Native plants have been removed, modified and fragmented over time as land was developed for housing, grazing and agriculture in Australia. The have also been pushed out by introduced plants and animals, so it’s worthwhile looking at how to bring back native vegetation in your garden and create a wonderful habitat for native animals.
The many varieties of native plants can sometimes be overlooked as options for landscape and ornamental planting, yet they are often the most hardy, beautiful and appropriate for your area. In this blog we look at the many benefits of native plants and explore some of the most attractive and resilient varieties. Let’s get started!
Native Plants are Beautiful and Useful
Native plant gardens are beautiful and functional. With many of our plants being unique to Australia in the world, they’re captivating whether flowering or not. Native plants are useful for privacy, screening, rockeries and soil stabilisation and some species are edible too. For example, the Lemon Myrtle is a wonderful variety which makes a delicious tea or addition to desserts and other dishes.
A Better Alternative than Lawn
Most lawns use non-native turf grasses which are not drought resistant and require a lot of watering, fertiliser and care for them to look as good as possible. Unlike native plants, lawns typically needs a lot of help to thrive in an unfamiliar environment.
Maintaining your lawn can be such as hassle and it really does no good for the environment. Instead you can turn a portion of the yard into a native plant garden. Downsizing your lawn also reduce your use of equipment like lawn mowers, edgers, and whipper snippers. The less petrol and electricity you use to care for your lawn, the kinder you are to the planet.
Transforming a part of your lawn into a native plant garden will save you time, money and energy and it will look far more interesting. It’s better for the planet, and local pollinators like native bees will thank you too.
Don’t Need much Watering
If you struggle to keep plants alive, choosing natives may be your time to shine. Many native species are drought resistant, easy to grow, tough and do a great job at supporting themselves in our harsh climate.
In the first year after planting them, you will need to give them an occasional water if rainfall is low, but after that your plants can most likely survive on rainfall alone.
Low Maintenance, Saving you Money
Native wildlife and the environment aren’t the only ones to benefit from native plants, so can you. Native plants are super low maintenance, and as mentioned above don’t need much watering. They don’t need fertilisers or pesticides either, which means less costs to keep them growing. This means you can spend less time tending to the plants, while still benefitting from a vibrant native garden teeming with bird and bee life.
Support a Healthy Environment
One of the main benefits of planting a native garden is that the mix of native plants is critical for the health and long-term survival of our native ecosystems, the health of the land and human wellbeing. Native planting helps:
provide habitat for native animals like native birds
reduce pests that destroy plants
increase edible gardening productivity with pollination of crops
control erosion through protecting soils and riverbanks
improve water quality and availability
reduce land degradation and salinity
store carbon, mitigating the effects of climate change
Control Soil Erosion
A final benefit of native plants is their deep root systems which can help minimise and stabilise soil erosion. Non-native plants tend to have shallower root systems that don’t anchor the soil as well.
Why is preventing erosion considered a native plant benefit? Here’s some of soil erosion’s harmful consequences:
• Natural disasters
Erosion can cause dangerous mudslides, landslides, and floods.
• Less fertile soil
Uh-oh.. Less fertile soil is a major issue for crop and plant growth. Topsoil is the top layer of soil and it’s exceptionally vulnerable to erosion. The more topsoil your garden loses to erosion, the less fertile it becomes for crop growth.
• Chemicals in runoff
Soil in the landscape is often filled with fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides. When stormwater runoff dislodges the soil, synthetic chemicals also flow to the ocean and waterways, polluting our aquatic ecosystems.
As erosion breaks down soil, it creates sediment, which often settles into water bodies as a pollutant of rainwater runoff.
What plants are native to the Sunshine Coast?
Species found on the Coast include eucalypts, banksias, acacias, melaleucas, sheoaks, a myriad of rainforest and health species, and of course the mangroves and pandanus that fringe waterways and coastal areas.
What native Australian plants are in Qld?
The most recognisable plants in Queensland are the wattles (Acacia species) and eucalypts (Eucalyptus and Corymbia species) that dominate many ecosystems, along with commonly cultivated native plants such as lilly pillies (Syzygium species) and Callistemons (Melaleuca species)
What is the most resilient plant in Australia?
What is the fastest growing plant in Australia
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