Australia is a sunburnt country that can be tough on delicate plants at the best of times. Drought-resistant gardening has always made sense here, but with global temperatures on the rise and rainfalls increasingly uncertain, it is now really taking off.
Fortunately there are many attractive plants that can thrive in Melbourne’s climate with little watering or maintenance, saving gardeners time and money. We stock a wide range of hardy plant varieties, all carefully selected to thrive in Victoria’s unique climate conditions.
If you need advice on planning and planting a drought-resistant garden in Melbourne, visit All Green Nursery & Garden. Our expert horticulturists are always on hand to help you choose drought-resistant plants for your garden.
Popular drought-resistant plants for Melbourne gardens
At All Green, our extensive range of drought-tolerant plants includes:
1. Lomandra longifolia (aka Mat Rush)
Traditionally used by Aboriginal people to weave nets and baskets, Lomandras are some of Australia’s toughest plants, and the Tanika variety is one of the most drought-resistant.
They are very low-maintenance and look great in mass plantings. so they're popular with landscape professionals and gardeners alike. Grows 50 to 70 centimetres high and wide in full sun or part shade, and produces small yellow flowers in late winter/early spring.
2. Westringia fruticosa (aka Native Rosemary)
This shrub grows wild near the coast of New South Wales. The Grey Box variety is a beautiful, low-growing compact (up to 50 centimetres by 50 centimetres) variety with grey foliage and small white flowers. It was named Plant of the Year in 2015 by Nursery and Garden Industry Australia.
Grey Box does well in full sun to light shade, and is very frost and drought-resistant.
3. Lavender Dentata (aka French Lavender)
This tough flowering plant originates from arid Mediterranean regions and is a firm favourite with gardeners around the world for its uniquely aromatic foliage and its spikes of lovely purple flowers which draw bees and butterflies to the garden.
It likes full sun, is versatile in rockeries, borders and containers and can also be clipped into a hedge. Reaches up to approx. 1 metre by 1 metre.
4. Correa Reflexa Nummulariifolia (aka Roundleaf Correa)
A low bushy shrub or ground cover native to Tasmania. It is adaptable to most soil types, grows well in full sun or part shade, can tolerate being dry or moist and is not susceptible to frost.
Roundleaf Correa reaches a height and width of 30 centimetres by 90 centimetres and produces pretty tubular pale yellow flowers that native birds love.
5. Acacia Cognata "Winter Flame" (Acacia Winter Flame)
A hardy dwarf native acacia with vibrant green fine foliage and striking orange tips. It will need watering when first planted out, but once well established it is tough and low-maintenance and will only require a drink during extended periods of heat.
Acacia Winter Flame reaches a height and width of 80 centimetre by 1 metre.
[content_aside]For many more drought-resistant plants suitable to Melbourne gardens, pop into All Green to see what we currently have in stock.[/content_aside]
Top tips for planning a drought-resistant garden
If you’re landscaping or planning a new garden, a few simple steps can help to promote drought resistance.
- Retain water rather than letting it flow away by pitching areas such as paths and courtyards into garden beds instead of drains.
- Use features such as ditches and dry riverbeds to channel rainfall to where it’s needed most.
- Lawns are water-hungry. If you’re one of those who simply can’t go without a good expanse of turf, consider tough, good-looking and low-maintenance synthetic grass.
- Thoughtful use of shade and windbreaks helps to cool and protect plants from dry winds, reducing evaporation. Minimise the use of outdoor pot plants, which can dry out quickly.
- Water tanks, greywater solutions and irrigation systems are essential to make the most of whatever scarce water resources are available.
- Soil wetting agents help water to soak deep down into garden beds and stay there, even in hard-to-wet sandy, clay or compacted soils. SaturAid is a quality slow-release wetting agent that is the choice of leading professional growers.
- Ensure you use a planting medium suited to drought-tolerant plants. For example we stock a soil mix designed especially for drought-resistant plants.
- Mulch is natural magic for water saving in the garden. And it not only retains moisture but suppresses weeds, stabilises soil temperatures and generally improves soil quality.