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Make Your Projects Florida Friendly

The FFL program would like to help your community be Florida-Friendly. Contact the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ State Office, or your Local UF/IFAS Extension Agent for guidance.

Design and Maintenance

When designing a landscape, it is always important to keep the long-term maintenance in mind. It is a good idea to work with the company, or homeowner, who is going to be maintaining the landscape and make sure the aesthetic and maintenance requirements are compatible. For instance, someone who wants a very manicured landscape should expect to spend more time and labor in maintenance.

When selecting a landscape maintenance company, it is important that the design and maintenance teams are trained in how to properly implement the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) principles. By law, it is required that anyone who applies fertilizer commercially have certification through FFL’s Green Industries Best Management Practices program. Although only legally required for fertilizer applicators, this training is highly recommended for any landscaping professionals, particularly staff involved in landscape installation and maintenance.

Another beneficial training to look for when hiring a landscape contractor is a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Certified Professional. These individuals have completed the required training in FFL principles and are familiar with the latest UF/IFAS recommendations. They have demonstrated the ability to recognize and address common landscape issues by using environmentally sustainable landscape management practices.

In addition to these training resources UF/IFAS Extension is available to help by providing the following services:

  • Professional Training - Request a FFL workshop designed specifically for builders, developers, real estate professionals, landscape architects, landscape and irrigation contractors, and green industry professionals.
  • Pre-Construction Consultations - Create high performance landscapes by meeting with FFL faculty and staff during the pre-construction phase. We are available to provide educational materials and advice on implementing the concepts of the FFL program with the land developer, landscape architect, and other interested parties during the planning process
  • Education during the Construction Phase and Beyond - UF/IFAS Extension and the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program provide educational training, workshops, that will help create healthy and aesthetically pleasing landscapes to residents. Workshops are available in a wide range of horticultural topics including: FFL design & plant selection, proper planting techniques, pest management, pruning and maintenance techniques, and Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) training and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Certified Professional training
  • FFL model language documents - FFL model documents incorporate the latest UF/IFAS recommendations and can be modified to suit your community vision and site conditions. The model documents include example language for community covenants, conditions, and restrictions, landscape maintenance contracts, and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ considerations for architectural review boards and can be found below under Guidelines for HOA Code Documents.

Green Infrastructure

Managing stormwater runoff at a community level can require an engineered solution. Green infrastructure (GI) also known as Low Impact Development (LID) is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing wet weather impacts that provides many community benefits. See the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Infrastructure Website for technical guidance and funding opportunities.

Landscape Design Resources

Designing a Florida-Friendly landscape is not much different than designing any other landscape. Designers will want to consider how the shape, colors, and textures of plants will work together, and how the landscape will enhance surrounding structures. The difference with a Florida-Friendly landscape is that consideration is given to variables such as which plants will best thrive in an area, grouping plants by irrigation zones, and considering the long-term maintenance and growth patterns of the selected plants.

Cost Effectiveness


Planting Details and Specifications

Urban Soils


Stormwater ponds

Reclaimed water

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Legislation

State statute adopted in 2009 prohibits HOAs and local governments from prohibiting Florida-Friendly Landscaping™:
Florida Statutes 373.185 - Local Florida-friendly landscaping ordinances


Florida Statute 482.1562 and 403.9338 state that all commercial fertilizer applicators must have a license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). To get this license, each Green Industry worker must be trained in the GI-BMPs and receive a certificate of completion from UF/IFAS and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Florida Statutes 482.1562 Limited certification for urban landscape commercial fertilizer application  and  403.9338 Training

Guidelines for HOA Code Documents

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Model Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for New and Existing Community Associations

FFL Guidelines for Existing Communities - A list of considerations for Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ guidelines for architectural review boards. 

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guidelines for Community Associations: Considerations for Selecting a Landscape Contractor and Writing an Effective Landscaping Contract

Model Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Maintenance Contract (pdf)

Model Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Maintenance Contract - editable (Word doc download)

Perceptions of Florida-Friendly Landscapes: Linking Visual Quality and Environmental Health through Landscape Codes


More about Landscape Design