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How To Use Native Tasmanian Flowers in Your Garden

Updated: Jul 5

If you are planning a trip to a garden centre near you this weekend, Landscaping Hobart wants you to consider using native Tasmanian flowers or plants as an alternative or replacement to exotic, introduced, or imported plants. Read on to find out how you can use native Tasmanian flowers or plants to tranform your garden into a healthy, attractive and vibrant garden full of flora and fauna.


What is a local native plant?


A local native plant is a plant which has developed, occurs naturally, or has existed for many years in an area. This allows it to adapt over a long period of time to the specific conditions in the area, including climatic conditions and local soils. Think of Buffalo Grass, Hakea Laurina and Westringias.


Why should I plant local native plants?

Local native plants are:

  • low upkeep, drought resistant, water conserving and cost effective;

  • suited to all landscaping styles and in fact, there is a local native plant alternative to every invasive species; and

  • providers of habitat, food and shelter to our Tasmanian flora and fauna.

Most importantly, local native plants thrive in the Tasmanian climate where rainfall varies dramatically across the island. Did you know that Hobart has an annual average of 626 mm of rain, yet the west coast has an annual average rainfall of 2,400 mm? The temperature is even more variable, visit Discover Tasmania for the average daily minimum / maximum temperature across Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Swansea and Strahan.


Check out the below video of the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens in Hobart for some great examples of Tasmanian local native plants.

What are weeds?


The Australian Weeds Strategy defines a weed as “a plant that requires some form of action to reduce its harmful effects on the economy, the environment, human health and amenity.” Weeds may be native local plants that have spread in response to a change in conditions, but more often are plants that have been introduced from outside Australia. While there are many types of weeds, the most common examples of weeds in Australia are: chickweed, oxalis, dandelions, Japanese knotweed, purslane, foxtail and nutsedge.


Why should I avoid planting weeds?

Weeds pose a significant threat to the Tasmanian landscape, as they can:

  • displace native flora and fauna;

  • agricultural productivity;

  • harbour feral animals;

  • change soil conditions;

  • reduce biodiversity;

  • cause asthma or skin irritations; and

  • contribute significantly water degradation.

In fact, the estimated annual cost of weeds to Australian farmers is between $3.5 and $4 billion per year. The impact of weeds is so strong that Tasmania passed the Weed Management Act 1999 (Tas) to manage weed control and eradication in Tasmania.


How can I help the spread of weeds?


By planting weeds in your garden, you take the risk of spreading their seeds into natural environments. Seeds are spread by:

  • animals – seeds are consumed by animals which pass through the digestive tract unharmed, allowing them to move to a new location by defecation;

  • people – seeds can easily attach to our clothing or in the grooves of our shoes;

  • wind – seeds are blown into new areas (e.g. dandelions);

  • water – seeds are designed to float and water and can be carried downstream; and

  • machines – seeds get stuck in the tires of cars, bikes and lawn mowing equipment.

Dandelion weeds spread seeds through the wind

The first step in weed prevention (and the most cost-effective means of managing weeds) is prevention. Prevention is always better than weed killer and will save you hours on the weed wacker. You can help prevent the spread of weeds by planting native local plants as an alternative to introduced species, invasive species, foreign plants or weeds.

What are my Tasmanian local native plants alternatives?


Heading to the garden centre this weekend to buy some plants for your new raised garden beds or plant pots? Remember that our Tasmanian local native plants are suited to all landscaping styles and for each weed, there is a local native plant that can transform your garden into a healthy and attractive garden. Check out Landscaping Hobart’s list of local native plants below.

Tufting plants, water plants and bulbs

Weeds:

  • knobby clubsedge Ficinia nodosa

  • flag-iris Diplarrena latifolia / moraea

  • sagg Lomandra longifolia

Local native plants:

  • agapanthus Agapanthus praecox var. orientalis

  • new zealand flax Phormium tenax

  • watsonia Watsonia meriana

Climbers

Weeds:

  • bluebell creeper Billardiera heterophylla

  • Ivy Hedera helix

Local native plants:

  • mountain clematis Clematis aristata

  • purple appleberry Billardiera longiflora

Grasses

Weeds:

  • fountaingrass Pennisetum setaceum

  • pampasgrass Cortaderia spp.

  • african feathergrass Cenchrus macrourus

Local native plants:

  • coastal tussockgrass Poa poiformis

  • common wallabygrass Rytidosperma caespitosum

  • onghair plumegrass Dichelachne crinita

Ground covers, herbs and small shrubs

Weeds:

  • false dandelion Urospermum dalechampii

  • euphorbia species Euphorbia spp.

  • red valerian Centranthus ruber

Local native plants:

  • ground clematis Clematis gentianoides

  • spreading guineaflower Hibbertia procumbens

  • running postman Kennedia prostrata

Medium shrubs

Weeds:

  • english broom Cytisus scoparius

  • pride of madeira Echium candicans

  • montpellier broom Genista monspessulana

Local native plants:

  • dusty daisybush Olearia phlogopappa

  • common speedwell bush Veronica formosa

  • sunshine wattle Acacia terminalis

Trees and tall shrubs

Weeds:

  • holly Ilex quifolium

  • coast teatree Leptospermum laevigatum

  • blue butterflybush Psoralea pinnata

Local native plants:

  • drooping sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata

  • common boobialla Myoporum insulare

  • barbers gum Eucalyptus barberi

Looking for landscape architecture ideas or inspiration for your Tasmanian landscape garden? Reach out to Landscaping Hobart by emailing landscapinghobart@gmail.com or using the Quote page.

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Phone: 0421 485 297

Email: landscapinghobart@gmail.com

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