Melbourne is known for its diverse and unique flora, and this is especially true for native plants that are well-suited to the city’s local climate and environment. When growing your own lush garden, adding native plants will keep your space looking exotic, attract wildlife, and help create the tranquil oasis you’ve always wanted.
To help you find the best native plants to grow in Melbourne, our team have outlined some of the most beautiful and easy-to-grow native plants that are perfect for local gardens. From small shrubs to tall trees, we cover a wide range of options that will create a stunning outdoor space. Read on to find out more.
What is a Native Plant?
Simply put, a native plant refers to one that has been naturally growing within a specific region or habitat for many years. It does not necessarily need human intervention in order to thrive as the natural climate, full sun, and environment in which it exists can help the plant grow.
5 Popular Native Plants to Grow in Melbourne
Whether you’re interested in Australian native flowers or drought tolerant pot plants, we’ve put together a native plants list suitable for your growing garden. The following are our top picks for any Melbourne garden.
1. Kangaroo Paw
Known as one of Australia’s most iconic plants, the Kangaroo Paw stands out due to its beauty and uniqueness. This national flower tends to change colour depending on the temperature. Often, the colours are more intense when the climate is cooler and less so when it is in direct sunlight. For maintenance, it is recommended that Kangaroo Paw get full sun to partial shade sunlight, well-drained soil with reliable moisture, and if possible, it’s best to keep it protected from strong winds.
Ensure you prune Kangaroo Paw by removing any dead or damaged leaves and trimming stems near the base. This will ensure new flower buds start to open throughout the season.
Banksia is a uniquely shaped native plant with stunning leaves and flowers that bloom non-stop. They are the ideal choice for gardens as they come in many different colours, including yellow, green, brown, orange, and red.
According to the Australian National Botanic Gardens, there are 173 Banksia species that are widely found throughout Australia. Maintaining Banksias is simple as they are hardy plants that often attract native birds and insects. Use well-drained soil, full sunlight and excellent air circulation to keep your Banksia native plants thriving throughout all seasons in Melbourne.
Correa are compact evergreen shrubs native to Australia and perfect to grow in any garden. They often range from a grey-green to dark green colour — with the more intense colour producing a greater fragrance in the leaves. During the winter and into early spring, Correa will flower to create luscious white or burgundy red varieties.
To maintain Correa, ensure that you water it well, regularly mulch it to retain moisture, and gently prune the native plants to keep them tidy, especially after the flowering season.
Also known as bottlebrushes, Callistemons make excellent garden plants and are one of the best native plants for Melbourne. This is because the plants are all woody shrubs, and the flowers are always attracting bees. They are very hardy plants, frost tolerant, and require limited maintenance.
They can be planted with our native grasses to create picturesque scenery and require only minimal pruning throughout the year. There are many bottlebrush species to choose from, and each can add a little more character to your garden.
Primarily native to Australia, Grevillea is an evergreen shrub that attracts native bees and known for its spider flowers. All Grevilleas are lovers of the sun, so it’s important that you plant them somewhere they will receive direct sunlight. Although they are often red or pinkish, you can find a Grevillea in virtually any colour of the rainbow. This includes orange and blue flowers.
When planting your Grevilleas, make sure you take your time to prep the soil and try not to disturb the roots. We recommend planting in early autumn and pruning during the warmer months to ensure they continue to thrive.
Why Should I Grow Plants Native to Melbourne?
Choosing indigenous or native flora for your garden helps your space look inviting, beautiful, and lush and also holds many benefits for the land. For example, some reasons to find the best Australian native plants to grow for Melbourne include:
- Plants that are native to Melbourne provide food and habitat to local fauna. This includes birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
- Native plants preserve local biodiversity. They help sustain the world around us.
- Native plants are drought-tolerant and require less water than exotic plants.
- Native plants are perfectly suited to the local environment and climate.
- They are adaptable and garden-friendly.
- They look beautiful and leave a lasting impression in any garden.