9 Free Landscape Design Software for Designers and Architects

Humans visualize things based on their imagination.

When explaining a landscape design to your client, you have to go beyond words to describe the ideas in your head. Your clients need to see clearly how their garden will look after implementing your design.

Many landscape architects and designers use landscape design software to transform drawings into 3D views, helping their clients get a real-world picture of design suggestions. This kind of software also promotes customer engagement. Start with the free version or free trials to test your specific needs and discover how it can support your business’ growth.

Whether you are a do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowner who wants to renovate your backyard or a professional landscape architect, landscape design solutions predict costs, digitize plans, and integrate with other computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Additionally, free landscape design tools offer similar though much more limited functionality as professional landscape design software. An outstanding feature in both free and paid versions is access to a library or database of materials, hardscapes, and plants. 

A few of the free landscape design solutions featured in the list below even provide access to materials, producers, and a network of landscapers and contractors.

Best free landscape design software

Landscape design software streamlines workflows for landscape architects and designers. It reduces time spent surveying sites, drafting architectural design, and collaborating with relevant parties. This software offers a range of techniques that cater to lawn care, gardening, or tree management for residential, public, and commercial spaces.

Advanced landscape design software integrates with tools that facilitate CAD, simulations, and drone mapping. They also support integrations with third-party accounting software or customer relationship management (CRM) software.

The list below contains real user reviews from the best landscape design software category. It’s important to note that in the context of this list, vendors that offer a free trial are also considered to be free

To qualify for inclusion in the landscape design software list, a product must:

  • Allow users to edit and share visualizations and design templates
  • Generate quotes and estimates for designs and services
  • Offer a database of pre-existing or uploaded images with drag and drop functionality
  • Keep track of time, material, and expense for each job or work order
  • Provide mobile applications or mobile-friendly versions of the software for field employees
  • Integrate with software for CRM, accounting, and building design and building information modeling (BIM)

This data was pulled from G2 on April 12, 2022.  Some reviews may be edited for clarity. 

1. Land F/X

Land F/X is an addition to AutoCAD that helps landscape architects and designers draft irrigation plans with a rich plant library while supporting document management and customization options. Its detail management system maintains consistent and organized data within CAD, making it easier to customize, save, call out, and edit designs. 

What users like:

“Land F/X is a valuable addition to AutoCAD for landscape designers and architects. I use irrigation tools to create irrigation designs and verify that the water coverage is sufficient on a particular plan. The integration between Land F/X and CAD is seamless, and there have been significant improvements made in this regard over the past few years.

In addition, the plant library is extensive, and the program makes it easy to track quantities of plant types, even on very large-scale projects. Most of my peers seem to use the program primarily for this purpose – and it does this job exceedingly well. I also enjoy the quick tutorials publicly available on the Land F/X website. Their support and education are excellent and much appreciated.”

Land F/X review, Jana R.

What users dislike:

“When labeling plants, Land F/X shuts off Ortho mode. Sometimes when labeling plants as a group, it does not pick up all the plants.”

Land F/X review, Tim W.

2. Plan-a-Garden

Plan-a-Garden creates design plans to visualize and structure your garden. Its drag and drop functionality allows you to pick plants and add them to your design so you see how their shapes and colors work together. The application supports your experimentation with multiple trees, shrubs, and perennials for landscape. You can also filter according to plant type, size, and sunlight needs.

What users like:

“What I like best about Plan-a-Garden is the texture tool. If you want to test out the look and feel of redoing a garden or outdoor space, you can’t overlook where bricks, pathways, and other ground textures.” 

Plan-a-Garden Review, User in Food & Beverages

What users dislike:

“Sometimes the graphics can be too much. Otherwise, nothing to complain about.”

Plan-a-Garden Review, Emma T.

3. LMN

LMN increases efficiency and profits with effective job planning, time management, and job costing functionalities. Designers can automate the entire landscape business with complete processes and procedures covered in their training material. 

LMN’s free version offers features such as budgeting, customer relationship management, estimating, and time tracking.

What users like:

“LMN can be very detailed in your estimating, progress,  and time tracking or scheduling needs. The more data you feed it, the more detail you can achieve.”

LMN Review, Brittany H.

What users dislike:

“Reports are limited. Client communication isn’t very user-friendly or comprehensive.”

LMN Review, Krystle F.

4. RealTime Landscaping

RealTime Landscaping by Idea Spectrum offers 2D and 3D designing features that help landscape designers visualize their ideas. Users create compelling presentations and videos with powerful yet easy-to-use design tools.  Idea Spectrum offers a free trial version of RealTime Landscaping.

What users like:

“The software makes designing my home possible according to my taste at home. There is no need to pay the designers to have a model that is possibly not similar to the one in my mind. The most important part is the ease of use because my profession is not a designer. However, I can design my home and garden located in the village by using this software. ”

RealTime Landscaping Review, Georgios K.

What users dislike:

“Depending on which software you have, the regular or the pro, some tools are not available.”

RealTime Landscaping Review, Celeste M.

 5. PRO Landscape

PRO Landscape design software provides architects with photo imaging, CAD, 3D rendering, and customer proposal drafting tools that fulfill the requirements for landscape design projects. 

Its free version, PRO Landscape Home, offers similar features to the paid version, except the ability to edit hardscapes or create 3D files and customer proposals.

What users like:

“Easy to use program that works on PC and mobile application both. It’s easy for quick design changes with the client on the spot.”

PRO Landscape Review, User in Architecture and  Planning

What users dislike:

“Still working through the program, but I find a few tutorials unclear.”

PRO Landscape Review, Julie S.

6. VizTerra

VizTerra by Structure Studios offers a streamlined interface and intuitive tools to design landscapes in 2D and transform ideas into 3D. The software simplifies workflows and makes it easy to design anything with just a few clicks. Use its smart library to add plants, trees, materials, and furniture with a simple drag and drop feature.

This software comes in a free trial version for users to try out for their landscape design needs.

What users like:

“It’s hard to put one special feature forward. I used its 3D rendering functionality and managed to finish the process. The prices are pretty reasonable and startups can afford it.”

VizTerra Review, Emin H.

What users dislike:

“Nothing. The software is fantastic, and we have had zero issues. Everyone at structure studios is extremely helpful whether it’s in their training classes or their support staff.”

VizTerra Review, Megan O.

7. gCADPlus

gCADPlus is a CAD tool for professional landscape designers and architects. The software increases productivity with features like custom landscape templates, site-specific plant databases, and one-on-one online training. A free trial version is available for this software.

What users like:

“gCADPlus can design all kinds of images, graphics, and figures. It’s user-friendly, and even an amateur can use it to design. The company is trying to improve the system every day, so they update it without asking for payment. 

Images can be transported directly to make a 3D landscape. There’s also an online user guide available for free. They have a free trial available that can help the user evaluate if they want the software or not.”

gCADPlus Review, Oberon S.

What users dislike: 

“It feels a little outdated with the graphic styles for some blocks that the program uses.”

gCADPlus Review, Ali S.

8. Lawn Pro

Lawn Pro offers several features to support lawn care and landscaping businesses. The free version equips designers and architects with invoicing, estimating, time tracking, and expense management capabilities. You can also add your logo to invoices and estimates with Lawn Pro.

What users like:

“For our business starting up, we had about 350 contacts in our system. We used it to send quotes by email, and when clients accepted them, we were notified. It was an easy way to keep track of a lead from start to finish. We used it to export client info to send Christmas cards, etc. It lets you know who has paid and who is late.”

Lawn Pro Review, Lindsey A.

What users dislike:

“One of the issues I had with LawnPro was with customer service. It was challenging to reach a customer representative, but they have improved on that issue.”

LawnPro Review, Madeline M.

9. Yardbook

Yardbook supports a landscaping business’ growth. It offers a range of features such as customer data management, billing, estimating, and scheduling. The software is easy to use, yet it’s strong enough to handle diverse details in a running landscaping business.

What users like:

“This is the best landscaping company app I have seen. It has simple ways to track every aspect of the small business landscaping company from start to finish from the office to the field. Employees can download the app to phones and keep them connected in real-time to the office. Love the scheduling of jobs on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.”

Yardbook Review, Stacey G.

What users dislike:

“I wish there were much more essential features. I would like to import a list of properties belonging to one property management company versus manually putting them in. I would also like to input the local garden center price list we get each year into the catalog and then add a markup to the goods. 

I have suggested many things to them over the years. They tell me it is a good idea and will pass it on to the development team. I don’t see many new updates, and none of these features have been added.”

Yardbook Review, Julie L.

Make your design stand out

Professional designers and homeowners with a flair for landscape designing should try out landscape designing software to visualize how their design will look.

Know exactly what your requirements are. Once you identify those “must-have,” “good-to-have,” and “do-not-need” elements, you’ll be in a perfect position to narrow down the available offerings and select the best free landscape design software for your needs.

Learn more about building design and building information modeling software and discover how you can transform constructing drawings into a digital representation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *