Choosing the Right Plants for Your Idaho Live Roof System: A Complete Guide

Welcome to our article about Idaho Live Roof, an innovative and sustainable roofing solution that is gaining popularity across the country. At first glance, it may seem like just another roof, but Idaho Live Roof is much more than that. It is a living, breathing ecosystem that not only provides protection for your home but also offers numerous environmental benefits.

Imagine a roof covered in a lush carpet of green plants, creating a beautiful and vibrant landscape right above your head. That’s exactly what Idaho Live Roof offers. By incorporating a layer of vegetation, this unique roofing system not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your property but also helps to regulate temperature, improve air quality, and reduce stormwater runoff.

But how does it work? Idaho Live Roof utilizes a specialized design that combines waterproofing layers, drainage systems, and a carefully selected mix of plants to create a self-sustaining green roof. The plants act as natural insulation, reducing the need for heating and cooling, while also absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the environment. In addition, the vegetation helps to capture rainwater, preventing it from overwhelming drainage systems and reducing the risk of flooding.

What is Idaho Live Roof?

Idaho Live Roof is an innovative and sustainable roofing solution that is revolutionizing the way we think about roofs. It goes beyond being just a regular roof and offers so much more. What sets Idaho Live Roof apart is that it is a living ecosystem, bringing the beauty of nature right to the top of your home.

With Idaho Live Roof, your roof is covered in vibrant green plants, creating an aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly environment. But it’s not just about looks – these plants have a purpose. They provide numerous benefits for both your home and the environment.

One of the key advantages of Idaho Live Roof is its ability to regulate temperature. The plants on the roof act as natural insulation, reducing the heat transfer from the sun to your home. This helps to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which can lead to significant energy savings.

In addition to temperature regulation, Idaho Live Roof improves air quality. The plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, helping to purify the air around your home. This is especially beneficial for urban areas where air pollution is a concern.

Another remarkable feature of Idaho Live Roof is its ability to reduce stormwater runoff. The plants capture rainwater, preventing it from overwhelming storm drains and potentially causing flooding. This helps to manage water flow and promotes a sustainable water management system.

But how does Idaho Live Roof actually work? The secret lies in its specialized design. It incorporates waterproofing layers, drainage systems, and a mix of carefully selected plants to create a self-sustaining green roof. These elements work together to provide a well-balanced and flourishing ecosystem.

Idaho Live Roof is not just a roof – it’s a living ecosystem that brings nature to your doorstep. Its green plants enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home while providing a range of environmental benefits. From regulating temperature and improving air quality to reducing stormwater runoff, Idaho Live Roof is a sustainable roofing solution that is both innovative and practical. Let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

The Benefits of Idaho Live Roof

There are numerous benefits to installing an Idaho Live Roof on your home. Not only does it provide a unique and visually stunning addition to your property, but it also offers a wide range of environmental advantages that can positively impact both the planet and your quality of life. Let’s explore some of these benefits:

  1. Temperature Regulation – One of the key advantages of an Idaho Live Roof is its ability to regulate temperature. The layer of plants on the roof acts as a natural insulator, helping to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This can lead to reduced energy consumption for heating and cooling, resulting in significant savings on your utility bills.
  2. Improved Air Quality – The plants on an Idaho Live Roof play a crucial role in improving air quality. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, helping to purify the air around your home. This can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being, especially if you suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies.
  3. Stormwater Management – Traditional roofs contribute to stormwater runoff, which can lead to water pollution and flooding. However, an Idaho Live Roof is designed to absorb and retain rainwater, reducing the amount of runoff that enters storm drains and waterways. This helps to prevent erosion, minimize the risk of flooding, and mitigate the impact of heavy rainfall events.
  4. Biodiversity and Habitat Creation – By installing an Idaho Live Roof, you are creating a habitat for a diverse range of plant species. This promotes biodiversity and provides a sanctuary for birds, insects, and other wildlife. These green spaces can act as a refuge for biodiversity in urban areas where natural habitats are often scarce.
  5. Aesthetic Appeal – Last but certainly not least, an Idaho Live Roof adds beauty and visual appeal to your home. The lush greenery and vibrant colors create a stunning contrast to the surrounding landscape, making your property stand out and enhancing curb appeal.

An Idaho Live Roof offers a multitude of benefits for both the environment and homeowners. From temperature regulation to improved air quality, stormwater management, biodiversity, and aesthetic appeal, this innovative roofing solution brings nature to your doorstep while positively impacting the world around us. With an Idaho Live Roof, you can enjoy a sustainable and beautiful home for years to come.

How Does Idaho Live Roof Work?

Idaho Live Roof is an innovative and sustainable roofing solution. It combines the beauty of nature with the functionality of a durable and long-lasting roof. But how does it actually work?

Layered Construction for Natural Benefits

The Idaho Live Roof system consists of several layers that work together to provide a host of benefits. Here’s how it works:

  1. Waterproofing Layer: The first layer is a waterproof membrane that prevents water penetration into the building. This layer ensures that your home stays dry and protects the underlying structure from water damage.
  2. Drainage Layer: The drainage layer is designed to efficiently manage stormwater runoff. It allows excess water to drain away, preventing water pooling on the roof. This feature is particularly important in areas prone to heavy rainfall or snow.
  3. Growing Medium: The next layer is where the magic happens. This layer consists of a specially formulated soil blend that is lightweight and provides the necessary nutrients for plant growth. It acts as a natural filter, improving the quality of rainwater before it reaches the drainage system.
  4. Vegetative Layer: The top layer of the Idaho Live Roof is the vegetative layer, where a variety of plants, grasses, and flowers are grown. This layer not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your roof but also provides numerous environmental benefits.

Environmental Benefits

Idaho Live Roof offers several environmental advantages:

  1. Temperature Regulation: The vegetative layer acts as a natural insulator, reducing heat transfer between the roof and the interior of the building. This helps regulate the temperature inside your home, leading to energy savings and reduced carbon emissions.
  2. Improved Air Quality: The plants on the Idaho Live Roof absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis. This helps improve the air quality around your home by reducing the presence of harmful pollutants.
  3. Stormwater Management: The combination of the drainage layer and the growing medium effectively manages stormwater runoff. By reducing stormwater runoff, you can help prevent erosion, minimize the strain on drainage systems, and improve water quality in your community.
  4. Biodiversity: Idaho Live Roof creates a habitat for various insects, birds, and other wildlife. It promotes biodiversity and supports the local ecosystem by providing a green space in urban areas.

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Live Roof

When it comes to creating an Idaho Live Roof, selecting the right plants is crucial for the success and longevity of the system. The plant selection should not only complement the aesthetic appeal of the building but also thrive in the specific environmental conditions of the area. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing plants for your live roof:

1. Climate suitability: Our first point of consideration is the climate of the region. It’s important to choose plants that can withstand the local climate conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and sunlight exposure. For instance, in an arid region, drought-tolerant plants like sedums and succulents would be a great choice.

2. Structural support: A live roof requires plants that have a shallow root system, as deep roots can penetrate the waterproofing layer and compromise the integrity of the roof. Look for plants with fibrous, non-invasive roots that have a low profile. Sedums, grasses, and low-growing herbs are good options.

3. Maintenance requirements: Consider the level of maintenance you are willing to invest in your live roof. Some plants may require regular pruning, fertilizing, or irrigation, while others are more self-sustaining. If you prefer a low-maintenance option, native and drought-resistant plants are ideal.

4. Biodiversity and habitat: Incorporating a diverse range of plant species on your live roof can contribute to local biodiversity. By choosing a mix of flowering plants, grasses, and shrubs, you can attract different pollinators and birds, creating a mini-ecosystem on your roof.

5. Aesthetics: Last but not least, aesthetics play a significant role in selecting plants for your live roof. Consider the overall look and feel you want to achieve. Incorporate different textures, colors, and heights to create a visually appealing and diverse rooftop landscape.

By thoroughly considering these factors, you can ensure that the plants you choose will not only thrive on your live roof but also enhance the environmental benefits of the Idaho Live Roof system.

How to Install and Maintain Idaho Live Roof

Installing and maintaining an Idaho Live Roof system requires careful planning and proper execution. Here are the steps to follow for a successful installation and long-lasting maintenance:

1. Site Analysis and Preparation:

Before installing an Idaho Live Roof, it is essential to conduct a thorough analysis of the site. This analysis will help determine the suitability and feasibility of the project. Factors to consider include:

  • Structural Integrity: The building should be able to support the weight of the green roof system, plants, and the additional water that will be absorbed during rainfall.
  • Access and Safety: Consider how the installation crew will access the rooftop and ensure that safety measures are in place during the installation process.
  • Drainage System: Proper drainage is crucial to prevent water buildup and provide a healthy environment for the plants.

2. Selecting and Preparing the Plant Materials:

Choosing the right plants is essential for the success of an Idaho Live Roof. Consider the following factors when selecting plant materials:

  • Climate Suitability: Select plants that are native or well-adapted to the specific climate conditions of Idaho. This will ensure that the plants thrive and require minimal maintenance.
  • Diversity: Aim for a diverse selection of plants to promote biodiversity and create a more ecologically balanced system.
  • Plant Compatibility: Consider the growth habits, root systems, and water requirements of different plant species to ensure they can coexist and thrive together.
  • Planting Medium: The planting medium should be lightweight, well-draining, and provide adequate nutrients for plant growth.

3. Installation Process:

Once the site is prepared and plant materials are selected, it’s time to install the Idaho Live Roof system. Here are the key steps for installation:

  • Waterproofing and Root Barrier: Apply a waterproofing membrane to protect the building from moisture damage, and install a root barrier to prevent plant roots from penetrating the roof.
  • Drainage Layer: Lay down a drainage layer to ensure proper water flow and prevent water from accumulating on the roof.
  • Growing Medium: Spread the planting medium evenly across the roof, ensuring a depth that can support plant growth and water retention.
  • Planting: Install the selected plant materials following the recommended spacing and planting guidelines.
  • Irrigation System: Install an irrigation system to provide sufficient water to the plants, especially during dry periods.


Choosing the right plants for an Idaho Live Roof system is essential for its success and longevity. We have discussed various factors to consider when selecting plants, such as climate suitability, structural support, maintenance requirements, biodiversity and habitat, and aesthetics. By carefully considering these factors, you can create a beautiful and sustainable living roof that thrives in the Idaho climate.

In addition to plant selection, we have provided a detailed guide on how to install and maintain an Idaho Live Roof system. From conducting a thorough site analysis and preparation to selecting and preparing plant materials, we have covered all the necessary steps for a successful installation. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Idaho Live Roof system remains healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Remember, an Idaho Live Roof is not just a functional addition to your building; it also contributes to the environment by providing habitat for wildlife and improving air quality. So, take the time to carefully choose the right plants and maintain your living roof to enjoy its numerous benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is plant selection important for an Idaho Live Roof system?

The choice of plants is essential for the success and durability of an Idaho Live Roof system. Proper plant selection ensures that the plants can thrive in the local climate and provide the necessary structural support for the system.

2. What factors should be considered when choosing plants for an Idaho Live Roof system?

Several factors need to be considered when selecting plants for an Idaho Live Roof system. These include climate suitability, structural support capabilities, maintenance requirements, biodiversity and habitat considerations, and aesthetics.

3. What steps are involved in installing an Idaho Live Roof system?

Installing an Idaho Live Roof system involves several steps. These include conducting a site analysis and preparation, selecting and preparing the plant materials, and finally, the installation process itself, which may include the installation of a protective membrane, a drainage layer, and the planting of the selected vegetation.

4. How do I maintain an Idaho Live Roof system?

Maintaining an Idaho Live Roof system involves regular maintenance tasks such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, and inspecting for pests or diseases. It is also essential to clear any debris from the roof and ensure proper drainage. Regular monitoring and maintenance will help ensure the longevity and health of the system.

5. What is the main purpose of an Idaho Live Roof system?

The primary purpose of an Idaho Live Roof system is to provide multiple benefits, including improved energy efficiency, stormwater management, and increased biodiversity. Additionally, it adds beauty to the building and provides a habitat for birds and insects, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable environment.