Do you have a garden that is full of invasive plants like Fishbone Fern, Asparagus, Wandering Jew, Spider Plant or Impatiens?

Birds, wind and water spread some of these plants far from your home where they invade and damage bushland. Some plants escape through fences or spread from material dumped in the bush.

You can replace these weeds with easily grown, inexpensive, native plants. Many of the plants listed below are native to the Sydney Region. AABR recommends that you use local species grown from locally collected material. Many Councils run their own nurseries that grow local native plants. They can give advice on what might work in the conditions in your garden. Not all natives will survive, especially if the soil is changed from it’s original condition by fertilisers, stormwater runoff or new top soil.

Native Kidney Weed (Dichondra repens) does well in moist, moderately shady conditions in many soil types. It grows to 10cm and can be divided and planted to form an attractive carpet.

Weeping Meadow Grass (Microlaena stipoides) grows well in moist areas and on moderately rich soil. It can be mowed as a lawn or mixed with other groundcovers.

Basket Grass (Oplismenus aemulus/imbecilis) grows vigorously in moist, shady conditions and responds well to mowing. Also attractive in poorer soils.

Native Viola (Viola hederacea) In shadier conditions it forms a flowering carpet. Very attractive in rocky areas.

Similar herb species are Centella (Centella asiatica), Speedwells (Veronica plebia), Whiteroot (Pratia purpurescens) and Pennywort (Hydroctyle laxiflora). Most of these can be easily spread by division.

Different plants will do well in different positions in your garden. Most of these plants will grow in drier conditions, though their vigour and habit may be affected.

The following plants will grow well in drier conditions: Wallaby Grass (Danthonia sp), Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis), Flax Lily (Dianella sp.), Entolasia (a grass) and Lomandra.

Combinations of the plants listed above can make a delightful base for your native garden. After controlling weeds the natives will dominate and should require little maintenance.

See Field Guide to Native Plants of Sydney, Les Robinson and Native Plants of the Sydney District, Alan Fairley and Philip Moore.