Demystifying native plants.
MYTH NO 1: Natives are boring and ugly.
New generation Australian plants are beautiful, colourful and make great pictures. Look out for these at your local nursery:
Alyogyne huegelii Native Hibiscus - grows up to 2.5m in full sun with good drainage and has stunning purple hibiscus flowers. After the main flowering flush in late spring, the shrub can be pruned back quite hard.]
Brachyscome ‘Pacific Breeze’ - Swan river daisy is a fantastic trailing variety that is continually covered in deep- pink daisy flowers and is perfect for both gardens and pots. To maintain a compact shape, trim lightly after each flush of flowers.
Eremophila nivea ‘Spring Mist’’ - Emu Bush is a grafted variety that grows to 1.2m tall. It has stunning, soft, silver foliage and beautiful mauve flowers from spring.
MYTH NO 2: Natives are prickly.
Some natives are so soft you’ll want to use them as a pillow.
Xanthorrea australis - Grass Tree
Scleranthus biflorus - Canberra Grass grows into a pillow-like cushion
Casuarina glauca - ‘Cousin It’ is a groundcover version of the She Oak.
MYTH NO 3: Natives grow too tall.
This may have been the case 30 years ago, but now lots has been done with plant breeding to grow the natives in a more compact size, so they can fit in your backyard, and even grow in pots.
Eucalyptus - ‘Summer’ range are grafted, dwarf flowering gums; some only grow 3m high! Others can grow around 5m and are available in red, pink, soft pink, white and mauve flowers.
Anigozanthus - Kangaroo Paw ‘Bush Gems’ will grow between 30cm and 2m depending of what variety selected.
Grevillea - ‘Peaches and Cream’ grows between 1-2m. It has stunning yellow flowers which age to various shades of pink and orange and have a very long flowering period.
MYTH NO 4: Don’t prune natives.
Natives need pruning after every flush of flowers. Lightly prune just below the finished flowers and you will get new growth. For shrubs such as Grevilleas, prune back by about a third. Kangaroo paw need hard pruning, with all spent flowers cut off at ground level.
MYTH NO 5: Don’t feed natives.
Natives need feeding twice a year, using a slow release fertiliser just for natives in spring and autumn, every 6 months. Seaweed solution is also of great benefit, helping your native plants to grow beautiful and strong. Do this in early spring and through the growing season.
www.scottsaustralia.com.au - (fertilisers)
www.fiskars.com - (tools)
Boongala Native Gardens and Rainforest - 76 Pitt Town Rd, Kenthurst