Landscaping and gardening in Florida are not as easy as it seems. The scorching heat and the sandy soil is can be troublesome for gardeners to grow their favorite plants and design their dreamy landscape. Maintaining a lawn, growing flowers, fruit trees, and vines is very difficult and troublesome in such humidity and high temperatures. And a vegetable garden? Well, that will suck out every bit of your energy. Read our article to know all the gardening and landscaping laws in Florida!

Trying to plan a garden or design a landscape with a proper plan or management is very difficult in Florida. To help you with your troubles of gardening and landscaping we have prepared our article to address all the problems and state all the horticulture laws. Do not feel lost with your failed landscaping designs. Read our article and know all the tricks, tips, and laws for gardening and landscaping in Florida.  


Two things to keep in mind before starting a garden in Florida

Gardening and Landscaping Laws in Florida

  1. Join Homeowners Association (HOA)

First of all, you need to get yourself into a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) in your neighborhood or community. Once you get in you can check the HOA laws and policies regarding landscaping and gardening. Statute 604.71 was approved in early 2019 in Florida. It stated that growing vegetable gardens on residential properties were strictly prohibited. However, in July 2020, Senate Bill 82 was granted that allowed locals to grow plants in their gardens and backyards. 

  1. Plants you cannot grow in Florida

Before you start planting your favorite fruits, vegetables, flowers in your garden make sure that those plants will grow well in the first place. Florida’s climate is not suitable for many plants, either your plants will not produce fruits or your lost desired flowers will not bloom. Check our list to know which plants cannot be grown in Florida.

Flower Plants:

Gardening and Landscaping Laws in Florida

  • Hostas: These plants will grow, but they never bloom and eventually will die.
  • Forsythia: They need cold weather to bloom, Florida’s weather isn’t good for its growth.
  • Lilacs – They are the same Hostas, they will grow but will not bloom and will soon die out.
  • Japanese Iris – you can only grow these flowers during winter, as they will die in the summer heat.
  • Bearded Iris – They do not bloom often, as they need cold weather. During the summer months, they tend to die due to heat.
  • Louisiana Iris – These plants are 50/50. With proper care, they will grow and bloom, but they do not usually multiply.
  • Daffodils, narcissus, tulips, and hyacinths – These spring flowers may seem easy to grow but in Florida, you will have a tough time growing them. You need to refrigerate their bulbs for few days to force them to bloom. You also re-dig during spring before summer comes.
  • Purple Leaf plum – These plants will grow but may not bloom always. It loses all its leaves during winter and starts growing back from scratch in summer.

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • Rhubarb – They do not grow well in Florida
  • Spinach – Growing spinach will be challenging for most farmers. However, with the arrival of summer bugs will be swarming around them.
  • Peaches & nectarines – These fruits will take a lot of your effort. You can grow the GMO ones easily, however, the taste will not be the same as normal peaches and nectarines.
  • Pears, Asian pears – no matter how hard you try these plants will not grow well.
  • Japanese plums, Santa Rosa plums – These plants take a lot of dedication and hard work to make them grow. However, they are not worth growing in Florida, as they are not heat-resistant and die out.
  • Bunch grapes – pears and Asian pears, they do not grow well in Florida’s climate.

Florida Friendly Landscapes:

According to the statute, only Florida Friendly landscapes commonly known as xeriscaping are allowed. Section 373.185 states the landscapes that are of low maintenance, consist of drought tolerant plants, helps to keep the environment protected and clean, and those which are adaptable to Florida’s climate are allowed only. Any other plants or landscape designs that do not follow these principles cannot be set up.

The nine governing principles

The landscaping statute of Florida states all landscapes that are to-be or are built need to maintain and abide by nine important principles. These include: Plants cannot be watered too much and water-conserving plants are preferred. They should be fertilized appropriately, properly mulches, and should be planted in the right place. It also includes a waterfront protection system, all landscapes should have a recycling waste yard, owners should be responsible for controlling pests around their yard, and accumulated stormwater should be cleared. Most importantly should not attract wildlife.

Does Florida’s landscaping law allow locals to decorate and design their landscapes?

For all residents in Florida who are interested in designing their own landscapes, they are free to design them with whatever architectural reviews and procedures they prefer. Florida-friendly landscaping laws include chapters 373 and 720 statutes that allow homeowners from designing their landscapes however they want to. Although they do have to keep the nine governing principles in mind. Homeowners are free to use any hard goods, use any turf alternatives such as wooden decks, rock lawns, and other materials to decorate landscapes. They are free to promote the aesthetic beauty and value of their communities. However, it is important for individual locals to take the approval of their respective homeowner’s associations before designing a landscape

Bottom Line

Compared to all the other states Florida’s landscaping laws are have been effective for many years, but its gardening laws are something that was set to motion in favor of growing edibles in 2020 June. Even though many HOAs have not accepted some landscaping standards that abides by Florida-friendly landscaping principles but they will work it out soon. Talk it out with your HOA and build an aesthetic landscape and grow green edibles in your garden at your heart’s content.

Also Read: Gardening and Landscape Laws in Nebraska – State Gardener

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