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There’s so many great native shrubs for Canberra gardens.  We love them for the food and shelter they provide for native species and for attracting nectar loving birds.  Once established native shrubs are generally very hardy and need less maintenance than exotic shrubs. They are also an important part of our local heritage. To help you get started we’ve compiled a list below of some of our favourites.

Natives often get a bad name in gardens for looking untidy because many people wrongly assume they don’t need pruning.  A bit of time spent tip pruning makes all the difference with native shrubs and promotes vigour, healthy growth and flowers.

The best time to prune is after the tree or shrub has flowered so birds and bees can benefit from the nectar.  Avoid pruning when the flowers buds are forming or in winter to prevent damage from Canberra’s frosts or low temperatures. Hard pruning into old wood can kill some shrubs so it’s best to do a more gentle prune a couple of times a year.  Use sharp, clean pruning tools so there are no tears or ragged cuts that can become infected.

Simple, ground height pruning is generally something you can DIY but don’t attempt to prune mature trees and shrubs yourself. You need the right equipment, knowledge and insurance policies to make sure you are covered if something goes wrong.  You also need to be certain you are complying with ACT legislation protecting trees above a certain size.

Frost and drought hardy native shrubs for Canberra gardens

  • Callistemon ‘Barrondah Station’
  • Callistemon ‘Cherry time’
  • Acacia cognata ‘Limelight’
  • Acacia howittii – common name Sticky wattle
  • Acacia podalyriifolia – common name Queensland silver wattle
  • Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’
  • Indigofera australis – common name  Australian Indigo
callistemon

Callistemons attract nectar loving birds