In order to create a water wise garden, you need to focus on plants that need little water and can handle the terrain of our South African climate. That’s why we love indigenous South African plants, by using the flora on your doorstep, you can create a unique garden that will enhance what you already have in your garden.
Filling your garden with exotic plants not only requires maintenance but could also require other resources like fertiliser. By embracing indigenous plants in your garden, you will be making the eco-conscious move but relieve yourself of a lot of maintenance.
Here are five reasons we love planting indigenous:
1. Indigenous plants are hardy to SA’s harsh climate
Once rooted, indigenous plants are able to maintain themselves in even the
poorest of soils. They are pretty happy with our dry South African climate and can
cope through drought that occurs in many areas of the country.
2. A fragrant garden
Indigenous plants can add a lovely fragrant scent to your garden, all year round.
The most perfumed plants that we love in our garden are, freesias, scented
agapanthus, night-scented gladioli, the wild honeysuckle tree, sweet salvias,
traveller’s joy, jasmine and the lemon-scented pelargonium.
3. Indigenous plants make for great blockers
Some indigenous plants such as the Kei Apple, are great for blocking out
sound and wind. They are able to act as a great hedge in those who need
security, tranquility and privacy.
4. They attract a lively community of birds and wildlife
Tons of birds and wildlife are attracted to indigenous blossoms, fragrance and
fruit. When incorporating indigenous plants in your garden, you are welcoming
lovely birds and wildlife into your garden and creating a natural ecosystem.
5. Medicinal purposes of some indigenous plants
There are some indigenous plants that have been offering medicinal purposes for native tribes for thousands of years. By planting specific indigenous plants you are able to tap into those plants and make your own natural healing or medicinal remedies.
With that being said, ask us at 4 Seasons which plants are indigenous and how to incorporate them into your garden.
Our favourite indigenous plants
This extremely resilient and reliable plant is sure to add some colour to your garden. It makes a great hedge, responds well to pruning and will flower abundantly. It is fast growing, drought resistant and grows in just about any soil. Although a bit tender to frost, this indigenous plant will bounce back if damaged.
This flowering annual is super easy to grow and will bloom in your garden for months without giving them much attention. This plant loves sun and requires it to open it’s flowers to full bloom. at least half the day to ensure that the ‘flowers’ will open to their full glory.
Red Hot Poker
This beauty will ad some striking colour and pop through your garden with it’s flowers lasting throughout the winter in regions with summer rainfall. They can be used just about anywhere in the garden as a flower border along the back or along the driveway. They are able to tolerate wind well and make great cut flowers for the home.
Cape Honey Suckle
This indigenous plant is extremely easy to propagate from cuttings or by taking the rooted suckers off the plant. This plant loves semi-shade to full sun, is very hardy to trough stricken areas and is well suited for water-wise gardens.
These indigenous plants come in a variety of shapes and forms and vary in shades of grey-green. Aloes make great neighbours for most plants, and are able to tolerate drought and are therefore perfect for water-wise gardens. Plant them in the garden or in a container at the edge of bed.
Thinking of adding indigenous plants fro your garden? Keep these tips in mind.
Tips for growing an indigenous garden
- Know the conditions in your garden
All gardens are unique, so take note of the conditions within your garden. Note your soil consistency, rocks, your shade or sun allowance, and also be sure to keep an eye out for nearby nature reserves and their rules.
- Get to know your plants
It’s easy to load up your trolley with tons of beautiful looking plants without knowing what they are or what they need. It’s important to do your research or ask someone at 4 Seasons to help you identify the plants you like and how you can incorporate them in your garden, and whether they will work.
- Embrace your own personal ecosystem
By finding out what indigenous plants suit your garden best, think about what plants are already in your garden and how you can balance plants, which plants are not good neighbours and which are. Learn how to enhance the wildlife within your garden, without upsetting the natural ecosystems.
These tips apply to indigenous gardening as well as gardening in general. Choosing indigenous plants for your garden is a great choice for many reasons. There are thousands of indigenous plants to South Africa that can create a beautiful garden by adding native flora to it!