Pasco County Extension

What Is Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Florida-friendly landscaping  means quality landscapes that conserve water, protect the environment, are adaptable to local conditions, and are drought tolerant.  The principles of such landscaping include planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard pests, recycling yard waste, reduction of stormwater runoff, and waterfront protection.  Additional components include practices such as landscape planning and design, soil analysis, the appropriate use of solid waste compost minimizing the use of irrigation, and proper maintenance. 

What are the key components of Florida-friendly landscaping?

  • AESTHETICS are a key component of Florida-friendly landscaping™.  Each Florida-friendly landscape can be beautiful and as distinctive as its owner's taste.  Florida-friend landscapes may be designed in a wide variety of styles and types, using both native and adapted non-native species of plants.  A well-maintained Florida-friendly landscape enhances neighborhood beauty and increases property value.
  • IMPROVING WATER QUALITY―Applying Florida-friendly landscaping™ principles helps protect Florida's surface and ground waters.  Using UF/IFAS-recommended application rates and timings of pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation can help prevent nonpoint source pollution (water pollution that is associated with everyday human activities and driven by rainfall, runoff, and leaching) from urban landscapes.  When combined with low-impact design principles―such as rain barrels, cisterns, swales and berms, and pervious pavements―these correct cultural practices can reduce the flow of stormwater, which can carry trash, pet wastes, plant clippings, and loose soil into storm drains and water bodies.
  • WATER CONSERVATION―With Florida in a multi-year drought, it's critical that everyone does his or her part to conserve water resources.  Florida-friendly landscapes are great water and money savers.  By choosing plants appropriate for the site and maintaining them with correct cultural practices (irrigation, fertilization, mowing, and pruning), one can significally reduce not only the amount of water a landscape needs to thrive, but also the chance of plant diseases and pests associated with overwatering.  Other Florida-friendly landscaping™ techniques will reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation or runoff.  Mulching a garden bed helps keep the soil moist longer.  Using pervious pavements like crushed shell or gravel allows rainwater to soak into the ground rather than running into storm drains.
  • PLANT SELECTION―A Florida-friendly landscape's beauty and functionality depend on a mix of trees, plants, and turfgrass chosen for their specific location (FFL Principle #1:  "right plant, right place") and maintained according to UF/IFAS recommendations.  Florida-friendly landscaping™ principles encourage the use of both native and adapted non-native species of plants.  Invasive exotics should be removed where possible and never planted.

    Still need help?  You can email our Florida-Friendly Landscaping Coordinator by clicking here.


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