Florida friendly landscaping means using plants that are both environmentally friendly and low maintenance. This means using materials meant of our zone, can adapt easily to your yard, and are ‘water wise.’
Right Plant, Right Place
For the best success in your yard, you must use plants that can thrive in your existing landscape. What kind of yard do you have? Full shade, full sun, wet, dry? These are things you need to pay attention to so you can plan accordingly before planting.
Group plants in beds according to similar care, light, and water needs. Use drought and heat tolerant plants in areas that receive full sun. Use ‘wet feet’ tolerant plants in low areas or have difficulties draining. Try picking a few colors that compliment each other and repeat them while working in the yard to create a visually appealing space.
If you live near the beach, make sure to use salt tolerant materials. Use wind wise materials that can withstand harsh winds in case of storms.
We typically have very sandy soils, meaning water and nutrients drain through very quickly. Use plants that can handle this type of soil, or amend the soil. Adding a compost or other organic matter will help with water retention and provide nutrition to your plants. Mulching will also help with water retention, break down over time adding nutrition, and will help protect the root system from cold weather and pests.
Make sure to ask questions or research plant maturity before planting. You can always add to the landscape, but it might be difficult to remove shrubs that are 20ft tall. If you know you don’t want plants to get larger than 4 feet under your windows, trying using dwarf materials.
While planting, dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. Place the plant in the hole so it sits slightly above the soil level. Planting too deep can cause root rot and other issues. Back fill with amended soil if necessary, and make sure to saturate well until established.