Banksia telmatiaea

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Frequently Asked Questions


A generation ago most people said that Australian native plants could not be grown in gardens. It was claimed that they were "wild" and "untamed" and would not tolerate cultivation. Today thousands of people are growing Australian plants with pleasure and satisfaction. There are still failures, but these are more related to attempting to grow plants in either inappropriate soils or in unsuitable climates...and these factors will cause the failure of any plant whether Australian or exotic.

There are still misconceptions about the cultivation of Australian plants and these questions and answers attempt to resolve some of them. Please feel free to suggest other questions that should be included here and, by all means, take issue with any answer you consider incorrect!

If you can't find an answer to your question here, try the search panel above. The answer is probably somewhere on our web site!

The Questions....

  1. Should Australian plants be planted out when small?

  2. Should Australian plants be pruned?

  3. All Australian plants are drought resistant, aren't they?

  4. Are proteas Australian native plants?

  5. Well...if proteas aren't native, what about ericas?

  6. Why do some Australian plants die? Shouldn't they be suited to Australian conditions?

  7. OK....So are plants which are native to my area the best ones to grow in my garden?

  8. Why do Australian plant enthusiasts always use botanical names?

  9. What's the difference between "hybrids" and "cultivars"?

  10. I've heard that I shouldn't fertilize Australian plants. Is this correct?

  11. I live in a bushfire prone area....are there any Australian native plants that are fire-retardant?

  12. What trees and shrubs should I avoid planting near underground pipes?

  13. Why are there white (or pink) flowers on my "red flowering gum" ?

  14. Are any Australian native plants suitable for indoors?

  15. I've heard that I can encourage birds into the garden by planting grevilleas and banksias. Is this true?

  16. What is the best potting mix to use for plant propagation and potting on?

  17. I've seen chemicals that claim to improve root formation on cuttings. Do these work?

  18. Are there any deciduous native trees?

  19. I've noticed mistletoe on one of my gum trees. What should I do?

  20. I can only plant an Australian native garden if I have a large block of land, can't I?

  21. How do you get a dense shrubby native garden in the shade of big gum trees?

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