Blueberry Ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) - an Australian native evergreen rainforest tree that grows up to 5 m tall. It produces frilled white or pink flowers in spring, then colourful blue bird-attracting berries. Blueverry ash makes a great screening or hedge tree and tolerates light shade.
Callistemon - another favourite for birds and bees, callistemon (bottlebrush) flowers range in colour from bright red, burgundy and pink to creamy white. There are pint sized varieties for small spaces and tall growing trees for larger gardens. For stunning foliage, Callistemon 'Red Alert™' has vivid new red growth in spring.
Grevillea - many grevilleas can flower throughout the year or some have their peak flower flush in winter and spring. Dense and low growing grevilleas provide shelter for small native birds and their spidery flowers provide delicious nectar for nectar-
feeding birds and bees. Larger grevilleas make excellent screening plants or blend beautifully in amongst mixed native shrubs.
Geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum) - native to Western Australia, these attractive shrubs have needle-like leaves and waxy white, red or pink flowers in late winter and spring. They don't like humidity and need a well-drained soil. In areas with heavy soil, try growing Geraldton wax in a pot with good drainage holes, filled with a quality potting mix like Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. The flowering stems make a great cut flower, if you can bear to steal them from the adoring bees and butterflies
Over thousands of years, Australian native plants have become accustomed to growing in our relatively nutrient poor soils. This means that many Australian native plants can be damaged by strong fertilisers.
It's still important to feed Australian native plants, as this helps promote attractive and healthy growth, but the choice of fertiliser is important. Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser is rich in organic nutrients, that are released slowly and gently to plants, making it ideal for feeding native plants. Apply Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser around the root zone of native plants each spring and autumn, and water in well.
Many Australian native plants will also look much better if regularly trimmed. After flowering has finished, prune shrubs like callistemon, banksia, correa, grevillea and melaleuca back by 20 - 30 % to promote a bushier and much tidier habit. Avoid cutting into old, leafless stems as plants may not produce new foliage.
Native plants like callistemon and lilly pilly can be prone to scale infestations. The disease sooty mould will often be seen in conjunction with scale. Scale can be controlled with regular sprays of PestOil. It's important to spray the scale directly on all sides of leaves and stems.