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Greg's Indigenous Plants & Landscapes
Australian plants for Australia
ABN: 65 285 170 251
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Please consider my irrigation controller & animated wired garden lights

  • This buying guide should be treated as a 'rule of thumb' and I can't guarentee that it will be entirely accurate in all regions and with all species.

Climatic Zones & Latitude

  •     Here is a map of Australia showing our climatic zones:

  • The distribution map for each plant species gives you an idea of what part of Australia, and therefore what climatic zones, that species originates from.
  • Each dot represents a plant specimen, collected by a particular botanist, in the national herbarium collection and the heaviest concentration of dots can be regarded as the natural range of the plant species.
  • Individual dots that are isolated from the main concentration are most likely garden escapes, and that location on the Australian continent is not part of the natural range of the plant species.

Provenance

  • If you don't understand the difference between indigenous plants and Australian native or what I mean by 'provenance' please refer to the definitions page.
  • All the tube stock on this online nursery are indigenous plants whose provenance is the Melbourne metropolitan region.
  • For all 10cm, 12cm, 14cm and giant tubes the provenance is uncertain and they should be regarded as general Australian native plants, regardless of where you are in Australia.
  • If you are outside the Melbourne metropolitan area the only way you willl be able to get indigenous plants with a provenance that includes your home is to find a specialist indigenous nursery in your area.
  • But never the less the species distribution maps and the above climatic zone map can still be used to approximately match the your garden with a species that has a high likelihood of growing successfully.
  • The table below will help you make that judgement.
  • Particular with Eucalyptus and Acacia where there are large numbers of species to choose from, try and choose a species where the highest concentration of dots, in the distribution map, is over your location.
  • Particularly for these genera (Eucalyptus and Acacia), following this rule of thumb as much as possible will reduce the risk of introducing Australian native environmental weeds to your area.
  • Examples of Australian native environmental weeds are Sweet Pittosporum and Cootamundra Wattle.
  • If, for example, you are some where near Melbourne but want to grow a selection of spectacular species that originate from Western Australia then you will almost certainly have to go to the trouble of creating raised garden beds filled with a deep layer of sandy-gravelly soil to have a good chance of successfully growing those species.
  • If, on the other hand, you choose species that originate primarily from the Melbourne region and southern Victoria then, in most cases, you can simply plant those species in your esisting garden beds.
New plant zone Your garden zone Issues
The plant species is unlikely to survive the much drier conditions unless you water them daily for their lifetime.
The plant species may survive the drier conditions but you will need to water them occassionally.
The plant species will probably survive the drier conditions but you will need to water them occassionally through out their lives. They may also grow slower and not reach their full size.
The plant species may suffer from difficult to treat fungal dieases that it does not normally encounter is drier conditions.
The plant species is likely to suffer from difficult to treat fungal dieases not normally encountered in cooler conditions.
The plant species may suffer difficult to treat from fungal dieases if the difference in latitude between your garden and the red zone is large..
Plants are likely to be much slower growing and are unlikely to reach their full subtropical size in your life time.
E.G. Backhousia citriodora grown in Victoria is more likely to remain a medium to large shrub unless you have a favourable micoclimate as in the Royal Melbourne Botianical Gardens where their Backhousia citriodora is a small to medium tree.
Plants are likely to be much slower growing and need a great deal more TLC for the first 12-18 months. They are unlikely to reach their full subtropical size in your life time but, the smaller the difference in latitude between you garden and the red zone, then less pronounced will be this problem.
E.G. Backhousia citriodora grown in Victoria is more likely to remain a medium to large shrub unless you have a favourable micoclimate as in the Royal Melbourne Botianical Gardens where their Backhousia citriodora is a small to medium tree.
Plants are likely to be much slower growing and they will have to be watered religiously throughout their lives. They are unlikely to reach their full subtropical size in your life time regardless of the difference in latitude between you garden and the red zone.
Plants are likely to be much slower growing, they will have to be watered occasionally throughout their lives and they will need a great deal more TLC for the first 12-18 to get them established. They are unlikely to reach their full subtropical size in your life time regardless of the difference in latitude between you garden and the red zone.
It is possible that your plants will do better and grow larger than is normally the case in their natural habitat, due to increased availability of water and nutrients. E.G. For Quandong Tree or Santalum acuminatum grown in a Melbourne garden, every year is a good year.
It is likely that the plant species will suffer from difficult to treat fungal diseases that it does not normally encounter in drier conditions..
It is possible that your plants will do better and grow larger than is normally the case in their natural habitat, due to increased availability of water and nutrients. But, for example, if you are planting it in the green zone within Victoria then the colder winters may counter this effect.
    It is likely hat the plant species will suffer from difficult to treat fungal diseases that it does not normally encounter in drier conditions..
    It is likely hat the plant species will suffer from difficult to treat fungal diseases that it does not normally encounter in drier conditions..

Soil Types

  • I have specified 3 main type of soil:
    1. Sandy or gravelly
    2. Sandy or loamy
    3. Clay or loamy
  • The geology on the western half of continental Australia is fundamentally different to that on the eastern half.
  • The eastern half of continental Australia is dominated by relatively young volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits of clay and silt derived from those rocks.
  • These are generally richer in nutirients and hold more water.
  • An exception is the Sydney region which is dominated by sandstone and sandy soils.
  • The western half of continental Australia is domianted by very ancient and heavilt eroded and leached rocks, often billions of year old.
  • In contrast the soils derived from these rocks are very poor in nutirients and hold very little water.
  • So naturally the plant species on either side of the continent have quite different adaptations that allow them to cope with the different soil types.
  • WA plants have root adaptations that make them extremely efficient at gleaning what little phosphorous is present in the poor soils.
  • In fact their roots are often so efficient that, if you put them in compost based garden soils that contain high leverls of phosphorous, they can absorb so much phosphorous that it becomes toxic to the plant.
  • In addition to this few of them cope well with 'wet feet'.
  • Hence most WA plants will perform best, in the eastern states, if you use some sort of crushed rock in the form of a 7mm minus (crushed brick, crushed bluestone, crushed sandstone or what ver else happens to be available in your area).
  • In my area I have access to crushed brick 7mm minus, Lilydale Toppings and Sunset Toppings.
  • These are a good approximation for the soil types that are common over in WA - free draining and low in nutrients.
  • It is just a matter of creating raised gardens filled with one of these rather than conventional compost based garden soils.
  • But if you have clay soil on a reaonably steep slope, or any other situation where it is unlikely that the clay will remain too wet for too long after rainfall, then WA plants may be worth a try.
  • You can also do things like partially burying the root ball of the plant in the clay and then mounding up gravel around it to cover up the remaining exposed root ball.