How to Create a Hurricane-Tolerant Landscape: 6 Expert Tips

How to Create a Hurricane-Tolerant Landscape: 6 Expert Tips

How to Create a Hurricane-Tolerant Landscape: 6 Expert Tips

In this guide you will find 6 pro tips on how to make your landscape “hurricane-tolerant”.

Look, hurricanes are expected to cause $54,000,000,000 in damage this year!

Fortunately, there are many ways you can curb economic losses for yourself. 

Today we are going to cover 6 expert tips on how to prepare your landscape for hurricanes.

Let's jump right in!

Tip 1- Choose Salt-Tolerant Greenery

Most people don’t think about it, but salt spray from hurricanes can destroy your pristine landscape if you are not prepared and do not plan your landscape accordingly.

That is why the first step to establishing a landscape that is prepared to stand up to a hurricane is choosing salt-tolerant plants. 

According to North Carolina State University, highly salt-tolerant plants include:

Small Trees

Large Trees





Eastern Red Cedar


Dwarf Palmetto

Pampus Grass

Japanese Black Pine

Southern Magnolia


Cabbage Palm

Lyme Grass

Sand Live Oak 

Willow Oak

Rugosa Rose

Saw Palmetto

Maiden Grass

Wax Myrtles 

Live Oak


Sand Cordgrass

Tip 2- Plant the Trees-In the Right Location        

In order to protect your home from hurricane damage, you have to plant the right trees in the right location.

It’s true, some trees are more prone to being damaged by hurricanes than others

For example: some trees have shallow root systems and may be more prone to falling over. 

According to the University of Florida, the following trees withstand hurricanes well:

  1. Most palms

  2. Live oak

  3. Southern magnolia

  4. Sweetgum

  5. Holly

  6. Sycamore

  7. Swamp chestnut oak

  8. Spruce pine

  9. Baldcypress

  10. Gumbo limbo

Tip 3- Prune and Trim Properly

It’s very easy to overlook simple maintenance like pruning your trees and shrubs. However If there is a hurricane en route to your home, and you have pruned and trimmed everything properly, you will be glad you did!

It’s simple, by pruning shrubs and giving them a lower profile, you can reduce the amount of wind the plant will have to face

Some still argue about the most aerodynamic shape to prune a bush, personally I lean towards the shape of a Ford Aerostar as the best wind resistant option. But that is a matter of debate

But seriously, shrubs and bushes are one thing, but trees are another beast entirely. By failing to cut dead limbs from your trees, and making sure that they are not unbalanced, you greatly increase the risk for damage to your property form a hurricane. 

Simply put, keeping trees properly pruned can reduce wind-drag and reduce the risk of them falling. Additionally, regular pruning can strengthen the health of your trees.

Tip 4-  Use soft Mulch

It’s no secret, mulching properly is a critical part of a perfect landscape. However, if you live in a hurricane prone area, you want to be sure to use a soft mulch!

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes suggests that if you have stone or pea gravel replace it with a soft wooden mulch

This is simply because during hurricane force winds, pea gravel and small stones can easily be picked up and flown into the windows of your home or car, and may even damage the siding of your home

It’s hard to argue that pea gravel is not an amazing mulch, but it can become a nightmare when a hurricane rolls around. 

Tip 5- Remove Storm Hazards

This one is pretty similar to the last tip. Any loose object in the road can become a projectile when hurricane winds come rolling through. 

That lovely yard gnome that you cherish so much, may wake you up in the middle of the night with a surprise visit after crashing through your bedroom window. 

The South Florida Water Management District suggests several tips to prevent hurricane damage including bringing in potted plants

Other items to remove from the lawn before a hurricane include:

  • Loose chairs,

  • Tables,

  • Lawn tools, 

  • Garden lights,

  • Pool floats, 

  • And yes the lawn flamingos!

Tip 6- Clean the Storm Drains

Clearing the storm drains may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a hurricane rolling in. However, by making sure that all the storm drains that surround your lawn, and even the ones on your street are clear of debris... 

You will ensure that storm surge and flooding will drain as quickly as possible, and prevent possible damage from flooding. 


Tip NumberStrategyKey Actions or Considerations
1Choose Salt-Tolerant Greenery- Select plants like Yaupon, Eastern Red Cedar, Oleander.
- Opt for palms like Dwarf Palmetto, Cabbage Palm.
2Plant Trees in the Right Location- Choose wind-resistant trees: Live oak, Southern magnolia, Sweetgum.
- Avoid trees with shallow root systems.
3Prune and Trim Properly- Reduce wind-drag with proper pruning.
 - Remove dead limbs to prevent damage.
4Use Soft Mulch- Replace stone or gravel with soft wooden mulch to prevent injury and damage.
5Remove Storm Hazards- Secure or remove loose yard items: chairs, tables, garden decorations. 
Clean the Storm Drains- Ensure storm drains are clear of debris to prevent flooding.

The Bottom Line on Creating a Hurricane Tolerant Lawn

Preparing your landscape for the arrival of hurricanes is part of a holistic plan to prevent damage to your home and property.

Selecting the right plants for your garden, pruning and trimming properly, cleaning up lawn debris and clearing your storm drains are essential to maintaining a healthy, hurricane tolerant landscape. 

This will not only protect your landscape itself, but your home and the saftey of your family as well. 

If you need a pro to help you out, hire one of the lawn care pros at GreenPal!

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