Gardening with native plants

What is an Australian native plant? 

An Australian native plant is any plant indigenous to Australia except those identified here as naturalised. An Australian native plant also includes any hybrid or cultivar in which all parents are Australian native plants.

Why plant Australian natives? 

Whether you have an established garden or a brand new site, Australian native plants add a powerful ‘sense of place’ to our homes and parks. They’ve evolved over many millions of years in an age-old continent in relative geographic isolation. Here’s why Australian plants make sense:

  • They are unique. There are many stunning Australian plants as shown in our plant database
  • They are adapted to our environment. Plants indigenous to NSW are ideally suited to the soil, climate and geography. This means more resilience. Many District Groups have lists of plants suited to their areas.
  • They support biodiversity. Planting Australian helps regain the balance and prevents loss of species. 
  • We are conserving our unique flora and their habitats for our children and grandchildren. Many members grow the plants not just for the beauty and resilience, but to keep them alive for future generations. 

Study groups

Our parent organisation, the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) runs Study Groups, which specialise in specific plant families, plants for specific uses, plant habitats and garden design. See more information here

Designing a native garden

The Garden Design Study Group has a quarterly newsletter with many articles on different aspects of designing with native plants. Newsletters can be found on the ANPSA website. 


Choosing plants for your area

Gardening can be location-sensitive. To choose plants most suited to your garden, check local resources including your local APS group, local council and nurseries.

Canterbury-Bankstown: The council has a booklet for residents called Your native garden: a guide to bring native plants and animals back to your garden. Download here (scroll down to green download link).

Sutherland Council has an online tool, Native Plant Selector, to help residents choose local plants. Type your address into the tool to find the species which grow naturally in your location, grouped by size of plant such as trees, shrubs, climbers, grasses, ground covers and ferns.