Can You Put Plants Over Concrete?

Can You Put Plants Over Concrete?

Are you looking to add some greenery to your concrete patio or driveway? Many people wonder if it is possible to put plants over concrete. In this article, we will explore the options available for adding plants to your concrete surfaces and provide tips on how to successfully incorporate greenery into your outdoor space. Whether you have a small balcony or a large backyard, you can create a beautiful and lush environment by strategically placing plants over concrete.

Benefits of Putting Plants Over Concrete

Improves Air Quality

Adding plants over concrete helps to improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. This can help to reduce pollution and create a healthier environment for both humans and wildlife.

Enhances Aesthetics

Plants can add beauty and visual appeal to an otherwise dull concrete area. Whether it’s a small potted plant on a balcony or a lush garden in a city park, adding greenery can soften the harshness of concrete and create a more inviting space for people to enjoy.

Reduces Heat Island Effect

Concrete absorbs and retains heat, leading to higher temperatures in urban areas known as the heat island effect. By adding plants over concrete surfaces, the evapotranspiration process helps to cool the surrounding area and reduce the heat island effect. This can lead to lower energy costs for cooling buildings and a more comfortable outdoor environment.

Considerations Before Planting Over Concrete

When considering planting over concrete, there are several important factors to take into account to ensure the success and health of your plants.


One of the main challenges of planting over concrete is ensuring proper drainage for your plants. Since concrete is impermeable, water may have difficulty draining properly, leading to waterlogged soil and root rot. To improve drainage, consider adding a layer of gravel or creating drainage holes in the concrete to allow excess water to escape.

Soil Quality

The quality of the soil is crucial for the health of your plants. When planting over concrete, it’s important to use high-quality soil that is well-draining and nutrient-rich. Consider adding compost or organic matter to improve the soil structure and provide essential nutrients for your plants to thrive.

Plant Selection

Not all plants are suitable for planting over concrete, as some may struggle to adapt to the harsh conditions. When selecting plants, choose ones that are tolerant of compacted soil, limited space, and potentially poor drainage. Drought-tolerant plants, succulents, and ornamental grasses are excellent choices for planting over concrete as they can thrive in challenging environments.

By carefully considering these factors before planting over concrete, you can create a beautiful and thriving garden that will enhance the look of your outdoor space.

Best Plants for Growing Over Concrete

When it comes to adding greenery to your concrete space, there are several plants that thrive in this environment. Whether you have a sunny spot, a shaded area, or are looking for low-maintenance options, there are plants that can bring life to your concrete space.

Drought-Tolerant Plants

  1. Sedum: These succulent plants are perfect for growing over concrete as they require very little water and can thrive in hot, sunny conditions.
  2. Ice Plant: With its fleshy leaves and colorful flowers, ice plants are not only drought-tolerant but also add a pop of color to your concrete area.
  3. Lavender: Known for its fragrant blooms and ability to thrive in dry conditions, lavender is a great option for adding beauty and scent to your concrete space.

Shade-Loving Plants

  1. Hostas: These leafy plants thrive in shady areas and can add a lush look to your concrete space.
  2. Ferns: With their delicate fronds, ferns are perfect for adding a touch of greenery to shaded concrete areas.
  3. Begonias: These colorful plants can add a splash of color to your shaded concrete space and thrive in low-light conditions.

Low-Maintenance Plants

  1. Succulents: These easy-to-care-for plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes and require minimal water, making them perfect for growing over concrete.
  2. Spider Plants: Known for their air-purifying qualities, spider plants are low-maintenance and can thrive in a variety of conditions.
  3. Snake Plants: With their striking foliage and ability to thrive in low light, snake plants are a great option for adding greenery to your concrete space with minimal effort.

By choosing the right plants for your concrete area based on their sunlight and maintenance needs, you can create a lush and green space that thrives in this challenging environment.

Tips for Planting Over Concrete

Use Raised Beds or Containers

When planting over concrete, it’s important to create a barrier between the plants and the concrete surface. Raised beds or containers are great options for this. Not only do they provide a layer of protection for the plants, but they also allow for better drainage and soil aeration.

Provide Adequate Watering

Plants growing over concrete may have limited access to natural sources of water, so it’s crucial to ensure they are adequately watered. Depending on the type of plants you choose, you may need to water them more frequently than if they were planted in the ground. Consider using a drip irrigation system or self-watering containers to make watering easier.

Regular Maintenance

Just like any garden, plants growing over concrete will require regular maintenance to thrive. This includes pruning, weeding, fertilizing, and checking for pests or diseases. Keep an eye on the health of your plants and address any issues promptly to ensure they continue to grow strong and healthy.


In conclusion, it is possible to put plants over concrete with the right techniques and considerations. By using containers, raised beds, or other methods to create a suitable environment for plants to thrive, you can bring greenery and life to even the most urban spaces. Just be sure to choose the right plants for the conditions and provide proper care to help them flourish. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform a concrete jungle into a lush oasis.