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Local Indigenous Plant Nurseries in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Gardening | Environment | Outdoor | Nature
by Lyndsey V (subscribe)
I'm an ecologist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Also visit me at
Published May 17th 2023
Look out for your local plants
Gardeners, nature lovers and environmentalists: do you have indigenous plants in your garden?

Indigenous plants are those that occur locally in a particular area. In comparison, Australian native plants can come from anywhere in Australia; for example, a Melbourne garden might have Western Australian plants found many thousands of kilometres (and a very different climate!) away. Indigenous plants are adapted to the local conditions and comprised the original vegetation communities that existed before areas were cleared for housing.

Native plants, flowers, botany, gardening, Melbourne
The stunning colours of native plants in a grassland west of Melbourne

There are so many benefits to planting and cultivating a garden with indigenous plants. Indigenous plants create habitat for local fauna such as insects and birds; they contribute to increasing local biodiversity; they are more likely to thrive in the local conditions; and gardens with indigenous species help to make an area feel unique by representing the local vegetation, rather than having every garden look similar, with the same types of plants sold at the big hardware stores. There is also a lower risk of weeds escaping and invading local environments.

Native plants, flowers, botany, gardening, Melbourne
Austral Stork's bill makes an attractive border plant in coastal gardens

But where do you get these locally occurring indigenous plants? The best place is your local indigenous plant nursery. There are many throughout Melbourne, and they are often run by the local council, community groups and passionate volunteers. The plants are typically very reasonably priced, and often tubestock is available for just a few dollars. There is usually plenty of gardening advice from the staff or volunteers. Many nurseries also have regular volunteer sessions that involve tasks such as sowing seeds, propagating plants from cuttings, seed collecting and helping with plant sales. It's a great way to get to know the indigenous plants of your area and to improve your own gardening skills.

Native plants, flowers, botany, gardening, Melbourne
Masses of Common Everlasting with its silvery foliage

Your local indigenous plant species will depend on your part of Melbourne. In the bayside areas, plants will be adapted to sandy soils and coastal conditions and include species found in heathlands and healthy woodlands, and along the coastal strip. Some my favourites include Austral Stork's-bill (Pelargonium australe), a low-growing pretty alternative to the introduced geraniums and the White Correa (Correa alba), a hardy shrub that can be pruned into lovely shapes and hedges.

Native plants, flowers, botany, gardening, Melbourne
The gorgeous Purple Coral pea is a beautiful climbing plant

The west of Melbourne is on the volcanic basalt plains, which once supported extensive native grasslands and grassy woodlands. Indigenous plants include a rich variety of native grasses, lilies, daisies and peas. Some of my favourites include Common Everlasting (Chrysocephalum apiculatum), an eye-catching ground cover with silvery foliage, Bulbine Lily (Bulbine bulbosa) with clusters of yellow flowers, and Murnong (Yam daisy) (Microseris walteri), a delicate daisy with a long-lasting tuber that was an important food source of First Nations peoples in our region and is an excellent alternative to introduced and weedy daisy species.

Native plants, flowers, botany, gardening, Melbourne
Murnong growing in a garden bed

The hilly eastern and northern suburbs of Melbourne once supported a range of native vegetation including foothill forests. Some of my favourite plants include Purple Coral-pea (Hardenbergia violacea), a climbing pea with stunning purple flowers, and all of our shrubby 'egg and bacon' flowered peas, with their gorgeous orange and red flowers.

Native plants, flowers, botany, gardening, Melbourne
One of the many locally occurring native peas

A great place to start is to visit your local council website to see whether there is a council-run indigenous nursery. Most councils also have information about species indigenous to their areas. Indigenous plant nurseries include the following. The following is a list of some of Melbourne's indigenous plant nurseries; note it is not an exhaustive list, and it is best to call ahead to check opening hours especially as many are volunteer-run.

Carrum: Carrum Indigenous Nursery
Clayton South: Greenlink Sandbelt
Fairfield: Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-Operative
Frankston: Frankston Indigenous Nursery
Mooroolbark: Candlebark Indigenous Nursery
Newport: Newport Lakes Native Nursery
Pakenham: Cardinia Environment Coalition Nursery
Port Melbourne: Westgate Biodiversity Bili Nursery
Ringwood: Community of Ringwood Indigenous Species Plant Nursery (CRISP)
Somerville: Conservation Collective

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Why? Discover your local plants and increase biodiversity!
When: Any time
Where: Throughout Melbourne
Cost: See individual plant nurseries for prices
Your Comment
In my previous house I used plants indigenous to the area and they grew so well. It's definitely worth paying attention to this.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10579) 3 days ago
There is so much more we can learn about the native, natural world. The coral pea in this story is my favourite.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6683) 15 days ago
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