There is a wide range of plants, both native and exotic, that will survive and thrive in pots and containers.
Whether you have a patio, balcony, verandah or a unit or town house with little or no garden, there are still plenty of horticultural opportunities.
The following are just a few native plants that will happily embrace life in containers.
Most varieties of correa grow into small or medium shrubs and are happy to live in pots. Correa "Autumn Blaze" is one of the most colourful.
This is a small shrub that will reach a height of 30cm with a 1.5m spread. The tubular flowers are a brilliant orange and will cover the plant in autumn and winter.
There are almost an infinite number of native plants suitable for container cultivation.
Correa alba is an upright shrub that will reach a height of 1.5m in a pot. White, compressed tubular flowers are carried for many months. Honeyeaters often visit the blooms.
Crowea exalata is a close relative of the correas. This small shrub is about 1m tall by the same width. Light green, narrow, aromatic leaves complement the pink, five-petalled flowers. Plants will carry blooms for most of the year.
Acacia pravissima "Bushwalk Baby" is a dwarf form of a usually tall wattle.
"Bushwalk Baby" is a mounded ground cover with a spread of 1.5m. The small leaves are wedge-shaped and plants are covered in yellow, wattle blooms in spring. In a pot, this wattle will spill over the sides. Growth habit, foliage and flowers are attractive features.
The eremophilas or emu bushes are also candidates for container cultivation. There are many varieties to choose from, but one of the best is a form of Eremophila maculata known as "Aurea". This is a medium shrub with succulent, light green leaves and golden yellow, tubular flowers that light up the plant for many months.
Kangaroo paws make attractive plants for pots. There is a huge range of varieties and cultivars. Two worth considering are Anigozanthus "Bush Bonanza" and "Bush Pizzazz". The former has bright yellow flowers. The latter carries deep magenta blooms.
Both have long flowering periods and reach a height of 60cm. Both cultivars will eventually fill a pot and may be divided the same way as exotic iris are divided.
All the natives mentioned could be accommodated in 30cm pots. Use a good quality potting mix formulated for native plants. An annual spring application of slow release fertiliser also suitable for natives is appreciated.
All container-grown plants should be tip pruned occasionally to stop them becoming straggly. Plants should be mulched and during hot weather, plants should be watered every couple of days.
There are almost an infinite number of native plants suitable for container cultivation. The varieties described are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a container garden.
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