Frequently asked questions

You may search for plants in several different ways.

  1. To find a specific plant, enter the common name or scientific name. If you do not know the correct spelling, enter your best guess at the spelling in the name field and click the box next to “Sounds like.” The tool will provide choices of plants that sound like your spelling. If there are no results, you can opt to click on a plant category and search manually through the plant list.
  2. To narrow your search to specific plant types, such as flowers, shrubs or trees, select a plant type from the dropdown menu.
  3. You may want to search by plant specifics, such as how tall you want the plant to be at maturity, what color you want the flowers to be, how fast you want the plant to grow, how salt-tolerant you want the plant to be or if you are looking for plants native to Florida.
  4. You may also enter details about the specific site conditions of the area you wish to landscape, such as sunlight requirements (light range), soil moisture, soil pH or hardiness zone.

As an example, if you want to find yellow flowers that will thrive in full sunlight and grow in dry soil, enter “flowers” in the plant type field; “yellow” in the flower color field; select “full sun” from the light range dropdown menu; and select “dry” from the soil moisture dropdown menu. Then click “search” at the bottom of the box. The database will return a list of plants that meet your criteria.

By default, the search results page will display up to 15 plants at a time. You can choose to display 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 plants at a time by indicating your desire using the dropdown menu next to “No. of results per page.”

If you do not find what you are looking for in the search results, you may add or subtract criteria to narrow or expand your search.

To expand the results, remove some of your search filters. This can be done on the search results page by clicking on one or more of the blue filter categories (i.e. Type, Color, Moisture, Light). Or, in the upper right-hand corner of the results page, click on “Search plants” and you will return to your search request where you can remove criteria.

To add criteria to a search, which will narrow the search, you must use the “Search plants” link to return to your search plant request. Remember, if you select too many criteria, it may cause the database to return no results.

After you have assembled your table of desired plants, you can click the “export data” button at the bottom of the page. The database will save your selections into an Excel spreadsheet, which you can save to your computer and print. If you don’t have Excel, you can copy the information from the search results page and paste into a Word document. You may also print the screen.

The waterwise plant database does not include plants that are invasive (according to the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council category 1 list), native plants that are protected by the state and not available for sale, or plants recently placed on the market. The database will be updated on a regular basis to add plants as appropriate.

Your local University of Florida County Extension Office can provide a wealth of information on plant care. Also, the University of Florida / IFAS Solutions for your Life website has specific growing information for landscape plants and fruit trees, pest problems, and best management practices for your area.

Selecting too many search criteria may cause the search to return no matching results. Reduce the number of criteria to increase the results.