Native plants

New Zealand's flora offers much to our gardens due to its uniqueness and beauty. There is a suitable plant for almost any situation. Using native plants can impart a distinctive garden style.

The vast array of textures and foliage colours can be combined to create a beautiful garden containing only native plants. They also make great foils for flamboyant exotics. Many native plants make great hedges or topiary, including our unique range of divaricating plants, such as shrubby tororaro (Muehlenbeckia astonii). Although many native plants are grown primarily for their attractive foliage and form, some such as Hebe are appreciated around the world for their abundant flowering. Many native plants make outstanding ground covers – check out our Urban Trees area and Native Plant Ideas Garden for examples.

What to grow

  • For your garden, it is important to consider the ultimate size and shape of any native tree relevant to the space available.
  • It is important to select plants suitable for the amount of light and type of soil you have. Many native plants require free draining soils just as exotics do.

Visit our Native Plant Ideas Garden to view a range of outstanding garden subjects in attractive combinations. Our New Zealand Native Plant Collection enables visitors to view and identify a diverse range of native plants that can be found growing wild in and near Auckland.

Visit our 'Plants for Auckland' database for the easiest native plants to grow in Auckland. 

Download our Natives for Auckland brochure. 

How to plant

  • Native plants are generally best planted in autumn through early winter so their roots can establish before summer.
  • Where soils are heavy and poorly drained, raise the planting area with additional topsoil or compost.
  • Mulching will help preserve soil moisture during dry periods.
  • Staking may be necessary for taller trees.
  • Newly planted trees will require watering during dry periods for the first few years.

How to grow

  • Apply general fertiliser annually in autumn or spring.
  • Prune back flowering plants once flowering is finished.
  • Some clumping perennials can be divided, usually best done in winter e.g. Libertia
  • Hedges are best trimmed in late winter and repeated as required.

Top image: Hebe 'Wiri Desire'