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Florida Water StarSM Technical Manual

Landscape criteria

Plant compatibility

Plant grouping

Background
Plant Grouping

Plants should be grouped by similar sun and water requirements.

When plants with dissimilar needs are installed within the same irrigation zone (hydrozone), overwatering and unsustainable maintenance practices can occur. Florida Water StarSM water-efficient practices are intended to result in landscapes with plants that are most appropriate for the site. These landscapes should only require minimal irrigation to survive.

Plants within the same irrigation zone, or hydrozone, should have similar moisture and maintenance needs.

Height/width: It is recommended that spacing compatibility be evaluated by using the waterwise plant database. In most cases, plant spacing is compatible if a plant has enough space to grow to maturity, or plants should be spaced at least half their mature width from each other. Plant width should be considered in choosing plants adjacent to buildings, to minimize long-term maintenance. The landscape design may demand denser spacing for hedges or ground cover. Plant height is a particular consideration when choosing plants that will be installed adjacent to buildings.

Growth rate: The rate at which a plant grows under normal conditions, (i.e., slow, moderate, fast) is called the growth rate.

Annual Growth Rate of Plants (in feet [ft])

Plant Type

Slow

Medium

Fast

Trees

Less than 2 ft

2 to 3 ft

More than 3 ft

Shrubs

Less than 2 ft

2 to 3 ft

More than 3 ft

Perennials

Less than 1 foot

1 foot

More than 1 foot

Fruit trees

Less than 2 ft

2 to 3 ft

More than 3 ft

Fern

Less than 3 inches

2 to 3 ft

More than 3 ft

Ground covers

Less than 1 foot

1 to 2 ft

More than 2 ft

Vines

Less than 2 ft

2 to 3 ft

More than 3 ft

Soil moisture: All plants within a hydrozone must have similar soil moisture tolerances.

Requirements and certification

A minimum of 90% of plants are grouped by similar moisture and maintenance requirements.

Silver

Gold

Commercial/Institutional

Required

Required

NA

Plants are grouped by similar moisture and maintenance requirements.

Silver

Gold

Commercial/Institutional

NA

NA

Required

The Florida Water StarSM certifier should use information in the design drawings and the waterwise plant database to assess the compatibility of each landscape bed.

Confirmation of planted species and site conditions must occur on-site.

  1. Credit is awarded by calculating the percentage of compatible species as a percentage of the entire number of species. For example, if 90 of 100 species are compatible then 90% is achieved.
  2. Alternatively, the certifier may award credit based on the total number of plants.

For Commercial/Institutional the landscape narrative may read as follows:

Florida Water StarSM Commercial/Industrial Hydrozone Information and Narrative

Hydrozone

Hardiness Zone

pH

Soil Moisture

Sun

Salinity

1

9a

Neutral

Moist

Partial shade

NA

Type

Narrative Description

Unirrigated turf grass

This hydrozone contains unirrigated Bahia turf grass. The grass should be established by receiving 0.75 inches of irrigation a week for 60 days. This zone will not require water after establishment.

Irrigation

None

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
800-725-5922