There are so many good reasons to plant a New Zealand native as gardeners all over the world have discovered. During a recent trip to Europe I swear I saw a Cabbage Tree (Corydline) in every back yard I peeked into! Here at home, planting a NZ Native is really an act of conservation as it ensures the continuation of native plant species. Along with that there is the added bonus of attracting native birds to your garden and beneficial native insects. However before we get too "Green" and serious lets just apreciate the wonderful layers of colour, texture and distinctive form that NZ Natives offer the gardener.
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What could be more architectural than a Cabbage Tree? Perhaps the only competitor would be our NZ Flaxes (Phormiums) which are available in small, medium and large with a wide colour palette. These cannot be beaten for toughness and adaptability and are simply fabulous planted en masse. Can you imagine New Zealand without Kowhai trees (Sophora) driping with bright yellow bells in summer and being squabbled over by noisy Tui's? Did you know that some Kowhai plants only reach 1m and are therefore ideal for smaller gardens or container growing? And what about our own unique Christmas Tree, the Pohutakawa (Metrosideros) which is so easy and rewarding to grow in frost free areas.
You won't get a better ground cover for difficult sites than our native Coprosma varieties. Then there are native "grasses" for mass planting and Hebes for adding year round colour. Corokias and Pittosporums for hedging, windbreaks, or no nonsense background foliage fillers. Did you know that the shy Pittosporum flowers have an exquisite perfume? Pseudopanax offer unique foliage form and colour and are ideal for adding height. In garden design our native plants can stand alone or combine superbly with exotic imports to provide a rich tapestry.
For best results plant Native plants in early spring in a well considered position as, just like us, they resent being moved unnecessarily. Other than that most natives are extremely easy and rewarding to grow.
NZ's iconic native conifer. Slow growing but well worth the wait for the tree to mature into its stately form. When juvenile the foliage tends to have copper bronze tones but as the tree ages green is the more dominant colour. One to plant for your grand children! Est.10yr.growth.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 6m x 2.5m
Native. A selected form of the 'Hen and Chicken' Fern that has luxuriant thick and shiny green fronds. Makes a striking ground cover plant for shady situations. Looks good group planted beneath established trees. Likes the shade and nice moist humus rich soil. Protect from frost. Evergreen.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 50cm
Native. White Kaka Beak.Gorgeous, cool ivory white 'Kaka-beak' flowers hang in pendulous clusters from spring through to summer. The blooms are filled with nectar and attractive to birds. Delicate light-green ferny foliage. Quick growing. Practice slug and caterpillar control. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Pendulous Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 2m
The red native Kaka Beak is a fast growing semi-evergreen shrub with fern-like leaves that decorate the arching branches. In spring and summer suspended clusters of large 'parrot beak' shaped flowers in bright red appear. The nectar filled blooms are loved by birds. Protect from harsh frost.
Colour: Red Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 2m
Hardy clump forming plant with upright habit with vibrant pink foliage with a grey centre. Prefers a sunny or partly shaded position in well drained soil. will tolerate frosts and coastal conditions.
A beautiful plant that is great for accenting a picturesque garden. Can be mass planted or specimen in the garden or in a pot. Can be used in a tropical garden plan to bring out the colour of fresh and vibrant.
Colour: Cream Habit: Strappy Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.8m x 2m
Native. A selected form of the ever popular Griselinia. Gorgeous, broad, glossy green foliage with attractive wavy margins. Ideal background shrub but at its best when used as a hedge. Tolerant of just about any planting conditions including coastal. Very tidy and well groomed. Evergreen.
Aust. Native. Merinda has vibrant magenta flowers that cover the bush in colour. Flowers occur in late spring. Early growth of this plant is spreading or cascading but will develop into a small shrub. Frost tolerant.
Colour: Red Habit: Cascading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 100cm
Current Stock Height: 20/30cm ?
Container: 3.3l ?
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NZ Native. A particularly nice form of Pittosporum with fresh green glossy foliage that always looks good. Perfect plant for screens and hedging as it responds well to clipping. Happiest in sun or part shade and likes well drained fertile soil however is tolerant of less than ideal conditions. Hardy and evergreen.
Pittosporums bloom in spring with inconspicuous dark purple-brown flowers that will only come to your attention when you notice their strong fragrance on the evening air.
Colour: Brown / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 2m
Native. This handsome foliage shrub has a nice compact habit and thick glossy green leaves. Good in coastal area and responds to prunning. Looks great in the garden or use as a container plant. Tropical look.