A garden can become a battleground when an HOA gets involved. These organizations exist to create a certain look for the neighborhood — and that goal can clash with homeowners’ choices for their own individual properties. While some find ways to work within HOA rules, others receive reprimands and fines. However, legal protections for native and endangered plants can give homeowners more options.
That’s what one Redditor said they were counting on when they replanted the flower beds at their Florida rental property. In their original Reddit thread, they described their frustrating back-and-forth with the HOA.
“I received a notice yesterday because the property manager didn’t like the plants that the home builder put in when the home was built 4 years ago, and told me that I needed to remove the weeds,” the user said. “My lawn guy being out there every Thursday sent me pictures this morning confirming there is no weed issue.”
The poster says they forwarded the photos to the HOA, which agreed there were no weeds but “recommended I ‘replant the plants.’” Upon asking whether new plants would require HOA approval, the homeowner was informed that they would.
So the user decided to repay the HOA for putting them through the tedious process.
“The flowers being planted are milkweed (florida Protected), pentas (florida native), and ixora,” the Redditor said in an update.
Florida law prohibits digging up, cutting down, or removing protected plants – so the milkweed is there to stay. In the user’s follow-up post, they added, “I wanted originally to have a flowerbed using predominantly endangered Florida plants, but ended up settling on a butterfly garden.”
“I’m VERY surprised they let you build it,” said one commenter.
But the original poster clarified that the HOA didn’t know what it was getting into.
“I only have to send in pictures of ‘plant material’ so that is what I did, no names, just pictures,” they explained in their original post.
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