Water is the lifeblood of plants. It is required for seed germination, plant growth, photosynthesis, nutrient transport, and temperature control. Water also maintains turgidity, which enables leaves to retain their shapes.

As Florida's population grows and the state becomes more urbanized, the demand on limited water resources steadily increases. Saltwater intrusion into freshwater wells further reduces the state's available water supply. Homeowners who want to continue watering their landscape plants must practice water conservation now rather than waiting until an emergency arises.

More than half of Florida's total annual rainfall is concentrated in the central and southern peninsula between June and September. During the winter and spring, lack of rainfall may seriously compromise plant development. But even during the rainy season evapotranspiration (i.e., water loss from plants and soil) may mandate supplemental watering. Soils with a limited capacity to retain moisture must be irrigated during periods of low rainfall.

For more information go to:
Conserving Water in the Home Landscape. Robert J. Black. This document was originally published May 1993 as Fact Sheet WRC-11, a series of the Water Resources Council, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Reviewed/revised October 2003.