25 Attractive Rooftop Garden Ideas For Your Outdoor Space

Gardening is indeed a fun activity to relieve stress after working 24/7 for 5 days straight. For that reason, many homeowners want a garden to make their home attractive and give the greenery vibe around it. Unfortunately, only some are privileged to have big houses to build a home garden that requires a wide area. Therefore, we have scoured the web to find the best rooftop garden ideas that only need you to create a stunning landscape with a small terrace or balcony.

They are not only allowing you to create a small terrace garden, but you can also opt for garden design trends to create your dream green space. We have divided these garden design trends into three categories you can adopt based on your preferences. Some are low budget with low maintenance and eco-friendly features; others highlight their sophisticated designs for your luxurious taste.

Interested in building your own rooftop terrace garden? Check out the attractive rooftop garden ideas below!

What Is A Rooftop Garden?

As the name suggests, rooftop gardens are gardens that are arranged on the roofs of buildings, such as hotels, apartments, and houses. It is considered sustainable gardening, which can be an option to reduce energy consumption by offering natural insulation temperature. Apart from that, the rooftop terrace is also useful for filtering pollution and improving air quality.

rooftop garden ideas
What Is A Rooftop Garden

Furthermore, you can create a wildlife habitat if you start designing a rooftop garden with flowers. However, there are some drawbacks of terrace gardening. One of which is the budget.

The installation of rooftop gardens requires extra cash to create, for example, garden irrigation. But, you can make it on a low budget if you build a small rooftop with a vertical garden.

What Vegetables Are Best for A Rooftop Garden?

Growing vegetables on your small rooftop with a vertical garden is the best way to start with terrace gardening. You can grow them in containers and arrange them on a wooden shelf or trellis so they won’t take up your balcony or rooftop space. They are also simple and easy to maintain, making them ideal for beginners in balcony gardening.

We highly recommend growing chilies, greens, lettuce, and tomatoes to plant in pots. Some herbs, like basil, rosemary, parsley, and mint, are also excellent choices!

However, not all veggies suitable for small space gardening, such as cucumbers, squash, and pumpkin, need more expansive areas to flourish.

How Do You Maintain A Rooftop Garden?

Maintenance is one of the most tricky parts of having a roof garden to landscape your home. It requires patience and persistence to treat it well so that it stays green and doesn’t damage your building structure.

rooftop garden ideas
Maintain A Rooftop Garden

Here are tips for maintaining sustainable gardening with a roof garden that you can opt for:

1. Watering

Just like any other garden, the roof garden requires sufficient watering to thrive. You can install drip garden irrigation instead of hand watering to ensure the plants are not thirsty, especially on hot days. This method only applies if you have a large enough garden and open a vertical or container garden. In this case, you can mist your plants or use a cup to water each pot evenly.

2. Fertilizing

Adding slow-release fertilizer is necessary, mainly if you use peat moss, coconut coir, and perlite as a substitute for soil. They lack nutrients, so fertilizer can help fill the needs of organic matter for the plants to grow. Follow the instructions on the label for application recommendations.

3. Trimming

If you grow plants that tend to grow thickly, trimming is a must. Besides offering a fresh start for your plants, it also helps you spot pests and diseases that might infect them. In this case, we highly recommend growing companion plants to deter pests from your garden. Moreover, trimming is also beneficial to keep plants in shape and optimize their growth.

rooftop garden ideas
Cutting Tree with Garden Pruner

4. Installing Roof Membrane

A roof membrane is a waterproof material that protects the structure underneath the roof. It will prevent water leaks and runoffs from your small space gardening. You can ask a roof garden professional to install one in your home garden. But before that, you better buy and test one by flooding the surface and checking for leaks.

5. Having Fire Resistance System

In case you have a drought-resistant rooftop design, we assume you can let your garden dry in the summer for an extended period. However, it is not good when you have scorching temperatures where the risk of fire is high.

Therefore, we strongly recommend growing fire-resistant plants, like succulents and cacti. Furthermore, installing a drip irrigation system will help reduce the risk. You can also consider adding perlite or sand, as both are inorganic materials that are not prone to fire.

Modern Rooftop Garden Design

Those who fancy simple and contemporary designs will absolutely fall in love with modern rooftop garden ideas. The settings combine charming earth tones and wood accents with adding tropical touches. Some also play with monochrome themes and container gardens, giving a neat and clean impression.

Want to get some inspiration to create your own? Find yours below!

1. Minimalist Green Rooftop Garden

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@Decorsite)

You may think that a modern rooftop garden must be fancy, with glimmery lights at night and other sophisticated decor. But actually, you can make a minimalist one, just like this. All you need is simply a space to grow turfgrass for the greenery.

Add potted plants around as the border between the fence and your garden. We recommend having a small potted tree to offer shade and arranging a pair of chairs and a table to hang around. Set wooden granites or ceramic tiles to accentuate the natural feel.

2. Over The View Rooftop Design

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@balconygardenwe)

If you want a vast space to relax on the weekend, you should adopt this over-the-view rooftop design. It separates the terrace area from the garden, so you can have a spot to sit back on your sofa or simply lay on the wooden floors.

We recommend having a green roof from vibes on this spot to provide shade. Meanwhile, you can grow grass and arrange some potted plants in the garden for a green sighting.

3. Sophisticated Rooftop Garden Layout

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@curbed)

This sophisticated rooftop garden applies a monochrome theme with a bit of greenery. The dominance of the black and white color of the planters and flooring gives a luxurious impression to this rooftop area. Meanwhile, trees and plants growing surrounding the site refresh the sight and add shade around.

Instead of leaving it empty, we recommend having a set of dining tables in the center where you can welcome your family or friends to start a convo here. To create a glimmery scene, you better set up some garden lights or strings that illuminate the area at night.

4. Modern Tropical Rooftop Design

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@ldonaher7609)

From the appeal, you can tell that it is not a cheap terrace garden. It highlights the tropical feel by featuring an edgeless fountain with black granite and river rocks underneath. Not to mention the dangling and dense vines that grow on the walls bring a tropical rainforest to feel around this garden.

Optionally, you can hang some white orchids to introduce biodiversity. As for the hanging space, you can create a stunning contrast by arranging a white or beige sofa with a table. And oh! The wooden floors are a must!

5. Terrace Tropical Rooftop Garden

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@VReDesigner)

Wood accents dominate this rooftop garden, highlighting the tropical design. Instead of saving space to grow plants on the ground, you can opt for container gardens, especially if you have a small area.

You can choose Monstera or crotons to adorn this place. Arid plants like cacti and succulents can be an excellent choice for a drought-resistant rooftop design. Arrange them along the deck or fence. Then, set up a pair of wooden benches and a table for you to enjoy a cup of tea in the late afternoon.

6. Japanese Zen Rooftop Garden Arrangement

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@temonggo)

Even though it looks simple, this interior design of a rooftop garden looks relaxing. Unlike most contemporary terrace garden ideas, this isn’t overwhelming, with lots of arrangements. Instead, this setting uses shrubs and plants with different leaf colors for natural decorations and highlights its biodiversity.

To complete the Zen feel, put a potted palm in the corner. You can pair this set with wooden furniture, such as dining sets and floors. Remember to place a Zen sculpture to bring luck to your home.

7. Rooftop Garden and Outdoor Dining Area

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@shelterness)

Flowers never cease to amaze us, especially when they grow to decorate the garden. You can grow these blooms as a background color against the floating wooden bench. In addition, install warm lights on the floors or near the flower beds.

That way, you will have an exquisite rooftop garden at night. We also recommend having an outdoor dining table set up in this area. So, whenever you want a romantic and fancy dinner, you don’t have to book a restaurant.

8. Contemporary Rooftop Garden Setting

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@temonggo)

Garden enthusiasts will be excited to see the contemporary design of this rooftop garden. Dominated with wood elements and black, it truly emphasizes a clean setting with a rustic touch. You can arrange a sofa and glass table to relax and chat with your family in the afternoon.

For the privacy screen, you better grow tall plants or small trees against the fence. Besides securing your area, these plants add greenery to your garden. In addition, hanging some potted ferns and orchids on the wall will offer tropical vibes.

Eco-Friendly Rooftop Garden Design

In general, all rooftop gardens adopt practical eco-friendliness. They can reduce heat by providing insulation and reducing the duration of using air conditioners. In addition, the roof deck garden also reduces runoff during heavy rain.

If you want to have one with a creative design to fill the void space in your rooftop, here are eco-friendly rooftop garden ideas that are worth trying!

9. Lush Rooftop Garden Ideas

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@loveyrlandscape)

Having a lush garden requires extra maintenance, particularly if they are flower-bearing plants. But if you are someone who doesn’t bother with that, this rooftop garden will be a fantastic idea for your residential design. You can divide the area into two spaces by offering different heights.

At the top, you can grow turfgrass and arrange a beach bench on top to enjoy sunbathing. Meanwhile, the lower part is great for setting up wooden chairs and a table to hang around with friends. Don’t forget to grow dense flowering shrubs to provide shade and serve as a privacy fence.

10. Forest-Inspired Rooftop Garden

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@balconygardenwe)

One of the benefits of a rooftop garden in a residential design is to increase the infiltration area and, thus, prevent runoff. This forest-like garden will be your ultimate pick if you want to maximize this potential. It grows dense shrubs along the fence to provide a privacy screen as well as prevent excessive runoff.

Apart from that, the small trees give you shade, where you can also arrange chairs underneath. To make this setting less plain, you better grow potted flowers next to the sitting space. However, you must install a drip irrigation system with this design.

11. Green Rooftop Landscaping

Green Rooftop Landscaping
Source: Pinterest (@balconygardenwe)

You are blessed with another greenery in this collection! This green rooftop interior is an excellent choice for those who want to improve air quality. Instead of potted flowers, you can grow well-shaped shrubs in the containers and arrange them around your white sofa.

We also recommend having small trees to protect you from the scorching summer sun. As for the floors, it would be nice to have wooden ones as they look more natural and less slippery than ceramic tiles.

12. Vegetable Rooftop Gardening

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@apttherapy)

Suppose you are interested in making a permaculture garden. In this case, this vegetable rooftop gardening will be an excellent start to go. You don’t have to bother installing wooden floors to make it aesthetic, as the point of this edible garden is to produce your own food.

You can buy wooden beds with wheels to make it easier for you to move the crops. We prefer to purchase a smaller one, especially if you are a beginner. Choose a soil mix with coconut coir, perlite, or peat moss to offer good drainage and reduce weight. Also, pick vegetables like greens and lettuce for the beds or chilies and tomatoes if you want to grow them in pots.

13. Simple Rooftop Gardening

rooftop garden ideas
Source: Pinterest (@finegardening)

This rooftop garden setting is a perfect choice for those who want a backyard garden but need a larger area to make it come true. You can build one on your rooftop by providing space to grow grass and set up wooden floors. Then, set up beach chairs on it.

In addition, it would be nice to add raised bed gardens with planter boxes to grow flowers and serve as a border between the green and sunbathing area. We also prefer to plant a small tree or build a trellis and grow dense vines to offer shade.

14. Summer Rooftop Garden Setting

Summer Rooftop Garden Setting
Source: Pinterest (@curbed)

Well, you can tell that this idea is not a cheap terrace garden as it has a mini pool and turf grass arrangement in it. But if you want to create the best summer vibes around your home, you must try this brilliant rooftop garden idea!

Save the corner spots for the pool and use wooden planks to build the structure. These materials will highlight the natural feel of your garden. You can also arrange potted plants, shrubs, and flowers opposite the pool. Spread gravel or river stones as garden edges encircling this green area.

15. City Rooftop Urban Veggie Garden

City Rooftop Urban Veggie Garden
Source: Pinterest (@flickr)

There’s nothing more exciting than growing your own food! Despite having a small space, now you can build an urban permaculture vegetable garden on your rooftop. You only need to prepare wooden boxes to raise the beds.

Choose one with four or six different spots to grow various veggies in the same planter. You can also plant them in containers and arrange the pots on a wooden shelf to create a vertical garden. But remember, not all veggies are good for growing on the rooftop. Some that we love are greens, lettuce, and peppers.

Small Rooftop Garden Design

Wondering how you can build a rooftop garden in a small space? Well, that’s possible! You can either adopt balcony gardening or make a vertical garden. In addition, using a bench to arrange pots can also be an option for a roof deck garden.

In fact, small rooftop garden ideas require low maintenance, as only a few plants grow in the area. It also makes a cheap terrace garden for those with a low budget. Wanna try one? Let’s take a look!

16. Neat Rooftop Shade Garden

Neat Rooftop Shade Garden
Source: Pinterest (@marthastewart)

A small space makes you think more creatively, so you can turn it into an attractive rooftop garden. One thing you can do is merge a relaxing area with a garden. You can build your own bench against the fence.

However, leave a little on the back as a planting area for your plants. We recommend growing flowers or tiny and low ornamental grasses to make this area aesthetically pleasing. It would be best to create a wooden planter to grow small trees at the end of the bench. In addition, set up a small roof to provide shade in this space.

17. Tiny Rooftop Garden Spot

Tiny Rooftop Garden Spot
Source: Pinterest (@tumblr)

The garden area does not always have to take up a large area. Take advantage of your mini balcony or narrow rooftop area to have one like this. You can request to make raised beds with the frame you want.

It would be nice to have a long and wide one so you can grow as many garden plants as you want in the same spot. If you wish for a touch of greenery, shrubs, and grass are the best bets. Also, install wooden floors so that the setting looks more natural.

18. Bright Rooftop Flower Garden

Bright Rooftop Flower Garden
Source: Pinterest (@archinect)

Summer is the best time to have a boost of vitamin D and sun after a long cold in the winter and spring. It will also be perfect for rearranging your rooftop garden! We highly recommend growing flowers in the season to decorate your outdoor space.

Pick bright ones with yellow, orange, and red tones and arrange them side by side. You can use wooden boxes to avoid competition or containers, as you please. Don’t forget the grass to add greenery! Now, place a chair and table set against the blooms to enjoy your summer night to the fullest!

19. Vertical Rooftop Garden

Vertical Rooftop Garden
Source: Pinterest (@peairr)

A vertical garden is a safe way to save space while keeping your crops and plants growing on the rooftop. If you want to start with this concept, you better install a wooden box as a natural fence. This way, you can use them as attractive privacy screens.

Since the gap is too small, we recommend having low-growing plants or crops, like greens and lettuces, instead of one that grows tall. You can also create hanging gutter gardens with this idea. Just make sure to add support, like trellis or stakes.

20. Small Rooftop Flower Garden with Dining Area

Small Rooftop Flower Garden With Dining Area
Source: Pinterest (@apttherapy)

Who says you cannot make a beautiful rooftop garden in a small area? Look at this one! It makes use of wooden boxes as natural fences, which of course, will save a lot of space.

To make this setting attractive, you can plant bright flowers on top of the planters while underneath to grow green plants. You can also adopt the concept of hanging gutter gardens by adding ferns to the hanging baskets. Next, set up chairs and tables to have a hanging space.

21. Sunny Rooftop Garden Design with City View

Sunny Rooftop Garden Design With City View
Source: Pinterest (@agardencitygrounds)

While a rooftop garden with a roof can provide shade, some prefer a sunny one with a city view. If you are one of them, this concept is definitely yours. You can arrange some potted flowers around the green grass area to give it a cheerful, colorful feel.

Furthermore, choose furniture with striking color contrasts that pop up against greenery. We also recommend setting a garden lamp with a warm tone in the corner to light up this spot at night. Also, grow a small tree in a pot to set up in the corner if you want to offer more green around the garden.

22. Rustic Rooftop Garden Arrangement

Rustic Rooftop Garden Arrangement
Source: Pinterest (@houseandgarden)

Nothing can beat the rustic theme when it comes to bringing nature home. It does the same with the rooftop garden. The combination of wood material on the sofa and floors as well as cemented walls gives this garden an authentic, natural impression. Instead of having containers, you can create a planting space using the walls.

You may grow low-growing shrubs, flowers, or herbs in this spot. In addition, it would be best to add a small wooden bench to fill the empty space in this planting area. Spread gravel underneath the bar to accentuate the nature theme at its best.

23. Cottage Rooftop Garden Setting

Cottage Rooftop Garden Setting
Source: Pinterest (@balconygardenwe)

Want to have an aesthetically pleasing rooftop garden? Try this cottage-themed one! Featuring ornamental grasses that grow to dominate the area, you will have a charming terrace garden setting. Similar to some of the rooftop garden ideas we have mentioned, the use of wooden floors is a favorite in this concept.

But, you better switch the big sofa with a small wooden bench and let the floors serve as the sitting space. Add a hot pink pillow if you want some popping colors around. You can also arrange potted flowers beside the bench to offer vibrant tones.

24. Mini Rooftop Vegetable Garden

Mini Rooftop Vegetable Garden
Source: Pinterest (@urbangardens)

This mini rooftop vegetable garden idea allows you to build a tiny greenhouse to grow your favorite veggies and herbs. You only need to buy small pots to grow the plants and wooden boxes for the seedlings. Take advantage of the balcony deck area to arrange the plants in case the greenhouse is full.

Meanwhile, the boxes can sit across from the house to leave enough space in this space. Also, set up chairs and a table to hang around the area while enjoying your morning coffee or breakfast. Instead of ceramic, consider having wooden floors to avoid slippery tiles.

25. Lavish Rooftop Garden 

Lavish Rooftop Garden
Source: Pinterest (@balconygardenwe)

Building a common rooftop garden doesn’t have to be a fancy concept. You can make one with a low budget by using pots, containers, or even cans of used paint to arrange on your rooftop. If you want to create a privacy fence, make sure to grow tall vines and potted plants, then set them up against the balcony wall.

We usually also love to hang some baskets on the wall to grow flowers in case you wish to have more colors in this space. To enjoy the greenery, place chairs and a table in the middle and bring your coffee.

Final Thought

The rooftop garden, better known as a green roof, is a unique eco-friendly concept offering shade for outdoor space. It also works great for setting up chairs and tables to hang around with friends and families. You can even have an edible garden to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs to harvest later.

However, this concept needs extra care to keep it green and beautiful, such as ensuring watering, feeding, and trimming. The choice of plants is also essential, considering that not all can thrive on the roof. We usually love to grow drought-tolerant plants, like cacti, succulents, and palms, as they are low-maintenance. As for veggies, greens, lettuce, chilies, and tomatoes, they do well in this area.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are rooftop gardens a good idea?

Rooftop gardens or green roofs are beneficial for introducing new catchment areas, reducing the potential for excessive heavy rain runoffs.

The roots of plants growing in your terrace garden outdoors will absorb the water and use it for the transpiration process. In addition, those plants help eliminate nitrogen pollution in the rainwater.

What is the best soil mix for a rooftop garden?

In addition to the rooftop garden plants, designing a rooftop garden must consider the soil type. It is crucial to estimate the load of the overall roofscape design that can be supported by the foundation of your house.

We highly recommend a blend of horticultural perlite and peat moss, as they are lightweight and easy to buy. You can replace peat moss with coconut coir if you want to support your eco-friendly rooftop design.

Is rooftop garden profitable?

A rooftop garden is a business opportunity with good money, and thus, it can be profitable. But of course, it needs time to achieve the desired profit.

For example, farmers often have to provide high investment to create rooftop farming. At the same time, the crops need to grow for several more months before they are ready to pick.

However, from the point of view of entrepreneurs who provide urban rooftop design installation services for edible gardening, this is an excellent opportunity to consider.

Can a rooftop garden reduce heat?

Apart from making gardens, rooftop terraces are an option for decorating outdoor houses to make them look more eye-catching. Apart from that, planting rooftop garden plants can reduce the heat absorbed into your home’s roof, especially during daylight.

In addition, the roofscape design is not limited to flowers and houseplants, but you can try edible gardening with vegetables and potted fruit plants. Nonetheless, green roofs are generally not low maintenance but need an extra budget.

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