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30 Apr 2020

Blooming beautiful natives for pots

For beginner gardeners or those looking to keep things simple in their pot plants, Australian native plants are a hardy and easy-care choice. Our weather can be extreme for plants established in more mild conditions, but this lot literally thrive in it. Here are four Aussie natives well-suited to pots, with tips to keep them looking their best.

Crowea

The genus Crowea, commonly known as wax flowers are a robust and easily grown Australian native plant. Star shaped flowers cover these plants and are long lasting. Croweas are generally small growing and do not usually exceed one metre in height and width and are therefore great for pots. Mulching the plant will keep moisture in and a light prune after flowering with added slow release native fertiliser will keep the plant in a bushy habit.

Wax flowers

Acacia cognata 

‘Bower beauty’ is a dwarf version of Acacia cognata growing to a maximum of one point two metres in width and height. It is an excellent plant for pots as its weeping rounded habit give an architectural feature to balconies, backyards or courtyards. Make sure to plant in a native soil mix and provide a native fertiliser during spring. Little care is required for bower beauty, it will be most happy in full sun and well drained soil.

A bountiful Bower Beauty. Image by Cultivan

Banksia spinulosa 'Birthday Candles'

Like Acacia bower beauty, Banksia birthday candles is the type of plant that gives high visual impact and is best suited in a large pot. Banksias like all members of the Proteaceae family do not cope well with phosphorus therefore a low to no phosphorus fertiliser is required when potting up. No additional fertiliser is required unless the plant is in poor health. When potting up the plant will do best if planted in a sandy to sandy loam mix or a ready made native soil mix. Flowering in autumn and winter it will bring added colour to its already unique habit.

A close up of the bright Banksia birthday candles

Pimelea ferruginea

Naturally found in Western Australia, this plant can be known as rice flower and comes in a small handful of cultivars ranging from pale to dark pinks. Grown for its flowers and rounded habit Pimelea ferruginea will grow to up to 1m x 1m if kept in optimum conditions. Plant in a native or sandy soil mix that is well draining and apply a small amount of native fertiliser when the weather starts to warm up. Tip prune to create a bushy habit and do not over water. A hardy plant that will attract pollinators and can be grown in full sun and semi shade.

A pale pink Pimelea ferruginea. Image by Natasha De Vere & Col Ford
 
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