Rooftop Gardens: Tips to Keep Them Growing and Cost-Effective!

From Facebook to Apple, forward-thinking companies have recognized the benefits of including rooftop gardens in their commercial landscape. And it’s no wonder, with the world’s booming population and the crowding in urban spaces making any area with living greenery, whether commercial or residential, a hot commodity. So just why should you and your clients consider adding a rooftop garden? And what tools will you need to keep it growing year after year?

Rooftop Gardens: Pros and More Pros

Rooftop gardens not only elevate the visitor experience—whether its employees, hotel guests, or apartment dwellers—but they are advantageous for both the environment and for business. Utilizing rainwater effectively and mitigating runoff, filtering the air, and providing a refuge for wildlife while reducing building heating costs are among just a few benefits. Plus, let’s face it: they’re just plain cool, and they make people happy.

Pick the Right Planters

When planning a rooftop garden, you will need to consider the weight of the planters and growing medium you are using. As most local laws have load-bearing limits included in their building codes, choosing lighter weight products is key, which is why fiberglass planters are often recommended for rooftop applications. Luckily, at Planters Unlimited, our fiberglass planters are fully customizable in style, size, and shape, and can be finished in any way you like: even finishes that mimic heavyweight materials like stone and concrete can be used without the added weight. Plus, they are made of highly durable materials that won’t crack, chip, or become damaged, even with constant exposure to the elements.

Planter materials to USE on rooftops:

  • Fiberglass
  • Wood
  • PVC

Planter materials to AVOID on rooftops:

  • Terra cotta and ceramic (can crack with constant weather exposure)
  • Stone, cement, or concrete (too heavy)

Keep Plants Hydrated (and Costs Low)

Constant sun exposure means that rooftop gardens will need to be watered frequently. Fiberglass planter liners, with their waterproof construct, won’t rot or mold, can be made to fit any planter (even oversized), and can be customized to include drainage holes for better irrigation and to prevent overwatering. These liners can also be made watertight or waterproof, but in any iteration, they are a great investment as they will last years without damage.

Planter reservoirs are another option for keeping a rooftop garden evenly watered, lengthening the time between watering sessions. Round, rectangular, bowl-shaped, half-round: you name it, at Planters Unlimited, we carry planter reservoir shapes and sizes that are perfect for all of your landscaping projects! Not only do they keep plants hydrated and soil properly irrigated, but they can save businesses tons of money in annual costs for landscape maintenance. Just slip them into the bottom of the planter before filling it with soil and you have cut your water usage (and cost!) by 50 percent!

Some Rooftop Garden Projects

 Luxury Apartment Complex in San Diego, CA

 EV Luxury Lofts, located in downtown San Diego, is an upscale apartment complex with modern design tastes. So when they approached us to create oversized fiberglass planters for their new rooftop area, we were ecstatic. The new rooftop area would contain well-placed seating areas that included chaise lounges and umbrellas for guests to sun themselves or sit in the shade to relax while admiring an unobstructed view of the city.

Historic Building in Hells Kitchen, NY

 The famous Stella Tower was originally designed by iconic architect Ralph Walker in 1927. In modern times, the historic building, with its intricate architectural details, houses high-end condominiums located in the up-and-coming, eclectic New York neighborhood Hell’s Kitchen. Planters Unlimited was asked to provide planters for a resident’s rooftop terrace, a place where they could enjoy a bit of greenery as a respite from the metal and concrete of the city. Not only would these planters need to be modern in style, but they needed to be durable enough to withstand East Coast winters. Our Ashville and Modern Fiberglass planters fit the bill in a New York minute!

Create a Rooftop Getaway for Your Clients

With the popularity of rooftop green areas for business and residential areas, there is more need than ever before to create a space that is unique, useable, and durable enough to withstand the outdoors long-term. Why not choose commercial-grade materials, such as the ones used at Planters Unlimited, in your next project? Not only are you promised fully customizable planters and site amenities, but they are built to withstand harsh commercial environments. Call us for a quote today at 1-888-320-0626!

Photo credits (top to bottom, left to right): Hollander Design, Planters Unlimited (four photos), EV Lofts, Planters Unlimited (two photos). Blog featured image: EV Lofts
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *