Adapted to similar soils and climates as Australian, Exotic plants often cope just as well as our Native species.  Exotic species bring great value to your landscape design providing a variety of flower types and colours along with stunning foliage variation.  From countries like, Africa, Asia, America & New Zealand, Exotic species have adapted very well to the vast range of climatic regions throughout Australia.  What exotic species often don’t achieve is providing a diverse food source for our Native Fauna, however the possum has become quite partial to a Hibiscus Flower or two.

Metrosideros - Fiji Fire


Some believe that Exotic species do not have the hardy nature of our Native Species.  When you consider some of their origins, it is easy to understand just how hardy some species would need to be just to survive in their native land.

Neighbouring Native

Plants like Metrosideros are often mistaken as an Australian Native species when in fact they are one of New Zealand’s prized Natives. The New Zealand Christmas Tree features large, bright red/orange pompom flowers.  These beautiful flowers are like a beacon to our Native bird life, like Lorikeet & other honey eaters who happily feed on the nectar these flowers produce.

Exotic plants like Agave, Yukka, Bougainvillea (just to name a few) are often used in garden designs throughout the country because of their ability to copy well in our climate.  Originating in South America, these species have had to withstand long periods of time without high levels of moisture, in soils that are poor.  These species are very adaptable making them a wonderful inclusion in Arid Garden Designs.  They also hit the brief for inclusion in a Tropical/Balinese Garden Design, bringing wonderful foliage variation & flower colour.

Dracaena, Strelitzia, Crassula & Agapanthus just to name a popular few, originate in Africa & have all been extensively used throughout Australian gardens.  When you think about how South Africa and Australia were joined 80-150 million years ago, you can understand why other species including Banksia, Grevillea & Macadamia (all part of the Proteaceae Family) also thrive naturally in Australian soils.



There are so many different species of exotics plants utilized in Australian garden design.  The diverse foliage and flower colour along with hardiness means Exotic Species hold just as much value in your garden design as Native Species.  It’s true that Native plant species support our birds, insects, and marsupials to a much greater extent than Exotics that is certain.  Our native animals are integral to the ecosystems in our neighbourhoods & should be supported as much as possible.  There is not denying that they cause issues so if you’re having trouble with native animals eating your fruits & vegetables then consider planting more native species. Inevitably they will prefer to feed from the safety of the trees then venture down into your productive garden.

So, when you think hardy plant species don’t just think Native, as Exotic plant species can be just as resilient, making them a worthy inclusion in your backyard landscape design.


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