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Benefits of Florida-Friendly Landscape Design

Florida-Friendly landscapes are designed to be functional, cost-efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly, and easily maintainable. These characteristics improve marketability and help to create healthy vibrant communities for Florida residents to enjoy.    

  • Today, more and more people are searching for cost-effective yet curb-appealing ways to lower their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment.
  • According to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 72% of the next generation of home buyers indicated that water-efficient home features are essential or desirable.
  • FFL yards often have increased curb appeal, which can lead to higher home values. In addition to requiring less water, fertilizer, pesticides, and usually less maintenance, FFL landscapes offer many other benefits
    • Lower water bills from reduced water use.
    • Conservation of natural resources and preservation of habitat for plants and wildlife, such as fish, birds, and waterfowl.
    • Decreased energy use (and air pollution associated with its generation) because less pumping and treatment of water is required.
    • Reduced home or office heating and cooling costs through the careful placement of shade trees and shrubs.
    • Reduced runoff of stormwater and irrigation water that carries topsoil, fertilizers, and pesticides into lakes, rivers, and streams.
    • Fewer yard trimmings to be managed or landfilled.
    • Reduced landscaping labor and maintenance costs.
    • Extended life for water resource infrastructure (e.g., reservoirs, treatment plants, groundwater aquifers), thus reduced taxpayer costs.


The principles for designing and maintaining a Florida-Friendly landscape can be used to fit the aesthetics of any community. Through proper plant selection and placement communities can design Florida-Friendly landscapes that have a natural feel to them, ones that are more manicured look, or anywhere in between. This freedom to of design means that landscapes can be designed to match the look and functionality desired by a community.

Community Wellbeing

People are naturally drawn to green spaces. Incorporating Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles in your design will increase the health of the landscape. This in turn has the potential to improve morale and increase time spent outdoors which has been proven to have positive impacts on mental and physical health.

Cost Savings

Implementing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ design practices can be financially beneficial for your clients. The first principle of the program is Right-Plant, Right-Place. This simple concept can go a long way. When a landscape is designed using plants that are naturally suited to local conditions (i.e. shade, rainfall, soil type) they will require less maintenance once established. This can result in reduced expenses on staff time, irrigation, and supply purchases such as fertilizer and pesticides. Additional Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices such as irrigating efficiently, fertilizing appropriately, and using mulch can add to the cost savings. Building and developing communities that implement Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can be a significant selling point and increase buyer demand when the public is well informed.

Environmental Impacts

The use of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can have positive environmental impacts. Following the program’s 9 Principles can help a community conserve water, reduce chemical inputs, and reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater. Selecting proper plants can attract wildlife and create healthy urban ecosystems.


Green Infrastructure in Florida Video Series

Principles and Practices of Low Impact Development

  • Developing a Better Way: An Alternative Approach to Stormwater Management
  • Introduction to Low Impact Development (LID)
  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure Approach to Stormwater Management
  • Resource Efficient Landscapes: UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County

Retention/Detention Basins

  • Conventional Stormwater Retention Basins: Improvements Over Traditional Designs
  • Traditional Stormwater Retention Basins
  • Ecologically Enhanced Storm Water Basins
  • Enhanced Stormwater Basins: Stormwater Ecological Enhancement Project
  • Exfiltration Tanks: Commercial Parking Lot

Pervious Pavement

Permeable surfaces, unlike impermeable surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, allow stormwater to infiltrate through porous surfaces into the soil and groundwater. EPA parking lots, driveways or sidewalks include pervious concrete, porous asphalt, pervious interlocking concrete pavers or grid pavers.


Swales and Bioretention

Swales are drainage paths or vegetated channels used to transport water. They can be used in small drainage areas with low runoff instead of underground storm sewers or concrete open channels. Swales help slow runoff, facilitate infiltration and filter pollutants as runoff flows through the system.


Green Roofs


Cisterns and Rain Barrels



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