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4 low-maintenance plants for your garden

Easy care plants for the Australian backyard

Not everyone has a green thumb. There are many of us out there who struggle to keep the plants alive (but at least the kids are okay!).

You might be confused about the amount of sun, shade, and water they need. Or wonder which flowers can handle Australia’s hot summer months?

If this sounds like you, you need low-maintenance plants for your garden. Whether you’ve just moved into your home or looking for a garden makeover, here are four different plant species to consider.

1. Native Plants

There’s a range of beautiful native Australian plants around. They usually require minimal attention and are fit for our extreme weather conditions.

According to Better Homes and Gardens garden editor, Roger Fox, our native plants are easy to care for and versatile. Depending on the desired outcome, he suggests the following plants:

  • Flower beds and edgings – “Think of Australian native flowers such as Swan River Daisies and Kangaroo-Paws with their fabulous velvety flowers.”
  • Hedges – “Check out the many varieties of Lilly Pilly, Westringia, and Callistemon.”
  • Shrubberies – “Look for new forms of the old favourites, like Grevilleas, Banksias, Wax Flowers, and Mint Bushes.”
  • Architectural plants – “You can’t go past Gymea Lilies and Grass Trees, with their amazing blackened trunks.
  • Tub plants – “Dwarf Acacias, like ‘Limelight’ and ‘Green Mist’, are winners.”

Check out Better Homes and Gardens recommended top 30 native plants for more ideas.


2. Succulents and cacti

Succulents and cacti can tolerate hot temperatures and don’t need much watering. (So they don’t care if you occasionally forget!) They also require little soil nutrients. Some succulents, like Pig Face, can experience dramatic foliage growth and little to no flowering if they are planted in nutrient rich soils!

Some recommendations include:

  • Chalk Sticks (Senecio vitals) for their stunning grey/blue colouring
  • Pig Face (Carpobrotus glaucescens) for their fluorescent flower displays
  • Agave (Agave attenuate) for feature planting

3. Living Mulch

Rather than choosing plain old wood chip mulch for ground cover, go with living mulch plants. They will look much more interesting and reduce water usage and weeds.

When planting, you need to position them slightly closer together than normal so they combine as they grow.

According to Gardening Australia, you need to select plants suited to your local growing conditions. Also, double check if they’re considered a weed in your area and ensure they’re not growing where you don’t want them!

Some recommendations include:

  • Herbs, like Thyme
  • Black Wormwood (Artemisia genipi)
  • Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium)

4. Cottage garden plants

Did you love exploring your grandmother’s garden while growing up? If yes, you probably came across classic cottage garden plants. These timeless plants are easy to grow and come in a range of colours, textures, and fragrances.

However, according to Home Beautiful, some plants need watering daily – and before the heat of the day. For less care and attention, you might prefer plants like Avonview or Rosemary.

Some recommendations include:

  • Lavender Avonview (Lavandula stoechas)
  • Rosemary (Rosemary Officinalis)
  • Cut-Leafed Daisy (Brachysome Multifidi)
  • Paris Daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens)

We hope the above tips help you on your way with a beautiful, yet low-maintenance, garden for the whole family to enjoy!

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