Non-native Invasive Plants Common to Central Florida
Part of having a Florida-Friendly landscape is following principle #1, Right Plant, Right Place.
Criteria for being the right plant for the right place include:
• Suitable for our climate (Central Florida is USDA Hardiness Zone 9B)
• Matches the site condition for available sunlight and soil properties
• Mature plant height and width fits the available space
• Plants are not harmful to natural areas
Non-native invasive plants are plants that are not from Florida and are known to spread extensively in natural areas. They negatively impact the environment by spreading so aggressively they shade out, overtake, or displace beneficial native plants. This reduces plant diversity in our natural ecosystem and can also reduce food sources for wildlife. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program recommends removal of non-native invasive species and to replace them with Florida-Friendly plant species. You can find a list of Florida-Friendly plants in our Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design.
Start by identifying common invasive plants for Florida in our video and on this website. For a comprehensive list, visit Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council or UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Natural Areas.
Depending on the plant, you may be able to manage them with hand removal, spraying an herbicide, or for trees, cut and treat the stump with an herbicide product containing the active ingredient triclopyr.
Here are some common invasive plants in Central Florida:
• Air potato
• Brazilian pepper
• Camphor tree
• Caesar weed
• Chinese tallow
• Cogon grass
• Old world climbing fern
• Torpedo grass
• Tropical soda apple
Want to learn more? Check out horticulture classes offered by UF/IFAS Extension Orange County at www.ocextension.eventbrite.com. Read about Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/. Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GardenFlorida/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oc_extension/ and visit our website https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/orange/home-lawns-landscapes-and-gardens/florida-friendly-landscaping/.