Landscaping Plants Native to Florida
Here in Florida, with our hot, humid summers, warm winters and the occasional hurricane, picking out the right plants for your yard can be a confusing process. Follow our tips to help you get started on beautifying your yard with attractive, healthy plants.
- Know your soil. Our soil types vary widely across the state, from dry and sandy to hard and clayey to essentially just rock in the Keys. Keep in mind what type of soil you have when picking out plants. You might also want to have your soil tested for its pH, as some plants do better in acidic or alkaline soils.
- Live near the coast? Make sure that whatever you plant is salt-tolerant. Not everything available at your local store can stand up to salty air and soil. If you’re within 1000 feet of the ocean, this should be a key consideration for you.
- Think about how much maintenance you’re willing to do. If the answer is “very little,” don’t pick out plants that require frequent watering or fertilizing. They might look great at the store, but after a few months of neglect you’ll probably wish you’d planted something more self-maintaining. Also keep in mind how big the plant will be when it’s full-grown, and space things out accordingly.
- Welcome wildlife into your yard with plants they might enjoy. Florida is a main stopover for many migrating birds, not to mention a home for a wide variety of native animals. Adding flowering or fruited plants to welcome in more butterflies is a popular choice.
- Aim for diversity, both in look and in plant type. Using the same plant type all over your yard can be trouble if one of them gets sick, or if that plant type turns out to be unsuited to your climate or soil.
- Remember the wind! Especially when choosing trees, don’t get stuck replacing them the next time a major storm blows through. It’s also a good idea to plant trees in clusters so they can shield each other from high winds.
Picking out plants for your yard can involve many more factors than what we’ve listed here. Download a guide to planting Florida-Friendly Landscaping.