I want to xeriscape my lawn with Florida-friendly plants. Can my HOA stop me?

Florida is one of several states that prohibits HOAs from limiting an environmentally friendly lawn. Even if your condominium’s covenants or bylaws prohibit what you can and can’t plant, Florida law supersedes the HOA bylaws.

Florida statute 720.3075 states that homeowner’s association rules cannot prohibit a property owner from planting “Florida-friendly landscaping”. What specifically is Florida-friendly landscaping? Florida statute 373.185 states it conserves water, is drought resistant, protects the environment and is adaptable to local conditions. Other factors both condo owners and HOAs need to consider include proper mulching and fertilization, attraction of wildlife, reduction of storm water runoff, management of pests and appropriate use of solid-waste compost.

Other states, including California and Texas, have implemented similar laws over the years that promote xeriscaping, so there are many HOAs that have had to become adaptive to adaptive landscaping.

For more information, the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Service has excellent web pages and many master gardeners who can discuss sustainable landscaping, plant selection, soil composition, irrigation techniques and more. The research-based environmental education is offered not only to homeowners but to business owners and landscape experts as well.