21 Jan Native Gardens
Planting Native plants can do wonders for supporting local ecology, as well as adding something special to your garden. Consider a native option when you are next planning a new garden and you could be richly rewarded.
Just like with any new garden it is important to know your soil type and conditions to choose the best variety of native to suit the conditions. There are native plants that will thrive in all soil conditions from wet, boggy soils, coastal conditions to inland, drought tolerant options, so don’t assume they are all the same.
Native Plants for Coastal Conditions
Generally speaking, these are sandy, well drained soils, so make sure to add some organic compost. This will help your soil to hold moisture while the garden is establishing.
If you are looking for a larger growing tree in these conditions try Banksia Integrifolia, Pandanus or Acronychia. (Read more about feature trees here) For smaller, more compact options try Grevillea, Casuarina Cousin It, Myoporum, Banksia Spinulosa or Westringia will thrive.
In wet or heavy soil types, there are still plenty of options.
Check out Callistemons and Melaleuca, as these flowering plants offer a huge variety of growing size.
Low mounding types such as Callistemon Little John or Melaleuca Claret Top will thrive, as well as the larger growing forms.
Reeds and rushes are also great and provide habitat for frogs and other native fauna. Ficinia Nodosa (Knobby Club Rush) Lomandra (Mat Rush) and Themeda (Kangaroo Grass) are all tough and hardy options.
Native Plants for Dry Conditions
Plenty of Australian native plant varieties have to survive in harsh conditions, including drought and heat. It is important to remember that while establishing new plants, even native varieties some water and care will be required. Once established these options tend to look after themselves.
All of these Australian natives should be fertilised using specific Native safe fertilisers to ensure their nutritional requirements are met. If planting in new gardens, consider checking the pH to ensure optimal soil conditions.
And just like any new garden, mulching is key to maintain moisture levels during dry spells. We suggest Ti-Tree or Cypress mulch spread to a thickness of 5-7cm (2-3 inches). Do not pile mulch against the trunk of trees as this can encourage pests and diseases.