Getting started with your native plants 


You may not be much of a green thumb but if you’ve taken a “leaf” of faith with some free native plants, Hannah Turner has the basics for getting started with your newfound fronds. 

If you’re anything like me, you might find gardening a little daunting. I’ll be the first to admit it, I struggle to even keep a succulent alive! 

It’s hard to know where to start, what to plant and where. Do I need potting mix? What about fertiliser? What kind of soil do I have in my backyard? 

You may have a thousand questions racing through your mind but to make it simple, I’ve pulled together a basic guide to get growing with your native plants.  

Get started

Step 1 – Pick out your free native plant at an upcoming Green Heart Pop-Up or the Green Heart Fair at Victoria Park on May 28, or find out how you can claim free natives thanks to Brisbane City Council at your local nursery here

Step 2 – Work out where you’d like your plant to go. Look up its ideal growing conditions online to ensure you get the right amount of light. 

A person digging a hole in the backyard with a shovel

Step 3 – Once you have your location, dig a hole twice as wide as the pot the plant comes in. 

Step 4 – Fill the hole with water and let it soak in. For added benefit, you may wish to add some liquid seaweed to the water if you have it.

A watering can filling up the hole with water

Step 5 – Give the pot a tap against a solid surface to help loosen it up for removal. 

Step 6 – Gently remove the plant without disturbing the roots and place it into the hole, then backfill with the soil you just dug up. If you have some compost, it’s always beneficial to mix with the soil.

Step 7 – Find some mulch in your backyard (think lawn cuttings, leaves, bark, fallen flowers) and place it around the plant to help keep the moisture in the soil. 

A hand placing mulch around the plant

Step 8 – Water it regularly and watch it grow. Native plants generally need more water in the first couple of months to establish the plant, and then they are a little more drought tolerant.

Step 9 – Once it’s established feed it with a good-quality native fertiliser to help your plant grow.   

Ready to get growing?

Native violets in the ground

Collect your free native plants at Brisbane City Council’s next Green Heart Pop-Up or at the Green Heart Fair on Sunday 28 May. 

Or visit Council’s website to find out how you can claim some native plants at a local nursery near you, then watch this how-to video on Instagram for a quick refresher.

The author

Hannah Turner

Hannah works at Brisbane Sustainability Agency in the marketing team delivering sustainable events to help create a clean and green city. When she’s not in the office you’ll most likely find her thrifting at an op shop in Brisbane somewhere!

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