Landscaping Tips and Requirements
Homeowners are encouraged to cultivate plants that are naturally suited to the average rainfall and local climate of Florida. This practice of efficient landscaping, called Florida-friendly landscaping, utilizes native plants in order to conserve water.
Florida-friendly landscaping requires little fertilizer and pest control measures, calls for minimal pruning, and provides many attractive planting options. Most importantly, Florida-friendly gardens require much less watering than traditional gardens. This adds up to big savings in time and money!
Is your yard Florida-friendly?
Florida-friendly yards can take any form, from highly manicured to more natural. How you maintain your yard is what ultimately determines if it is Florida-friendly.
Review and complete this checklist to see if you have a Florida-friendly yard. By meeting the minimum requirements and collecting at least 50 points, your yard can be certified.
Once it's complete, mail, fax or email the form to:
Florida Yards and Neighborhood Program
c/o FYN Coordinator
18710 SW 288 St.
Homestead, FL 33030
Homeowners who qualify receive a certificate and a sign to display in their yard.
New construction landscape requirements
- The installation of rain switches, such as soil moisture sensors, when irrigation systems are provided.
- At least 30 percent of the landscaping must consist of native plants (and only 30 percent of that can be palms).
- At least 50 percent of plants must be low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.
- At least 80 percent of the plants must be listed in the Miami-Dade Landscape Manual (32 MB), Miami-Dade Street Tree Master Plan (5.3 MB) or the University of Florida's Low Maintenance Landscape Plants for South Florida list. This list is Florida Friendly-based and customized to South Florida by the University of Florida.
- Mulch meeting Florida Friendly Landscaping guidelines must be applied and maintained.
- Right plant, right place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizer and pesticides.
- Water efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn and landscape need water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy Florida-Friendly Yard and conservation of limited resources.
- Fertilize appropriately: Less is often best. Over-utilization of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.
- Mulch: Maintaining a 3-inch layer of mulch will help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.
- Attract wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.
- Recycle: Grass clipping, leaves and yard trimmings recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.
- Reduce stormwater runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants such as soil, debris, fertilizer and pesticides that can adversely impact water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent nonpoint source pollution.
- Manage yard pests responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.
- Protect the waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a bay, river, stream, pond, beach or canal, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystem.