It’s time to get creative and plan now for your abundant spring garden! With careful planning and good landscaping, Coffs Harbour homeowners can gain real benefits from a native plant garden. After all, native plants flourish in our climate and will very often thrive all year round. Consequently, this means excellent ground cover, colour and flowers without the constant attention that non-natives may require. So, when’s a good time to start to plant out seedlings and transplanted specimens, and how do you care for them?
Planting Seedlings, Shrubs and Small Trees
The cooler months are a great time to plant out your natives. Summer is ok too but be sure to keep them well-watered and shaded where necessary. Firstly, if you’ve bought plants like shrubs and trees, plant them halfway up their trunks. This helps protect the roots and creates a larger root ball. Next, make sure to loosen the soil around the hole to allow the new roots to spread more easily. Finally, once in the hole, backfill with soil and firmly press it in place.
Here’s a top 30 list of Australian natives to plant out now:
- Australian daisy (Brachyscome)
- Banksia (Banksias)
- Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium australasicum)
- Bottlebrush (Callistemon)
- Flame pea (Chorizema)
- Cycad (Macrozamia)
- Elkhorn and staghorn fern (Platycerium)
- Gum tree (Eucalyptus and Corymbia)
- Everlasting daisies (Xerochrysum bracteatum)
- Fan flowers (Scaevola aemula)
- Fan palm (Licuala ramsayi)
- Finger lime (Citrus australasica)
- Grass tree (Xanthorrhoa australis)
- Happy wanderer (Hardenbergia violacea)
- Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)
- Kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos)
- Kangaroo grass (Themeda australis)
- Lilly pilly (Syzygium smithii)
- Mat-rush (Lomandra)
- NSW Christmas Bush (Ceratopletalum gummiferum)
- Pigface (Carpobrotus)
- Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)
- Sydney rock orchid (Dendrobium speciosum)
- Australian tea-tree (Leptospermum laevigatum)
- Wattle (Acacia)
- Waratah (Telopea)
- Wax flower (Eriostemon)
Details for each plant can be found here
Watering, Mulching, Fertilising and Pruning
With natives, it’s better to water more thoroughly but less often. This mimics their natural water cycles and ultimately means stronger plants. Also, be mindful of the root growth area outside of the plant and make sure the ground is well soaked.
Mulching is essential for a few reasons. Firstly, it will reduce evaporation and help prevent the plant from drying out. Secondly, it also suppresses weed growth and, finally, it prevents soil erosion and nutrient loss.
The great thing about native plants in their native environment is that they don’t really need fertilising. However, if you choose too, buy the slow-release fertilisers and apply when planting.
To promote healthy new growth, it’s a good idea to regularly prune your Australian native plants. Besides, trimming will ensure plenty of flowers in spring.
In short, creating a beautiful native plant garden is mostly about matching the right plants to the environment. With good soil, a careful plant out and a bit of care, your garden with prosper.