A Florida-friendly yard doesn’t merely offer a beautiful landscape — it also becomes an asset to the environment, protecting natural resources and preserving Florida’s unique beauty. Recognizing that the home landscape is part of a larger natural system will help in creating a Florida-friendly yard.
The University of Florida’s Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) Program provides science-based education to the public on how to create a Florida-friendly yard. The Southwest Florida Water Management District partners with the university to provide the education outreach by supporting FYN programs through county Extension offices in 11 of its 16 counties.
Florida-Friendly Landscaping can be considered an expansion of Xeriscape. A Florida-friendly yard goes beyond Xeriscape, which was started in Colorado, to better fit our unique geography. It includes best management practices concerning stormwater runoff and living on a waterfront.
A properly maintained Florida-friendly yard can help homeowners conserve water and reduce pollution of water resources. The Florida-friendly approach to landscaping emphasizes nine interrelated principles.
Learn more about Florida-Friendly Landscaping:
The nine principles
Right plant, right place
Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides. Learn more...
Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy Florida yard and conservation of limited resources. Learn more...
Less is often best. Overuse of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment. Learn more...
Maintaining a 3-inch layer of mulch will help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds. Learn more...
Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter will attract Florida’s diverse wildlife. Learn more...
Manage yard pests responsibly
Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment. Learn more...
Grass clippings and leaves provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal when reused on the landscape. Learn more...
Reduce stormwater runoff
Water running off your landscape can carry pollutants such as soil, debris, fertilizer, gasoline and pesticides that can adversely impact water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent nonpoint-source pollution. Learn more...
Protect the waterfront
Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems. Learn more...TV & radio ads
Florida-Friendly Fertilizing en Español – Fertilizando en la Florida
This searchable database features more than 800 plant species and provides information on growing conditions, such as sunlight and moisture needs.
A comprehensive resource about Florida-friendly landscaping practices. Features an interactive yard, a plant database and resources for landscape professionals.
Download the Do-It-Yourself Guide to Florida-Friendly Fertilizing booklet (20 pages)
Download Florida-Friendly Fertilizing Tips (2 pages)
Download A Guide to the Basics of Micro-Irrigation, (2 pages)