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Top 5 native WA plants for growing in pots

By Ben Sims
7 September, 2020

Alogyne huegelii - West Coast hibiscus.JPG

Top 5 Native WA plants for growing in Pots

Do you have a small courtyard that is completely paved but would love to still be able to bring in some wildlife in the form of beneficial insects and even birds? What if I told you that if you chose just 5 plants and grew them in large enough pots that this would be possible. A potted courtyard garden is not only practical but also beautiful and can create a small ecosystem that you can pack up and move when you move to a new house. Here are my top 5 native plants that I have had great success with:

1.    Scaevola aemula 

Is a member of the Goodeniaceae and is one of the fan flowers. It is native to southern Australia and is a small spreading ground cover. It makes a fantastic potted plants and flowers over a long period. It can cascade over the edges of the pot and is full of flowers. I have the pink form, which is nice, but it also comes in different shades of blue also.

2.    Lobelia anceps 

Commonly known as Angled Lobelia is a small spreading ground cover found around wet areas in the Perth hills amongst other areas across WA. It flowers through summer when allot of WA natives are not in flower and cascades beautifully over the edges of a pot. It can take deep shade and loves daily watering. 

3.    Boronia heterophylla 

Commonly known as red Boronia, Boronia heterophylla is one of many WA Boronias. There are many Boronias growing across WA however very few of them are available in nurseries. One of the main reasons is that many Boronias are thought of as very temperamental and requiring allot of additional summer water and some shade. Therefore, they make excellent potted plants as if you water them daily and keep them in the shade. Last summer was extremely hot and my Boronias thrived through any heat wave that Perth had to offer. 

4.    Alogyne hueguli 

Commonly known as native Hibiscus this plant is a must have for any potted courtyard garden. Native Hibiscus is an absolute star if you are looking for a potted plant. I cannot think of a WA native plant that thrives better in a pot. It will reward you with large green flowers and huge purple flowers. 

5.    Melaleuca fulgens

Commonly known as Scarlet Honey Myrtle this is an absolute stunner when in flower with large bright red flowers. Also, a must have for any potted courtyard garden. 

These above selections are just the start as you can enjoy experimenting with different native plants in Pots as so many are suitable you just need to find which ones will suit your courtyard or paved area.

Potted plants will require regular maintenance such as pruning, fertilising, wetting agent and re-potting. Pruning will need to be done to control size and shape once plants are established this is best done after flowering and little and regular is much better than hacking a plant back once every few years. Fertilising is important as if you are watering daily then you will be leaching allot of nutrients out of the potting mix and plants will benefit greatly from a good quality controlled released 6 month microbial fertiliser such as Troforte native. Wetting agent is important during Perths hot summer as the potting mix will become hydrophobic and the water and nutrients won't be effective once this occurs and this is not the time that you want the plant to undergo unnecessary stresses. Plants will grow over time and naturally their root systems will take up more space. Depending on the plant i start it in a 140mm size pot and it will eventually end up in anything from a 12L to 30L pot depending on how it is performing. 

Please give us a call and I would love to help you design a native potted courtyard that your friends and family will be envious of.