Hebe 'Wiri Desire'

Native plants

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

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 excellent 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 hebes, are appreciated around the world for their abundant flowering. Many native plants make outstanding ground covers – check out our Urban Trees garden and Native Plant Ideas garden for examples.

What to grow

  • For your garden, it is essential to consider the ultimate size and shape of any native tree in regards 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 'Plants for Auckland' database for the easiest native plants to grow in Auckland. 

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.

For further suggestions download some of these brochures: Native treesNative ferns, Native ground cover, Native hedgesThreatened native plants and Coastal natives.

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 winter.

Top image: Hebe 'Wiri Desire'