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Evaluating Fertilizer Influence on Overwintering Survival and Growth of Sedum Species in an Autumn-installed Green Roof


Conducted by: Mary Jane Clark and Youbin Zheng

Objective: To determine if fertilizer can increase Sedum plant stress tolerance (e.g. cold and drought) for an autumn-installed green roof mat system.

Description: In the Canadian climate, when gardens are installed late into the autumn, there is a risk of poor plant establishment before winter, which can result in winter injury or even plant mortality. This risk is increased for a green roof system, since the climate experienced by green roof plants is more extreme than gardens at ground level, due to the exposed location and large day-night temperature fluctuations. A variety of slow release fertilizer combinations were applied to a Sedum mat green roof system. Plant responses (e.g. leaf colour, plant survival, growth, percent coverage) were evaluated before and after winter cold stress, and will be evaluated after summer heat and drought stress.

Experimental sedum plot on a roof Experimental sedum plot on a roof
Overview of the experimental plot in early November (left) and early December (right), 2011. Each box contains a mix of Sedum species and one combination of slow release fertilizer





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