Florida's Adventure Coast Blog

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Plant Native For Beauty, Simplicity and Butterflies

Welcome to the Sunshine State, where everything grows! Here in Nature’s Place to Play, our subtropical climate means varied - sometimes exotic - plant life. And, with a little planting planning, they can easily beautify your world with color and life.   

Some newcomers proud of photo-worthy yards up north face unexpected challenges with Florida lawns. Working with sandy soil and seasonal rainfall variations, the simplest approach is to plant what thrives with little care and attention. Draw inspiration from nature to design your Florida landscape.

Native plant yard -HC Extension.jpgNative plant yard on Florida's Adventure Coast. Photo: Hernando County Extension Department  

Go Native

Celebrate sustainability and simplicity with native landscaping. Florida Friendly Landscaping is beneficial to both you and the environment. Your plant choices will bring a myriad of fascinating wildlife to your well-designed yard.

American Beauty Berry.jpg American Beautyberry, a native shrub of the southern U.S. Photo: Wikimedia

Berry bushes, bright blooms, birdhouses, and vertical layering of plants and bushes all provide habitats for many delightful sights. 

Colorful butterflies, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many other species seek much of what you provide. Bees, bats, birds and other creatures appreciate the easy-to-find treats and welcome refuge your native plants deliver from inclement weather and heat. 

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Florida Freindly Landscaping class. Photo: Hernando County Extension Department

Easy How-To’s

On Florida’s Adventure Coast, the Hernando County Extension Department is a great source for information on Florida Friendly Landscaping. Specialists like Lilly Browning frequently deliver fun community programs, classes and discussions. Attend a session and learn techniques to have the beautiful, low-maintenance yard of your dreams. From ground-cover plants requiring little water and care to setting up a rain barrel, discover how to express your creativity without stress. Less mowing and pruning means more time in the boat or on the golf course!

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New Florida's Adventure Coast household rain barrel. Photo: Hernando County Extension Department

Beauty and Benefits

Some plants are edible and others may be a source of healing. Some are unique and fragrant. Choose native plants for a dynamic landscape that’s not only easy, but also an ecological asset. Save money too; properly installed native landscaping can conserve water, reduce chemical fertilizer use and prevent erosion. Your native landscaping can help to restore the environment.

Native Coral Honeysuckle -HC Extension.jpg

Native Coral Honeysuckle. Photo: Hernando County Extension Department 

Florida Friendly Landscaping recommendations include mixing well-matched native and non-native plants. Take care though, and avoid using invasive species. Because so many plants grow here, it’s key to abide by the “Right Plant, Right Place” approach.

Right Plant, Right Place - HC Extension.jpg

"Right Plant. Right Place." Photo: Hernando County Extension Department 

Curious about the world of plants native to Florida's Adventure Coast?
Find answers to such questions as:

How do I identify native plants? Which native plants are edible? Which native plants attract butterflies, birds and other wildlife? Which native plants are drought or shade tolerant?

Get answers from the Hernando County Extension department and Southwest Florida Water Management District. Browse illustrated lists of flowers, shrubs and trees to compliment your yard, while conserving the vital water resources of Florida’s Adventure Coast.

Join the active Florida Native Plant Society, Hernando Chapter. Everyone is invited to join them for meetings and workshops.

Download this illustrated guide and identify the native plants around you.

Once you've done the ground work, go grab a glass of iced-something and admire your own native photo-worthy Florida yard. Birds, butterflies and your sprinkler system will thank you!