Fertilizer Ordinance

The City of Miami passed a Fertilizer Ordinance in April 2020 that sets restrictions on what kind of fertilizers can be applied on public and private grounds within the City limits as well as when and where fertilizers can be applied. In addition to year round restrictions, this Ordinance establishes Prohibited Application Periods that have additional restrictions due to heavy rainfall and likelihood of flooding (see more information below).This policy was enacted due to the fact that many fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus that, in large quantities, can pollute our waterways, harm marine wildlife, and cause harmful algal blooms.


Year Round Restrictions

  • Fertilizer must always be applied 20 feet away from any body of water
  • Washing fertilizer down storm drains is never allowed
  • Fertilizer with phosphorus is not allowed*
  • Fertilizer with nitrogen should be no less than to 65% slow release/timed release/controlled release (no greater) and application should not exceed more than four (4) pounds of nitrogen per one thousand (1,000) square feet.

*Fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be applied unless the soil is proven phosphorus deficient with a soil test.

Whenever the City expects heavy rains or floods it will declare a Fertilizer Prohibited Application Period. As it rains regularly over the summer in Miami, the entire summer (May 15 - October 31) will be a Prohibited Application Period aka Blackout Period and be subject to the following additional restriction:

  • Fertilizers with any quantity of phosphorus or nitrogen not allowed (even if soil has proven deficiency via soil test)


How does this differ from the Year Round Restrictions?


Summer Blackout Period (May 15 – October 31) and Prohibited Application Periods

The rest of the year (November 1 - May 14)

Apply fertilizer at least 15ft away from any body of water



Washing fertilizer down storm drains not allowed



Fertilizer with phosphorus not allowed



Fertilizer with nitrogen not allowed


 50% (or more) slow release only

(also called timed release or controlled release)

*Fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be applied unless the soil is proven phosphorus deficient with a soil test.

All businesses of any category that apply fertilizer must ensure that at least one (1) employee has an appropriate “Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries” certificate a.k.a. state fertilizer license from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) prior to obtaining a Business Tax Receipt (BTR).

To obtain this certificate, the employee would:

  1. Complete the Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) training class.
  2.  Submit proof of completion of the GI-BMP training (a copy of the training certificate) to FDACS and submit a fee of $25.
    • The certificate is valid for 4 years from date of issuance.


Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) means using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Learn how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future.

The Nine FFL Principles are:

  1. Right Plant, Right Place
  2. Water Efficiently
  3. Fertilize Appropriately
  4. Mulch
  5. Attract Wildlife
  6. Manage Yard Pests Responsibly
  7. Recycle
  8. Reduce Storm
    Water Runoff
  9. Protect the Waterfront


Learn more about the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program