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What is Florida-Friendly Landscaping™?

This is a landscaping practice utilizing drought resistant plants and trees.  It does not mean that your landscape has to look dry or barren, nor does it mean that maintenance is not required. Instead, you can create a carefully designed, properly installed landscape that will provide year-round beauty even in times of drought using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable products and processes. 

Why Landscape Using Florida-Friendly Principles?

Florida-friendly landscaping saves water, money and energy, protects the environment, and provides a natural habitat for native wildlife. It also provides other benefits. It saves time and money as landscapes designed using these principles typically require less maintenance, tolerate droughts better, and resist diseases and insects. Also, using native drought-resistant plants, trees, shrubs and turf often eliminates the need for irrigation, special soil, fertilizer, pesticides, and weeding.

How does Florida-Friendly Landscaping save money? 

Reducing the need for irrigation is the single biggest driving factor in cost savings. By following Florida-friendly landscaping principles, you can conserve 40 to 60 percent of the water that traditional landscapes require. If your irrigation is fed by the municipal water supply, then reducing the need for water will lower your water bill.  Even if your irrigation is lake or canal fed, it still requires electricity to run.  Going to a drought resistant yard eliminates the need for water pumping equipment to run as long, thereby lowering your electricity bill.  Finally, because Florida-Friendly plants are suited to our environment, they tend to require less pruning and do not need to be replaced as frequently.  This saves you money at the garden center or on your landscaping service bill.

It also saves you time.  Less your work means more time to actually enjoy your yard!

What does a Florida-Friendly Yard look like?

To an untrained eye, a landscape grown according to Florida-Friendly principles looks very similar to those that are not, meaning that it can be as typical as you like, as lush as you like, and as big or small as you like. The differences are subtle most of the time, but in times of water scarcity when drought restrictions are applied, the Florida-Friendly yard will be healthier and greener.

A picture is worth a thousand words! Browse through our slide show of local public and private landscapes which use Florida-Friendly principles.

Local House with Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Butterfly

What kinds of landscape permits are required?

The home gardener has a lot of leeway in designing and planting your garden. In some cases, major changes do require permitting. In addition, commercial properties will be required to follow the landscape permit process.

Landscape Permit Application Submittal & Process Information
Landscape Permit Application

For more information on permitting, contact Kimberly Pearson, Chief Landscape Plans Examiner, Urban Design & Planning Division, Department of Sustainable Development at or (954) 828-5200.

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