Why Grow Australian Native Plants in your American Garden?
There are many reasons why American gardens should contain Australian native plants. Enhance the appearance of your home, office complex, park, zoo, arboretum, median strop, school, indoor display, industrial or commercial development, freeway embankment, etc., and have a garden relatively free of indigenous plants. These quick - to - establish plants include growing in conditions very much like that of the varies American climates. Probably the most important advantage is that the native plants require little watering and maintenance.
All plants described in our catalogue will quickly adapt to the garden environment and will provide flowers to pick for use in decorations in the home, lush greenery, as well as shape and shelter in the garden. They will provide a splash of color with minimal maintenance.
Plants from an environment such as the Australian desert, coastal and alpine regions can be made to do bigger and better things in American gardens. Because Australia has some of the richest most colorful flowering plants in the world, we can select suitable native plants to provide the colors in flowers and foliage and the varying ground cover, tree and shrub forms to make the most attractive landscape possible.
Cultivation and Maintenance
It is important to remember in cultivating most bush plants or native wildflowers that, with additional watering and fertilizing throughout the summer (which would normally be a dormant period), they will grow more quickly and larger, as they become "cultivated native plants." In cultivation, they will grow two or three times their "bushland" size and can be kept in check by pruning, which also encourages new growth.
The plants listed in our catalogue have been cultivated successfully in California, Arizona, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Florida, North and South Carolina gardens for some years now, with quite a selection being planted at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in the late 1920's and in Southern California since the turn of the 20th century. There, the stories of the difficulties of these plants were proven to be myths.
Flowering times are given so you can program the time when you want the greatest display of flowers in any particular time of the year. By carefully selecting various plant specimens, you can provide your garden with spectacular displays of colors and shapes throughout the year.
Replacing an unwanted lawn or just replanting an area with colorful, showy, maintenance-free and drought-resistant plants can be easily achieved by selecting one from each genera, such as one Eucalyptus, one Melaleuca, one Callistemon, one Kangaroo Paw, etc. By using these many varies plant specimens and combining them with native American and exotic varieties, as well as an abundance of natural materials like rocks, flagstone, and wooded features, a pleasing and aesthetic landscape can be achieved easily and economically, thereby enhancing your property value greatly.
Many of these varieties have been chosen for their attractive seed pods, fruits or nuts, such as E. Caesia (Gungurru), Banksias, E. Ficifoli (Red Flowering Gum), and the Hakeas.
Most nurserymen have not grown all of these plants because of the difficulty in obtaining the seeds from Australia, and so they have overlooked the potential of the diverse variety of flowers. Not until recently, when stringent water consumption guidelines have created more public interest and demand, have the nurserymen been encourages to look at and grow these Australian native plants and offer them to the garden lover and landscape architects alike.
Planting your natives, special procedure for summer.
The planting of Australian native plaints in your garden provides rewarding results for many years. A little time in the preparation of the hole is essential. Choose the position carefully, digging the hole as large as possible, preferably twice the size of the root ball. Mounding of the topsoil silt can also provide the root system with quick growth needed for early establishment.
To encourage deep rooting, mulching is essential, and in fact, most native plants in the wild enjoy cool root conditions/ A mulch (provided by woodchips and thoroughly mature compost leaves) mixed 50/50 with native soil is best. These all gradually decompose and provide favorable root conditions.
The extensive use of plastic sheeting as a mulch is not recommended; it is far better to establish a ground cover or growing plant such as Myoporum, Swan river Daisy, Grevillea's,etc.
Incorporate obe handful of Osmocote Slow - Release Fertilizer N-P-K ratio 17:6:10 with the soil/mulch mix.
This should be mixed evenly, avoiding any concentrations of fertilizer which could cause root burn. If a stake is required, insert it now, before planting. Now measure the depth of the soil in the plant container. Replace enough of the mixed soil into the hole so that the new soil level around the stem is the same as before. It is important to plant at the correct level.
Water the container before removing the plant. Rigid plastic pots should be inverted and tapped to free the plant, plastic bags should be cut and carefully slipped away.
Remember: These are quick growing plants when young. They need moisture, especially in the summer, then gradually reduce the water as the root system becomes established and draws moisture from the surrounding soil.
Do all this carefully, distributing the roots as little as possible. Plastic never rots away and must be removed before planting. Place the soil firmly around the sides of a new plant and form a "dish" or "saucer" at the surface to facilitate watering. This saucer is extremely important, so make sure you retain its shape for the whole first growing season.
Tie the plant to its stake, if necessary, using a soft material such as a bicycle inner tube. Now water with four gallons form a bucket, then give it three gallons every alternate day for a month. Continue with a measured four gallons twice a week until winter rains; always a full four gallons from a bucket and always into the saucer.
Do not spray the soil surface; it does little good in the summer. The water must penetrate the full root zone/ It is best to water in the evening when it is relatively cool. The installation of an emitter irrigation system is highly advisable for optimal growth and low maintenance. We recommend four gallons per hour on ground covers and shrubs. Irrigate four times per week for one hour in the summer, and one to two times per week, in the winter.
From time to time, additional slow-release fertilizer may be added, but always below the level of the surface mulch. Osmocote is a pellet with a resin coat through which nutrients flow once the pellet has been moistened. This is Paul's secret blend. Give your plant this little extra care at the outset, and it will reward you with healthy and successful growth. Use Osmocote NPK 19-6-12 three to four months after establishing. Fertilize early in the spring with Osmocote NPK 18-7-10.
Tip prune new growth to a shape you want it. Winter burnt shoots; remove after the new spring growth first appears. Prune back overgrown shaggy bushes one third before spring to promote lush new shoots.
Our plants like a good, sunny, warm, and well-lit window, entry porch or greenhouse. Grow lights work very well. Water throroughly when required, usually every 4-5 days or so. Repot in the spring or when the root system becomes pot-bound. Fertilize with Osmocote Slow Release formula, 19-6-12.
If your native Australian plant suddenly droops or collapses, place entire pot into a sink of bathtub and thoroughly soak. Let sit several hours, and plant should perk up.