If you want an Australian Native Garden here are 5 plants that will create a beautiful garden. Planting natives is a great idea because they are ideally suited to the Australian climate, conditions, and terrain. These 5 plants have been selected because they would complement each other nicely and can be added to your existing garden if you are looking to introduce some Australian native plants. Native Australian plants are great additions to your garden because they are durable, tough, and relatively drought resistant once established.   The  neutral appearance of these plants will work in with any existing garden. 

 

1. Hakea Laurina

Genus: Hakea 
Species: Laurina 
Also Known As: Pin-Cushion Hakea
Flower Colour: Cheery Red
Foliage Colour: Green-Blue
Growth Habit: Shrub 2-5m
Flowering: Autumn to Winter

Hakeas are a member of the Proteaceae family along with waratahs, banksias, grevillea and another 140 plants in this genus. The Hakea Laurina is Native to Southwest Australia. 


Image 1: http://snaplant.com/trees/australian-beauty-pincushion-hakea-facts-and-growing-tips/   Image 2: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/322570392034452121/

Appearance

Hakeas have spidery flowers like grevillea.  Some come in a globe shaped, inflorescences while others have an elongated spear at the end of the branches. The Hakea Laurina have beautiful cluster flowers that protrude like spider legs, with the flower heads reaching up to 5cm across. They can grow up to 5 meters in height, either singly as a shrub or small tree.  The tree gives off a bold appearance with handsome foliage which is slightly green-blue with various blemishes at the time showing fungus spots.

 

Cultivation

Hakea Laurina does not like phosphorus fertilizers (it will kill them) and prefers to be well mulched so the roots can extract nutrients from the mulch layer. They like a full sun to partial shade position and well-drained soil. Hakea Laurina likes dry to medium soil (not moist) and is a fast grower. It is best to propagate these plants by seeds as cuttings are unreliable. Use a seed pod with gloves and secateurs because they can be prickly. Place them into a paper bag and place the bag in the window of your car where it is hot. The seed pods will crack open revealing the little seeds. Place the seeds in a little tray or pot with a well-drained propagating material. Cover the seeds with similar vermiculite and be sure to keep them moist so that they germinate. This will take about two to three months depending on the climate temperature. 

Once they have started growing you can transplant them and they will grow beautifully. Remember that Hakeas need good drainage and to water them until they are established. Once they are established they are very hardy. Place them in a sunny spot in your garden for best growth results.

 

2. Banksia Ericifolia

Genus: Banksia
Species: Ericifolia
Also Known As: Heath Banksia
Flower Colour: Orange/Burgundy-red
Foliage Colour: Green 
Growth Habit: Shrub 
Flowering: Autumn to Winter
 
The Banksia Ericifolia is native to Eastern Australia and a member of the Proteaceae family. This flower is found mostly along the coastal line of Australia or slightly inland from the coast. 

 


Image 1: http://www.friendsoflanecovenationalpark.org.au/Flowering/Flowers/Banksia_ericifolia.htm Image 2: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/437623288767916302/

Appearance

Banksia Ericifolia is a medium compact ornamental shrub with large flowers. An interesting fact about this flower is that the flower head is made up of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny individual flowers grouped together in pairs. The fruits of the banksias (called follicles) are hard and woody and often group together appearing as a cone. This shrub can grow up to -1-2.5 meters tall. 

 

Cultivation

This plant is easily propagated from seed which should be sown in freely draining seed-raising mix which must not dry out.  The mix should be sterilized before planting to avoid a fungal attack. The seedlings should be transplanted into small ports as the first true leaves appear. The pot should consist of a mix of river sand, loam, and leaf mold.  Banksias grow best in well-drained soils in a sunny position. Only low phosphorous fertilizers should be used and light pruning. Banksias do not grow well in parts of Australia that have high humidity or high rainfall in the summer. Banksias needs regular watering during the first 12-18 months, thereafter they are durable plants.

 

3. Kangaroo Paw 

Genus: Anigozanthos 
Species: Flavidus
Also Known As: Kangaroo Paw
Flower Colour: Red/Yellow/Orange
Foliage Colour: Green 
Growth Habit: Shrub
Flowering: Autumn to Winter

Part of the Haemodoraceae family from the southwest of Western Australia. 


Image 1: http://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/anigozanthos-bush-ballad-kangaroo-paw/

Appearance

This plant is named after a kangaroo paw due to its flower shape resembling a kangaroo paw. The tubular flowers are coated with dense hairs and have an opening at the apex with a six claw-like structure. The flowers come in several colours from burgundy, bright red, orange, yellow and bi-colours as well. 

 

Cultivation

Kangaroo Paws like well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. For best growth result it is best to add organic matter to the soil. These plants require a slightly higher demand for water during spring and summer which is essential to the longevity of the blooms, however, they are drought tolerant. The key to keeping Kangaroo Paws is pruning to keep them healthy and vigorous. It is best to prune these flowers during flowering by cutting off the flower stems as soon as the flowers start to look less appealing. 

 

4. Grevillea

Genus: Proteas
Species: Speciosa
Also Known As: Spider Flower
Flower Colour: Red
Foliage Colour: Green 
Growth Habit: Evergreen / Fast
Flowering: June to September (Can be seen all year round)

This plant can grow up to 3 meters tall and is predominately found in New South Wales, Australia. 


Image 1: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2337/1727820405_3585edfe42_b.jpg Image 2: http://www.friendsoflanecovenationalpark.org.au/Flowering/Flowers/Grevillea_speciosa

Appearance

The Red Spider flower has bright crimsons red flowers that form in loose circles on the end of the branches. The leaves are green and narrowly shaped with silvery hairs underneath. Red Spider flowers are evergreen plants and range from small shrubs to large trees.

 

Cultivation 

Plant Red Spider Flowers in a sunny location in your garden that gets plenty of light. The soil must be light, gritty, and free-draining with low levels of phosphates for best growth results. These plants are drought tolerant however when first establishing them be sure to give them the occasional deep watering. These flowers can be propagated from seed and or half-hardened cuttings. Plant the seeds straight into the ground in the desired location in your garden or in a container and transport thereafter. This flower is easy to grow and is easily adaptable to a variety of soils and climates. 

 

5. Asplenium Australasicum

Genus: Asplenium
Species: Australasicum
Also Known As: Bird's Nest Fern 
Flower Colour: None
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrubs/ Evergreen
Flowering: Autumn to Winter

The Asplenium Australasicum is found in the south and central coasts of New South Wales and Coastal Queensland to Cape York. 
 


Image 1 http://anpsa.org.au/a-aust.html or http://blackdiamondimages.zenfolio.com/p431178726/h2EB55071 Image 2: http://www.ourhouseplants.com/plants/bird-nest-fern

Appearance

The Bird's Nest Fern is an elliptical shaped shrubby plant with a rosette of yellow-green fronds. The fronds can grow to be 60-80 long and 3-21cm wide. This fern can reach a height of 0.5 -1.5 meters.

 

Cultivation 

Asplenium Australasicum is a hardy and very popular fern to grow. It is versatile as it is able to grow on rocks, trees or in the ground. This plant needs plenty of moisture and requires good drainage otherwise, it will rot in poorly drained soil.   Bird’s nest fern is happy in sandy loam, clay loam, potting mix or loam with a neutral ph and can tolerate moderate frosts but only in situations where it receives filtered sun. 
When looking to plant this fern make sure it gets moderate sunlight and shade, not direct sunlight. Apply general purpose fertilizers regularly to best growth results.  You could consider growing it in a tub or a hollow stump or even a tree! Like most ferns, the Asplenium Australasicum also makes for an excellent container plant for indoors or outdoors.  Water regularly to ensure the soil stays moist and warm.