The roots are those attached to trees on your property and native plants that make up your landscape. Probably one of the most important components of a Florida-friendly yard is the actual trees, plants, shrubs and flowers that live on the property. Here in Florida, we are fortunate to have a wealth of native plants for use in our landscaping design. Why is using native plants so important to a Florida-friendly yard? There are several reasons:
- Native plants can most easily adapt to the climate and soil conditions in which they naturally live – so for Florida, that means lots of sunshine, generally sandy soils and rainy and dry periods.
- Native plants usually have fewer pest problems – resulting in decreased maintenance and need for pesticides.
- Native plants in the right spot are adapted to their climate, they require less water to live and thrive.
- Some native plants will bring birds and butterflies into your yard
The easiest way to find the native plants that will work best for your landscape project is to visit the Florida Yards website.
When planning a Florida-friendly yard, keep the large, mature trees that have resided on your property for years. Mature shade trees are like giant air conditioners. They not only help remove dust and other pollutants from the air, they actually cool the air and shade your house.
The Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water, the UF/IFAS Extension and the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program, recognizes homeowners and businesses who are committed to conserving water and protecting the environment by using the most water-efficient landscaping practices.
If you would like to enter this year’s contest, visit awards.tampabaywaterwise.org. Entries are due by August 31.