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Water-Conserving Landscaping
Lantana flowers with butterfly
Photo by F. Galdo

Additional tips for a water-conserving landscape

  • A thick layer of mulch helps keep soil cooler and holds moisture in. It also helps control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.

    • NOTE: Do not use cypress mulch. Using cypress mulch can encourage destruction of cypress trees, which are important native wetland trees. For more information about choosing the right mulch, please visit:

  • Use the "Florida-Friendly Landscaping" (FFL) principles - These principles were developed by the University of Florida-IFAS to show how an attractive landscape can be maintained without excessive usage of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. The main FFL page serves as a clearinghouse of information. For further information or assistance on Florida-Friendly landscaping, contact the Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service. Website:

  • Consider planting native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees to replace non-useful turf. Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive a dry period without watering.

  • Put the right plant in the right place! Grouping plants together based on similar water needs can allow for better management of water in landscaped beds.Turn down or turn off zones with drought tolerant plants.

  • Use a rain barrel or cistern to harvest rainwater for your houseplants, garden or planter beds. The Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service periodically holds rain barrel workshops - check their website for scheduling:

Do you have a great example of a "Florida Friendly Landscape?" It could be a winner!

Each year, The Tampa Bay Community Water Wise Awards Program recognizes a selection of outstanding examples of Florida-Friendly Landscapes from across the Tampa Bay Region. Visit to see if your yard has what it takes to be the next winner.

Water Wise Awards

For More Information
For more information or to ask questions, email the Utilities Department or call at (727) 847-8131. Or return to the main Water Conservation page for more ways to save water.