Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Extension

The Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design

The Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design is available for on line viewing at You can also order a copy, which will be sent to you, from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Visit and view free publications under Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM to order your personal copy. This Guide is intended for homeowners who want to design their own Florida-Friendly Landscapes. The beauty and functionality of a Florida-Friendly Landscape depends on a mix of trees, plants and turfgrass chosen for their specific location and maintained according to the University of Florida/IFAS recommendations. Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM principles encourage the use of both native and non-native species of plants. Invasive exotics should be removed, where possible, and never planted.

The Guide provides a number of landscape design scenarios, including front entry, along walls, sidewalks and fences, under windows and trees, etc. Information is included on how to convert your yard to a Florida-Friendly Landscape, ecological considerations, five common gardening mistakes and the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Plant List of trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, grasses, perennials, annuals and turfgrass. Plant information covers the Florida Region and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cold Hardiness Zones, growth rate, height and spread, native status, soil pH range tolerated by the plant, soil texture, drought tolerance, light range and optimum light, salt tolerance and wildlife attracted.

This guide is one of my favorite resources. I use it at home, work and many times when on site visits. It is easy to use, understand and makes finding the right plant for the right place a simple process.

This Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design is intended as a companion to The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Handbook which is available for viewing at

This handbook thoroughly covers each of the nine Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM principles. These principles are: right plant, right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, prevent stormwater runoff and protect the waterfront.

For assistance with horticultural questions, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, 744-5519, sign up to attend one of our upcoming workshops on Composting, Microirrigation and Rainwater Harvesting at:, and/or stop by to view our demonstration gardens at 5339 CR 579 in Seffner. We hope you will get outside and garden.

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