Plant selection for waterwise gardens

One of the keys to a successful waterwise
garden is to choose and use plants that
have low watering requirements. The most
waterwise and environmentally friendly are
indigenous plants, but there are also many
other colourful plants from other parts of
Australia and overseas that survive and thrive
on small amounts of water. Waterwise plants
come in an amazing array of colours, shapes
and sizes. There is a waterwise plant for
every spot in the garden and for every style
of garden you want to create.

Indigenous plants

The publishers of this booklet strongly
encourage the use of indigenous plants,
particularly in areas adjoining or close to
bushland. Indigenous plants are those that
grow in the local area, and are uniquely
adapted to grow in the soil, climate and other
conditions of the area. A garden planted with
indigenous plants is considered ecologically
sustainable. The Bendigo district has a
fantastic range of interesting and colourful
indigenous plants that can be grown in our
gardens, and the plant list indicates which
plants are indigenous. Growing local native
plants will attract wildlife to your garden.
Some, such as the Whirrakee Wattle, are
rare. The planting of rare species helps
ensure their survival. Growing indigenous
plants helps maintain the unique visual
character of the local area.



Native plants

Many Australian native plants are adapted
to dry conditions. These include Eucalypts,
Bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp), Banksias
and Wattles, but also a range of smaller
plants that are showy as well as great for
attracting birds, such as Grevilleas, Native
Fuchsias (Correa spp), Hakeas, Mint Bushes (Prostanthera spp), Emu Bushes (Eremophila spp), Swan River Daisy (Brachyscome spp) and Waxflowers (Philotheca spp).

Succulents and foliage

The last few years have seen a real rise in the popularity of succulents, ornamental grasses and other foliage plants, especially for use in containers and contemporary style gardens.
Some of the best include Black-anther Flax
Lily (Dianella admixta), Cane Spear-grass
(Austrodanthonia breviglumis), Agaves,
Common Tussock Grass (Poa labillardieri),
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), Cabbage Palms (Cordyline spp), New Zealand Flax (Phormium spp) and Yuccas.


Xerochrysum viscosum - Sticky Everlasting.


Grey leaf plants

Plants with grey or silvery leaves cope well
with heat and drought. Examples include
the Clustered Everlasting (Chrysocephalum
semipapposum) Lavenders, Wormwoods
(Artemisia spp), Lambs Ears (Stachys
byzantina), Bearded Iris, Yellow Daisy
(Euryops pectinatus), many Wattles, Ruby
Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa), Daisies,
Silverbush (Convolvulus cneorum), Cushion
Bush (Leucophyta brownii) and Snow in
Summer (Cerastium tomentosum). These are great plants for waterwise gardens as the foliage colour also adds interest.

Tried and true favourites

Early Australian gardens survived with very
little water and it is still possible to find
many old favourite plants growing with little
or no extra water in such places as old
cemeteries. Old fashioned roses, bulbs such
as Belladonna Lilies, Daffodils and Jonquils,
English Box, Native Fuchsia (Correa reflexa),
Wattles (Acacia sp.) Japonica (Chaenomeles
japonica), Rosemary, Sacred Bamboo
(Nandina domestica) and Red Hot Pokers are amongst the great survivors.

Environmental weeds

Some garden plants are escaping and
becoming environmental weeds.

An environmental weed is a plant that
invades natural areas, like a piece of local
bushland, choking out the local native
plants, changing the natural environment and destroying the homes and food of our native animals.

Across Australia governments and
communities are spending millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours controlling environmental weeds. Care should be taken when selecting plants for the garden as many exotic and some native plants are environmental weeds and should be avoided. Gazanias and Cootamundra Wattle are two of our most common environmental weeds that began as ornamental garden plants.

Coliban Water

City of Greater Bendigo

Coliban Water

37-45 Bridge Street,
Bendigo VIC
ABN 96 549 082 363