Orange County’s Updated Fertilizer Management Ordinance

Orange County approved more stringent fertilizer application rules in 2017. The basic elements are listed here:

  • All landscaped areas are covered under this rule, including plants, trees and turf grass.
  • All commercial applicators (as defined in Section 15-801) shall complete a county-approved best management practices training program.
  • Completion of the Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) by the University of Florida IFAS or the possession of a valid limited certification for urban landscape commercial fertilizer application shall suffice as evidence of completion of a county-approved best management practices training program.
  • Vehicles used during applications must display a decal provided by Orange County showing proof that the applicator has been trained. To obtain decal, please send an email to with a list of your trained personnel, proof of training, mailing address and the number of vehicles used.
  • Landscape businesses must possess a valid limited certification for urban landscape commercial fertilizer application or have completed the GI-BMP by UF/IFAS to obtain or renew an Orange County local business tax certificate.


Water quality protection elements are also included in the ordinance:

  • Fertilizers containing phosphorus are prohibited unless a soil test result from IFAS shows a deficiency.
  • No fertilizer shall be applied within 15 feet of a water body or wetland.
  • Nitrogen in fertilizers must contain at least 50 percent slow release formulations. By July 2020, this requirement will increase to 65 percent if commercially available.
  • No more than one pound of total nitrogen per 1,000 square feet shall be applied during one application.
  • Any fertilizer spilled onto streets, driveways, sidewalks, etc., must be put back into a labeled container or applied to turf or landscaping, as per the ordinance.
  • Low-maintenance zones (vegetated areas that are not mowed, fertilized or maintained) 10 feet wide are recommended adjacent to water bodies.
  • There shall be no application of fertilizer that contains nitrogen or phosphorus during the restricted period from June 1 through September 30, except by commercial applicators certified pursuant to Section 15-809.
  • Broadcast spreaders must be equipped with a deflector shield to keep fertilizer pellets away from impervious surfaces, water bodies and buffer areas.
  • Grass clippings and/or vegetative material/debris shall not be deposited, inadvertently or intentionally, into the street, into any public right of way, stormwater drain or other water conveyance.


A copy of the Orange County fertilizer ordinance may be found at:


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Posted: March 28, 2018

Category: AGRICULTURE, Horticulture
Tags: Cflandscapes, Fertilizer Ordinance, Orange County

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