t just want it covered by wildflowers. They want the au naturelle look.
Great for coverage, but don’t expect the same results you might get from a wildflower only mix. PrettyWildSeeds do also have a Wildflower only blend that comes in at £10.99 for 50g of seeds.
Plantworks Empathy Mini Meadow
Isn’t Empathy Meadow a cracking name for a wildflower only blend!
I think it makes even more sense when you consider UK lowland meadows have seen a 97% decline between 1960 and 2013 thanks to changing farming practices.
And whilst we’re all for the modernisation of farming methods, we’re also all for protecting vital habitats for indigenous species.
And this natural habitat for essential pollinators contains:
- Wildflower seeds indigenous to the UK
- Soil conditioner
- Mycorrhiza funghi for strong roots
And with all the seeds selected from the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ series, you’re in safe hands.
Beebombs Wild Flower Seeds
Beebomb’s Wild Flower Seeds is striking to look at.
Packaging wise, it just stands out. And we absolutely want to promote sustainability – not just in the way we build our roofs, but the products we buy.
And this plastic-free, handmade, wildflower-only set set of 5 seed balls does just that. A handmade kit to cover 10m² of your roof.
Scotia Seeds Green Roof Mix
Scotia Seed’s 50g option is suitable for 20m² or so of green roof, which is usually ample for most budding green roof enthusiasts. Although they do also offer a 1kg set – suitable for 400m² – obviously you don’t need that.
But you do want a quality 90:10 wildflower – grass blend that grows in 100mm+ of substrate that encourages biodiversity. You absolutely must ensure your roof is structurally stable enough to support 100mm+ of soil beforehand.
We will not take the blame if your roof crushes your rusty lawnmower and secret beer fridge.
Best Sedum Seed Mixes for Green Roofs
Value Sedum Mix
Because sedums can be a little formulaic it’s fantastic to get a seed mix that has an array of colours. It just breathes a bit of life into your roof – you’ll thank is in the winter when your wildflowers have left you.
And Perfect Plants Sedum Mix should come out in lovely shades of yellow, green and pink.
Just because sedums are hardy and perennial, it doesn’t mean they have to be boring.
They do also have another more expensive sedum mix that has much greater variety of sedums.
Nicky's Nursery Sedum Mix
Nicky’s Nursery’s (great name) Sedum Mix has up to 25 different varieties guaranteed to bring a bit of colour to those sludgy winter months.
Whilst they only come in 0.5g bags, each gram contains up to 30,000 seeds. And as each gram covers around 2m², you’ll only need a few bags of the stuff to get your roof going.
About as potent as you can get gardening-wise.
For sedums it’s typically recommended that you grow the seeds out in plug trays and then plant the plugs into green roof specific substrate. Especially if your roof is at risk from the elements.
Chiltern Seeds Sedum Mix
How do you pick the Best Green Roof Seed Mixes?
For us at the Green Roof Guide there are a few core principles that help us determine what we believe the make the best green roof seed mixes:
- Value: Not are they cheap, but do we feel we’re getting value. What’s the coverage like? How many packs do you need to buy?
- Variety: Variety is the spice of life. And that is absolutely true at rooftop level. We firmly believe your living roof should be aesthetically pleasing. A veritable explosion of colour.
- Encourage Wildlife: As a species we have, rather unfortunately, destroyed a lot of habitats in our existence. It’s time to give a little bit back.
- Hardy: The plants, all sedums, grasses and wildflowers must be tough enough to survive harsh conditions.
Ideally we want the packaging to be recyclable and plastic-free too, but that’s up to you.