What Are The Benefits Of A Rooftop Garden?

Urban rooftop garden with organic plants and vegetables, What Are The Benefits of a Rooftop Garden?Rooftop gardens are an excellent choice for people who live in the city and none to limited access to a yard, balcony, or outdoor space they would like to use for growing plants. Rooftop gardens make the most of a typically underutilized area. Container gardens specifically are one of the easiest gardens to start because all they require is an outdoor space, plants, and pots. We've done the research to show you all the pros of maintaining a garden like this.

The benefits of a rooftop garden are:

  • Direct sun
  • Improved air quality
  • Habitat for wildlife
  • Less room for weeds
  • Decorative
  • Fresh foods
  • Reduces temperature inside the home
  • Easy to Rearrange 

Keep reading below as we explore each of these benefits further and answer more frequently asked questions.

Direct Sun

Most of the time, plants need lots of sunlight to grow. It's difficult to plant flowers around a suburban house because they only receive so much sunlight. This is where rooftop gardens thrive. Because these gardens tower over any possible obstructions, they can enjoy as much sun as the clouds allow. 

You'll also want to monitor how much sun they are receiving and make sure you are giving them the right amount of water, as they will dry out more quickly.

Improved Air Quality

Large cities put massive amounts of pollution in the air every day. Our bodies are meant to breathe in the fresh air, as it is the healthiest for our bodies. As humans, we breathe in oxygen and breathe out CO2. Plants serve as the best teammates because they take CO2 in and release oxygen. Having a rooftop garden creates a place for you to enjoy fresh air in an otherwise polluted environment if you live somewhere like New York City. It helps you experience the benefits of nature in a place where plants are scarce.

Habitat For Wildlife

Believe it or not, wildlife exists in densely populated areas like New York City. There are plenty of birds and insects that do a lot for the environment. For example, bees need pollen to survive. They are always on the hunt. By having a rooftop garden, you can create a resource for insects and birds to use. This is great for both wildlife and humans. Rooftop gardens help contribute to a healthy environment, and being a resource for bees and butterflies is just one way they help. 

If your plants are big enough, they can also be a place for birds to build their nests and other creatures to live.

Less Room For Weeds

One of the most annoying parts about owning your garden is continually having to pick weeds and maintain the soil around your plants. By owning a rooftop garden, specifically a container garden, you are only using as much soil as the plants need. Therefore, you do not have to work as hard to keep your plants safe and the garden looking good. 


Relaxing urban roof garden with hammock

Let's be honest, rooftops are flat, bland,  and often dull. Container gardens can help turn your average roof into a private oasis in the city. It adds vibrant color and life to your rooftop and helps decorate your rooftop to be a relaxing getaway.

Fresh Foods

A major drawback to living in the city is the lack of access to farmer's markets and other ways to get fresh fruits and vegetables. With a rooftop garden, you can grow all kinds of exotic and fresh fruits and vegetables. As long as you make sure your climate can grow the plants you are looking to grow, it will blow your neighbors away at how you can have such delicious, fresh meals every day.

Reduces Temperature

If your container rooftop garden is large enough, it can reduce the temperature of your rooftop. As you can imagine, hanging out on a roof may seem like torture if it is in the heat of the summer. However, lots of plants provide shade.

A big reason rooftops are so hot is the materials that it is constructed from and the fact that it is most likely in direct sun, soaking up all those rays. If you spread your plants out or have enough of them, you limit the amount of direct sunlight that hits your roof and therefore reduces the overall temperature of your roof.

Easy to Rearrange

In an ordinary garden, once you plant your flowers, shrubs, fruits, or whatever you are planting, they are more than likely going to remain there. The plants take root and establish themselves in their place. This is great for keeping them in one spot, but if you ever decide you want to move around a few plants, it can be tricky.

A rooftop garden is perfect because you can rearrange your garden. You can easily remove or add plants, and you never have to worry about digging or over-working yourself.

Green Roofs Vs. Container Gardens

There are two types of rooftop gardens you have to choose from. Green roofs are typically completely covered in vegetation. This means your roof is covered in soil, and plants are planted as they would be in the ordinary, outdoor soil. Green roofs can be beautiful because there is much more area taken up by vegetative life. However, they will also require much more care. 

Compared to container gardens, you won't be able to rearrange plants as easily. You'll mostly have to treat green roofs like they are your backyard. Cutting/watering any grass you have, making sure there is enough soil, etc. Container gardens may make your rooftop as green, but they are much easier to maintain and customize.

One of the most significant benefits of a green roof is its ability to cool down your roof. Like container gardens, they can absorb and block some heat that would usually directly hit the roof. Green roofs can completely catch all the sunlight. This ultimately can help save you money in keeping your building cool.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Having A Rooftop Garden?

Young woman lying in her rooftop garden having a rest from gardening

Some obvious drawbacks include having to take care of the plants and all the responsibilities that come with it. Owning a rooftop garden can also be difficult to water if there is no outside water source. You may have to fill up a bucket or tank and keep it close by. This just requires a little more effort than an average garden.

Another drawback is the fact that you are limited to certain plants. On a rooftop, there is virtually no shade, and it can either be the biggest blessing or curse. There will be no way for you to grow plants that require shade. You'll be limited to plants that require lots of sunshine.


A rooftop garden can be the escape you are looking for from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. It allows you to have a green thumb while living the city life. If you are considering starting your own rooftop garden, be sure to pick the right plants and know what it will take to care for them properly. After that, the benefits are endless.


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One comment

  1. It’s great that you talked about rooftop gardens and how they benefit our air quality. Recently, my wife and I decided we’d like to upgrade our home. We want to install a rooftop deck, and adding a garden to it sounds awesome, so we’ll be sure to look into it! Thanks for the information on rooftop gardens and their many advantages for our family.

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