Real Plants Florida
Growing, planting and promoting
Florida native plants for sustainable landscapes.
Gardeners & Homeowners

Give USDA native plant industry input by Nov 30, 2018

NIFA IS NOW LISTENING: we have an opportunity — and obligation — to speak up for our industry and influence funding for the research, education and extension we need to expand the cultivation and use of native plants. Within the US Dept of Agriculture, we can do this by connecting native plants with the emerging “consumer horticulture” industry.

USDA NIFA loves to hear directly from business owners. You can send an email or complete an online form, your choice.

In your email, address these questions:

What is the most needed breakthrough in science and technology to advance the native plant industry

What is your top priority in horticulture research, extension or education that NIFA should address to advance the production and use of native plants?

Be sure to identify your business as part of the native plant industry.


Submit written comments by email:

OR complete the online survey form:

Need some inspiration? Here are some general topic areas our members and partners have suggested in the past:

  • General ongoing native plant education for gardening public

  • Difficult to propagate species
  • Soft pesticides for growing pollinator plants

  • Pollinator & wildlife use of plants by region / state/ plant community?
  • Identification by state of plants most productive for pollinator & wildlife use

  • Native selections for landscape — compact forms, shorter forms, longer blooming, thornless and non-suckering

  • Seed biology of native plants to enhance production practices

  • Native groundcovers to replace higher input turf etc.

  • AlterNatives – plant this native instead of that invasive or overused/underbeneficial non-native

  • Conversion of high maintenance now unused areas e.g. golf courses, industrial campuses to sustainable habitat landscapes

  • Water conservation – irrigation free landscapes, how can we achieve this

  • General propagation, production, trialing of native plants

  • Quantifying the benefit of offsetting invasions (?)

  • Quantity the differences in ecosystem services between native and non-native species

  • Issues around using native plants out of their native plant community context

Thank you for speaking up for our plants.


Consumer horticulture: the cultivation, use and enjoyment of plants, gardens and landscapes to the benefit of individuals, communities and our environment. Restoration, ornamental, edible, medicinal — all possible uses of plants, and MORE PLANTS. NICH is the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture and both FANN and the Native Plant Horticulture Foundation are collaborating with other NICH industry leaders across the country to promote greater awareness of consumer horticulture and its importance. We seek to influence the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and others to fund programs that expand consumer horticulture to the benefit of our environment and all of us. USDA’s NIFA program invests in research, extension and education to solve society’s biggest agricultural challenges — including and particularly those related to protecting our environment. Their work is carried out primarily through funding to land grant universities and related institutions.