In the past decade, conventional green roof research methodology has emphasized performance measures that assume a static state condition of vegetative composition based on design intent and establishment conditions. Such research has predominantly been limited to short-term observations for low diversity, rigorously maintained systems. These conditions, however, are not the reality of many installed green roofs, and as a result knowledge of how these living systems change over time is limited. Given this perspective, this paper presents an ecologically grounded and spatially explicit methodology aimed at assessing the long-term performance and dynamics of green roof vegetation. The method allows for observations of plant composition and performance based on both statistical and graphical analysis of plant cover and diversity measures. Application of this methodology is presented through a multi-year case study of a single, six year-old, intensive green roof in Ithaca, New York. Applicable to any green roof, this method promotes an understanding of green roofs as adaptive, ecological systems, a perspective that will aid in better predicting green roof performance over time, and inform the design, construction, and maintenance of resilient, high-performance roofscapes.