Plant Schedules: Getting Started
You can place a Plant Schedule in Model Space or Paper Space. If you place it in Model Space with the rest of the site drawing, it will be scaled automatically for the scale you are using for your planting design. If you place the schedule in Paper Space on a sheet layout, it will automatically be at 1:1 scale, or no scale.
To view several different styles of Plant Schedule, based on the options described on this page, see our Plant Schedules: Examples documentation.
You can create a Plant Schedule that is limited to plants in a specific area of your drawing such as:
A specific portion or phase of the project
Off-site and on-site improvement
Scope-of-work requirements (for example, certain areas designated as containing tenant improvements, other areas under a general contract, etc.)
To limit your schedule in this way, you can simply create separate Work Areas in your drawing. For more information, see our Limiting the Plant Schedule Using Work Areas documentation page.
Once you've configured the settings for your Plant Schedule, you can apply those settings as the default in the active Preference Set using the Planting Preferences. You can also create additional Preference Sets and apply new default settings to each one. Find out how >
Plant Schedule Overview
Open our Plant Schedule tool:
F/X Planting ribbon, Plant Schedule flyout
F/X Planting menu, Plant Schedule option
Plant Manager toolbar
typing FX_PlantScheduleProduction in the Command line
When you select one of these options, the Plant Schedule dialog box will open.
The Plant Schedule dialog box allows you to customize several settings for your Plant Schedule.
1. Destination: Select where to place the Plant Schedule – in the Drawing, in the drawing as a Table, or in a Spreadsheet.
2. Options to:
3. Schedule Options: Customize several details about the schedule's appearance.
4. Select or deselect the plant categories to include in the schedule.
5. Pull-down menus and checkboxes to customize the contents of the plant categories in the schedule.
6. Local Common Name: Select the language in which the common name of the plants will appear in the schedule.
7. Plant Data: Opens a dialog box where you can select several plant data categories to appear in the schedule.
The options in the Destination area determine the location where you want to place your Plant Schedule.
Drawing: Insert the plant schedule into the drawing with the proper font type and titles.
Table: Insert the plant schedule into the drawing as an AutoCAD Table Object.
Want a Table-style schedule that looks like a Drawing-style schedule? (That is, a schedule with no lines, like the Drawing style, but with the freedom to adjust the column widths as offered by the Table style.) Instructions >
Spreadsheet File: Send the plant schedule to a spreadsheet for additional editing, cost estimation, separate faxing/printing, or other uses.
Sending a Schedule to a Spreadsheet
Exporting a schedule to a spreadsheet using a program such as MS Excel gives you an infinite number of options in formatting and enhancing that schedule. In a spreadsheet, you can easily make edits, add specific calculations, create new information columns, and make the schedule available to a client or contractor who doesn't have AutoCAD.
Creating a Macro for a Schedule in MS Excel
A macro is a recorded set of actions that can be applied automatically to a spreadsheet with the click of a button. You can create your own macro in Excel to include custom columns, carry out automatic calculations on preset columns, and much more. For example, you might need to calculate the percentage of the plant total occupied by each plant in a project. With a macro, you can carry out these calculations instantly. See our article on creating a macro in MS Excel for a schedule.
Entire Palette & Include Xrefs
Entire Palette: Check this box to include the entire palette of plants you have selected for the project in the plant schedule, whether you have used the plants or not. Use this option to review the plant palette early in a project, which will help you determine what you need to add or delete.
Include Xrefs: If your drawing has an external reference (Xref) attachment that includes plants, check this box to include those plants in the schedule.
Make sure the units and scale in your main drawing match the units and scale of the Xrefs. If not, your groundcover quantities will be incorrect in the Plant Schedule.
Keep in mind that the Include Xrefs feature will only recognize plants or Xrefs that have been placed in drawing files that have been directly Xrefed into the main drawing. It won't recognize objects that are in an Xref within an Xref (known as a "nested Xref"). If you notice that your schedule is not counting some of the objects within your Xrefs, the problematic objects are likely within a nested Xref. If so, please follow our instructions to correct this issue.
1. Remarks: Check this box to include remarks, or notes, in the schedule. If you include remarks, you have two options:
Below Name: If you select this option, any remarks will appear below the plant name. This option will result in a narrower schedule.
Column: If you select this option, any remarks will appear in a separate column of the schedule. This option will result in a wider schedule.
2. Include Cost: Check this box to include the costs assigned to the plant.
Note that the Names in Separate Columns option is no longer available in this area of the dialog box. Instead, this feature is now built into the Name Order Options menus.
The option to Include Cost will not function correctly if you select the Quantity Before Name option. (It's an unfortunate quirk of the engineering of calculations for the Plant Schedule.) If you need to include Quantity Before Name in your Plant Schedule, you will need to leave Include Cost unchecked.
3. Space between Plants: Check this box to insert empty spaces between plant rows in the plant schedule.
4. Quantity before Name: If you check this box, the quantity of each plant placed in your drawing will appear just after the code and/or symbol, but before the plant's name. If you do not check this box, the quantity will appear after the container size.
Note: This option is not intended for use in drawings with multiple Work Areas. If you check this option in a drawing with more than one work area, the plant schedule will often include several columns of quantities before each plant name – a recipe for a messy, hard-to-read plant schedule.
5. Symbols at Plan Size: If you want your schedule to show the symbols for trees or shrubs, the default is to include them at a relatively small size for ease of appearance. If you check this box, the symbols for either trees or shrubs will appear in the schedule at the same size as on the plan.
Are your plant symbols overlapping in the schedule, and you don't want them to overlap? To find out why, and see your options, see our Plant Symbols Overlapping in Plant Schedule article.
7. Sort By: Use this pull-down menu to select whether to sort the schedule by Botanical name, Common name, or Plant Code.
Including Concept Plants in Your Plant Schedule
To list Concept Plants in your Plant Schedule, select the Include Concept Plants option when placing a schedule.
If you include Concept plants by Group in your Plant Schedule:
- If any member plants have a cost assigned, the group cost will be zeroed out.
- The code of each member plant will be included in the schedule.
To list your Concept Plants by Design Group, select the By Group option.
Here's an example of the resulting schedule:
When you include Concept Plants by Design Group in your Plant Schedule, each individual groundcover or Shrub Area's percentage fill in its Design Group will appear in the Spacing column.
To list your Concept Plants by individual plant, select the By Plant option.
Here's an example of the resulting schedule:
In this area, you can customize information about each of our plant categories (Trees, Shrubs, Shrub Areas, and Ground Covers) that will appear in the schedule.
Plant Category Checkboxes
Each plant category has its own checkbox. If you check the box for a category, that category will appear in the schedule.
These pull-down menus control how plants in each category will be referenced to the drawing from the schedule – by symbol, plant code, both symbol and code, or neither.
Name Order Options
These pull-down menus control the order of the plant naming in the schedule, based on each plant's common and botanical name.
Botanical / Common: Botanical name followed by common name
Common / Botanical: Common name followed by botanical name
Botanical | Common: Botanical name followed by common name, in separate columns
Common | Botanical: Common name followed by botanical name, in separate columns
Botanical over Common: Botanical name directly above common name
Common over Botanical: Common name directly above botanical name
Botanical: Only include botanical name
Common: Only include common name
For examples of the schedule that will result from selecting each of these options, see our Plant Schedule Examples: Name Order Options page.
Container Size, Spacing, and Density
Check these boxes to include some, all, or none of the following items in the schedule:
Size (all four categories)
Spacing (Shrubs, Shrub Areas, and Groundcovers)
Density (Shrub Areas and Groundcovers)
Check these boxes to display plant count Quantity (all four categories) and/or Area (Shrub Areas and groundcovers) in the schedule.
Want a schedule that shows both the quantity and area for groundcovers and/or Shrub Areas? Here's what to do.
Quantity will express a quantity based on the spacing, and Area will express the square feet or square meters of what was drawn. You can choose either of these options for Shrub Areas and Groundcovers according to your preference.
Some designers argue that Quantity is not entirely accurate because trees and shrubs can be mixed into a flatted groundcover area, and thus no plants are placed at those locations, resulting in too high a quantity.
Another argument against Quantity holds that sloped conditions on the site may require more plants for a given 2D area, resulting in too low a quantity.
Yet another argument is to show the area that was drawn with the groundcover, and let the contractor review the plans and other conditions and ultimately responsibility for a quantity bid based on the document information.
Check this box for each plant category if you want the detail associated with that category to appear in the schedule.
Plant Code Styles
Each plant you add to a Land F/X project will have its own unique plant code that will identify that plant by abbreviations of its genus and species in both your labels and Plant Schedules. You can choose to give this code three possible styles:
GEN SPE (three capital letters for the genus and three capital letters for the species)
Gen Spe (three letters for the genus and species, with initial caps and internal lowercase letters)
GS (one capital letter for the genus and one for the species)
For instructions on how to customize this code style, see the Plant Code section of our Planting Preferences documentation.
Local Common Name (Language)
To use a language other than English, select a language for your common plant names.
To control which plant data tags are included in your Plant Schedule, click Select Fields to open a dialog box listing data compiled for each plant.
You'll now see checkbox options for displaying characteristics you've assigned to your plants using our plant data tagging system.
Check the box for each of these fields you want to include for each plant in the schedule. Uncheck the boxes for fields you don't want to include.
Column Display Options for Plant Data
You have two options for displaying your plant data in your schedule:
- Display tags in one column per group: Include one column per tag group (Water Use and Plant Landscape Use, for example). Each column will include all tags applied within a tag group. In this format, the schedule will be much shorter because it will have far fewer columns, making it easy to include all plant data. This option also minimizes the time needed to generate the schedule and prevents schedules that are too long to fit in your drawing.
- Display tags in separate columns: This option is the historic style, where each data point (tag) is listed as a column header in its own column, with an x denoting whether the tag is applied or not. Each tag group will have its own headers, in addition to the headers for each tag. As you increase the number of tags included, the time required to generate the schedule increases by quite a bit. For this reason, we recommend including only a select amount of data in a schedule in this format. To mitigate this issue, we've included options for limiting which data shows up in the schedule in this format.
Select your display option, then select the tag groups you want to display and click OK.
Plant Schedules for a Colorized Plan
If you've used our Color Render tool to colorize your plan, you can choose to show your color plant symbols in the Plant Schedule.
To show your color plant symbols in the schedule, run a new Plant Schedule while Color Render is turned on. That schedule will include color versions of your plant symbols.
When running the schedule, select either Symbol or Both for the plant types whose symbols you want to display – trees, shrubs, shrub areas, and groundcovers.
If you have an existing schedule that already shows 2D (black-and-white) plant symbols, you can simply regenerate that schedule. The symbols will be replaced with the color versions.
Reverting a Schedule Back to 2D (Black-and-White) Symbols
To revert a schedule back to 2D symbols, turn off Color Render and then either regenerate an existing schedule or run a new schedule again.
Placing a Plant Schedule Showing Color Plants from Xrefs
If your color planting plan is in one of the files you've Xrefed into your sheet drawing, use the following workaround if you want to show those color plants in a Plant Schedule within that main sheet drawing.
1. Place a single dummy plant in the sheet drawing.
2. Turn Color Render on.
3. Delete the dummy plant.
4. Run a Plant Schedule, taking care to describe either the Symbol or Both option for each plant type you Want shown in color. The resulting schedule will include the color plant symbols from your Xref.
Applying the Current Schedule Settings as the Default
Once you've configured your Irrigation Schedule the way you want it, you can apply those settings as the defaults under the active Preference Set in the Planting Preferences. You can also create different defaults for different Preference Sets.
For specific instructions, see the Schedule Defaults section of our Planting Preferences documentation.
If you open the Preferences and notice that the buttons and options are grayed out and you can't make changes, the current Preference Set may be restricted. More information
For in-depth information on Work Areas, see our Work Areas documentation page.
If you have used work areas in your drawing, the plant schedule can reflect only the contents of one work area, or it can define the contents of multiple, or all, work areas.
For more information, see our Limiting the Plant Schedule Using Work Areas documentation page.
Plant Schedules will reflect the current status of our Plant Outlines tool. If you place a Plant Schedule with outlines turned on, the plant symbols in the schedule will include outlines. Similarly, if you place a schedule with outlines turned off, the plant symbols in the schedule will not have outlines.
If you have an existing schedule when you turn Plant Outlines on, the symbols will fade but will not automatically get outlines. Regenerate the schedule to apply outlines.
Flats and Six-Packs
When planting in flats or six-packs, you may want to count each flat or six-pack instead of counting each plant individually. For more information see our Flats, Six-Packs, Sods, and Seeds page.
Note: When placing flats containing any number of plants (6, 8, 12, etc.), you might want to think of those plants in terms of area – that is, square feet or meters – rather than individual units.
Make the Plant Schedule Narrower, or Change the Column Widths
Need to fit your schedule into a narrower space in a layout, or simply change the widths of the columns? Follow the instructions in our Plant Schedule Does Not Fit on Layout Space / How to Make a Plant Schedule Narrower article.
Schedule Text in Uppercase (or Upper and Lowercase)
You can control whether the text in any of your schedules appears in all uppercase, or in upper and lowercase, from the General Preferences. For instructions, see our Schedule Text in Uppercase Knowledge Base article.
This setting will apply to all schedules you place in your drawings, including:
Site schedules such as:
Reference Notes (RefNotes) Schedule
Site Development Schedule
Create a Background Fill or Mask for your Schedules
Some designers want to give their schedules a background fill to allow it to pop from the rest of the drawing. You can create a background fill for your schedule using the Table Style Manager. Find out how.
Rearranging the Column Order in Your Schedule
In the interest of keeping our software easy to use – and limited by some restrictions from the CAD platform – we’ve decided to limit the built-in arrangement options to more widely accepted arrangements. However, you can easily rearrange your schedule columns at will while also keeping the ability to regenerate the schedule.
Schedule Integration: Send Plant Schedules Directly to Another Provider
Our Schedule Integration tool allows you to send your Plant Schedules directly to another service provider – for instance, your company’s estimating and invoicing system. See our Schedule Integration documentation for more information.
Using Work Areas: Whether you need to separate out phases in your schedules or show an area at a different scale and viewing angle, you need to know how to manipulate a Work Area. (1 hr 2 min)
Excel With The Right Tools: No matter how much you can accomplish in AutoCAD, sometimes MS Excel can do the job better. We’ll give you some examples of how Excel can improve your design process by adding everything from shade analysis reports to MAWA calculations and in-depth watering schedules. (1 hr 5 min)
Excel With The Right Tools Part 2: Now that we've gone over the basics of what MS Excel can do for you, join us for a more detailed look into the capabilities of this powerful application, including named ranges, templates and reusable macros, and more. (1 hr 5 min)
Getting Started with Planting F/X: We'll give you a full tour of our F/X Planting ribbon, covering everything from adding, placing, and labeling plants to error checking, scheduling, and turning on our quick render tools. (1 hr)
Issue: Plant Schedule errors – general troubleshooting
Issue: My Plant Schedule is too long. How can I break it up?
Issue: Text in the Plant Schedule columns is overlapping
Question: Can I put mulch in the Plant Schedule?
Question: How can I prevent plant quantities from appearing before the plant names in my Plant Schedule?
Issue: Error: Not all plants in the drawing match the project data
Issue: The Plant Schedule shows an incorrect symbol for a plant in my drawing
Issue: The Plant Schedule is showing the incorrect quantity for a tree, shrub, groundcover, or Shrub Area, or the incorrect square footage/meters for a groundcover (such as sod or turf)
Issue: Error: Non-Planar Entity
Issue: Schedule title is overlapping the rest of the schedule text (or is too large, too small, or appearing in the wrong location)
Issue: Plant symbols are overlapping in the Plant Schedule (and you don't want them to overlap)
Issue: You are unable to send your Plant Schedule to an Excel spreadsheet
Issue: The Plant Schedule is not recognizing or calculating objects in an Xref
Issue: Work Areas are not recognizing or calculating a Shrub Area or groundcover hatch
Issue: You need to change the width the columns, or the height of the rows, in your Plant Schedule
Issue: "Combined title length is too long" error message when placing a Plant Schedule
Issue: Alphanumeric plant symbols are showing up blank in the Plant Schedule
Issue: The Plant Schedule is not recognizing the Spacing option for one or more of the plant types
Issue: The screen flashes several times when you place a Plant Schedule in Paper Space
Issue: One of your plants is not showing up in the Plant Schedule, and that same plant's code is showing up as a full schedule heading where the plant should be listed
Issue: One or more of your plant categories (Trees, Shrubs, Shrub Areas, or Groundcovers) is not showing up in the Plant Schedule
Issue: Text boxes are displaying in your drawing where your Plant Schedule text should be
Issue: The plant quantity for one of your groundcovers or Shrub Areas is showing up blank in your Plant Schedule
Issue: Outside Limits error message in the Command line / you are unable to place a Plant Schedules / can't see your Plant Schedule in Model Space
Issue: "Cannot find Work Area title" error message when placing a Plant Schedule in a drawing with Work Areas
Issue: You tried to create a Plant Schedule for a Work Area in your drawing, but the schedule did not appear when you tried to place it
Issue: Your Plant Schedule is listing plants that are not in your drawing
Issue: You received an "Unable to read plant list" message when trying to run a schedule
Issue: You want to place a Plant Schedule that shows both the plant quantity and area (i.e., square feet or meters) for groundcovers and/or Shrub Areas
Issue: Our Verify Labels tool isn't firing correctly, or your plant quantities in the Plant Schedule are not matching those in your plant labels, in a drawing that includes Work Areas
Issue: Your Plant Schedule is taking an excessive amount of time to generate even though you don't have very many plants placed in your drawing
Issue: Unable to reconstitute a hatch area, quantity will be inaccurate error message when attempting to run a Plant Schedule
Issue: CAD freezes or lags after you place a Plant Schedule
Issue: You saw an "Automation Error. AcRxClassName is not in the system registry message" when attempting to place a schedule