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FFL for Home Landscapes

What you do in your landscape matters. From the fertilizers you apply to the water you use, your gardening choices can have an impact on land, water, wildlife, and the overall well-being of Florida’s residents. 

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is here to help you learn how to have healthy and beautiful landscapes that protect Florida’s natural resources by following nine science-based principles.

A Florida-friendly landscape can be designed to look the way you want, fit the aesthetics of your  community, and suit your lifestyle, while being environmentally sustainable.

Benefits of a Florida-Friendly Landscape

  • Reduced use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, which saves money
  • Properly selected and maintained plants thrive
  • Provides habitats for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife
  • Helps keep nutrient pollution out of our water
  • Can be designed for low maintenance
  • Aesthetically pleasing while protecting the environment

Make your landscape Florida-Friendly

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program and UF/IFAS offer many resources to help you create a Florida-friendly landscape, including publications that you can download for free or purchase, detailed guidance on the 9 Principles, and webinars.

Your local UF/IFAS Extension is another great resource for science-based solutions for your landscape. Trained horticultural staff and Master Gardener Volunteers can answer your specific gardening questions, help you take soil samples, and identify pest insects and weeds. Extension Agents also offer in-person and online learning opportunities.

If you use lawn or landscaping services, our guidelines for hiring a landscape professional can help you "Hire Florida-Friendly" to be sure FFL principles are followed from design through maintenance.

HOAs and Florida-Friendly Landscaping

In the past, many people desiring to improve the sustainability of their landscapes found that government  ordinances, archaic association rules and deed restrictions prevented them from managing their yards in a responsible manner.  Although 373.185 and other Florida Statutes state that “a deed restriction or covenant may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ on his or her property”, HOA residents must still follow their deed restriction or covenants. 

This statute has not changed the review approval process for HOAs. If deed restrictions or covenants require HOA approval for landscape modifications, then homeowners still need approval from HOAs.   HOAs also may impose reasonable restrictions on the placement and appearance of rain barrels, compost bins, and specialty gardens.

Please see our resources section for more information on FFL and your HOA.