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Water Wednesday – Saving Water with Florida-Friendly Plants

Did you know half of our household water is used in lawns? Saving Florida’s water resources is a vital responsibility of everyone. Last Water Wednesday, I invited the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent, Tina McIntyre, to give us a talk about how to save water with Florida-Friendly plants.

“Florida-Friendly landscaping recommends putting the right plant in the right place. To that end we offer the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design book online for free.” Ms. Tina told us.

Florida Friendly Yard sign. Shrubs, yard, landscaping, Florida Friendly Yard. UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones.

What is Right Plant, Right Place?

When we put the right plant to the right place, several things we need to consider:

  • Florida region: North, Central, South;
  • USDA cold heartedness zones;
  • if the species is native to Florida;
  • growth rate height and spread of the mature plant;
  • the pH of the soil;
  • soil texture;
  • soil moisture holding capacity;
  • drought tolerance;
  • the light requirements;
  • if you’re looking to attract wildlife.

 

Florida-Friendly Plant Options in Central Florida

It seems a lot to consider, but plants are just like people. If you put them in the wrong place, they will not be happy. Ms. Tina also gave us a few options if you live in Central Florida.

  • A great selection for a full sun environment is Turkey Oak. Full sun environment is designated as six hours of direct sunlight or more. The Turkey Oak is found in our native Florida ecosystem, the Sand Hill community.
  • A great groundcover selection for a full sunlight environment is Railroad Vine, Perennial Peanut, or Sunshine Mimosa.
  • If your landscape has less than three hours of direct sunlight per day it is considered a full shade landscape. Gingers are laterally spreading shrubs that would thrive in a shady landscape. There are many varieties and species of gingers that love being planted under trees.

 

Watch the recording to learn more Florida-Friendly plants to save water. If you want to watch more Water Wednesday recordings, please visit and follow the YouTube Channel: UF IFAS Extension Central District – Water Resources (https://bit.ly/WW-YouTube).