The most efficient way to organize your landscape is to group plants according to their water needs and soil conditions. If plant placement is done correctly, plants will need little to no supplemental irrigation once established.
Strive to establish a yard that is largely sustained by existing conditions. If specialty plantings such as vegetables or roses are desired, a more labor- and resource-intensive planting bed can be created in one or two areas.
Plants native to Florida can play a very dependable role in the landscape. Many of Florida’s plants have evolved through periods of extreme wet and then dry weather, so they survive through drought and don’t get root rot standing in water. They have also developed defenses to the diseases, fungi and insects that originate in Florida. Many have proven wind tolerances in areas that experience tropical storms and hurricanes.
Many landscapes typically have the following areas:
- Natural zone — Place plants here that have adapted to the wet and dry extremes of Florida’s climate so that regular watering won’t be necessary, except during prolonged drought.
- Drought-tolerant zone — Place plants in this area that can survive extended periods of time without rain or supplemental irrigation.
- Oasis zone — Place plants here that may require some watering.
Remember, for best results in water savings and environmental protection, put the right plant in the right place.