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Growing Natives

Many native plants have interesting flowers and foliage and, once established, need minimal extra care.

One of the best ways to grow a successful garden in our climate is by blending native plants with introduced species. This gives you the best of both worlds. Indigenous birds and other native animals are attracted to native plants in the garden. Some feed on the nectars produced by the flowers. Others benefit by taking shelter in bushy native shrubs. The insect populations that live in harmony with indigenous trees and shrubs also become a source of food for insect-eating birds.

Yates Garden Guide has a chapter devoted entirely to native plants that gives a good introduction to this vast topic. Of course, as their knowledge and appreciation of native plants increases, native plant gardeners will be able to dip further into the wealth of comprehensive books specialising in the topic.

The native plant chapter in Yates Garden Guide describes some of the most popular trees and shrubs, ground covers and climbers. It includes charts of favourite coprosmas, pittosporums, leptospermum cultivars and phormium cultivars and other lists of popular native trees and shrubs.

Caring for native plants

Water plants well in the early stages. Most don’t need much watering once they’re established, but make sure that the area around the base of young plants remains grass-free. A layer of organic mulch over the root system will retain moisture and nutrients.

Feed potted natives with a gentle, controlled release fertiliser like Nutricote. Trees will appreciate an annual light dressing of Dynamic Lifter pellets in early spring.


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