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Why Australians should plant native gardens this year

Why Australians should plant native gardens this year

From gorgeous grevilleas to blooming bottlebrushes, native plants have always held a special place in Aussie hearts.

With their radiant blooms, rich heritage and drought resistant properties, native plants make a welcome addition to any garden. So, if you’re considering planting natives this year, here are some great benefits to consider!

Low maintenance 

Unlike exotics, native plants are already adapted to Australia’s crazy climate. Once established, a native garden requires less water and maintenance than other plant varieties. Native plants are true survivors and can stick it out through droughts, downpours or cold snaps. When it comes to natives, they prefer a good watering less often than a light water every day.

Australian native plants also enjoy tip pruning (especially during warmer months). Simply pinch off the growing tips of the plant to promote new growth and more blooms. It will also keep your plants compact and dense, which is perfect for attracting small birds.

Super versatile

Australian native plants come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you need towering trees, ground cover, screening shrubs, or soil stabilisation, there’s a native plant for the job! From tropics, deserts, to marshland, each region of Australia has it’s own unique group of plants, each with their own strengths and appearances. While some argue it’s best to choose native plants that grow naturally in your area (as they are better suited to local climate and soil conditions) with a little extra love, you can grow just about any native, anywhere.

Rich heritage

For thousands of years Indigenous Australians have used native plants for food and medicine. Popular delicacies include the fruit from native figs (Ficus spp.), lilly-pillies (Acmena, Eugenia and Syzygium spp.) and green plums (Buchanania obovata), as well as the roots from chocolate lillies (Dichopogon strictus) and yam-daisies (Microseris lanceolata). The tannin-rich gum from eucalyptus trees was once used to treat burns, and native mint plants (Mentha species) were used in Aboriginal remedies for coughs and colds.

Early European settlers also had many uses for native flora. Blueberry Ash or 'Prima Donna' (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) was picked and taken home for settlers’ wives along with other native flowers. From the 1880s, macadamia plants became widely cultivated for their nuts and since the 1970s, food products from Australian native plants, including wattle seeds, finger limes, bush tomatoes, warrigal greens and lemon myrtle have become popular exports.

Attractive to wildlife

Native gardens will not only make your life easier, they will also make life easier for your local wildlife. Native animals rely on native flowers, and seeds for food and seek native foliage for shelter and rearing young. Grevillea, Banksia and Callistemon varieties are beloved by a wide range of nectar and seed eating birds such as honeyeaters, wattlebirds, spinebills, lorikeets, cockatoos and parrots. Likewise, the fruit of Lily Pily (Syzygium) varieties will attract flying foxes and many bird species.

Since September 2019, Australian bushfires have wiped out 5 million hectares of land and hundreds of millions of wildlife, making it more important than ever that we prioritise planting natives.

If you want to do your part and create your own native garden, check out our full range of Australian native plants here.

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