Passionflower Chapter

Florida Native Plant Society

Why Native Plants?

Why Landscape With Native Plants?

Native plants evolved and have lived in Florida since before Europeans arrived and significant human impacts or alterations occurred.  They are adapted to local soils, rainfall patterns, seasonal temperatures, storms, and native insects. Landscaping with Florida native plants means:

  • Less water and yard work; natives don't need as much pampering
  • Fewer chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers, and less run-off
  • More butterflies, birds and other wildlife
  • A yard that looks like "Real Florida"
  • A landscape that survives seasonal residents' summer absence

Native plants benefit both the environment and your wallet!


Why Do Native Plants Matter?

Florida's natural environment consists of diverse ecosystems of native plant communities which provide us with clean air, drinking water, stable soils, protection from floods and rising seas, recreation and natural beauty. Over 3,000 native plant species contribute to the biodiversity of Florida while providing shelter and food for birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other animals. Many species of butterfly rely entirely on a single native species of plant for their existence. With bird and pollinator populations declining, preserving native plants and habitats is crucial for wildlife, the health of Florida’s natural resources (including our water) and preserving our natural heritage and our quality of life.

Learn more:

Why Native Landscapes are Important

Doug Tallamy: A Guide to Restoring the Little Things that Run the World


How Do I Choose Native Plants for My Yard?

Even with native plants “Right Plant, Right Place” is important. Florida’s native plants grow in a variety of conditions from the panhandle to the Florida Keys, so not every Florida native plant will survive and thrive in Central Florida.  But don’t worry - Lake County is home to over 1,000 species (see lists under the Resources tab). Most important is to make sure the plants you choose are appropriate for Zone 9B and that you have the right sun, water, and soil conditions.

Use the FNPS Natives for Landscaping database to find plants for your yard.  Select your County and  choose site conditions and special interest/needs to generate a plant list at:

FNPS Native Landscape Plants for Your Area

To make sure you're getting plants from Florida native stock, and for native plant advice and landscaping services, go to a native nursery.  Fortunately, there is a great native nursery in our area:

Green Isle Gardens


Of course, the above information just scratches the surface of what there is to  know about native plants and our beautiful Florida habitats, so partner with Passionflower to continue learning from experts and knowledgeable like-minded members.