Indigenous Plants for your Summer Garden
What is indigenous?
Simply put, indigenous plants are plants that occur naturally in a larger geographical area, i.e. a country or more than one country, and that were not placed there by man. Making the circle smaller, we should also consider endemic plants, which are plants that occur naturally in a smaller region (e.g. The Highveld) within this large region and have adapted to the specific conditions (rainfall, temperature, altitude, etc.) of that region. Naturalised plants, on the other hand, are plants that were initially brought in from another area, be it the same country or another, and have adapted to the extent that it can grow and flourish in the area without man’s help.
With that under our belt, it is easy to see why planting indigenous plants in our gardens would be advantageous…
Planting indigenous plants is advantageous compared to exotics, given that indigenous plants are more suited to thrive in our environmental conditions. They are generally more hardy, can maintain themselves in our dry conditions and they attract birds and wildlife. Commonly, indigenous plants require less water once established and given their suitability to our environmental conditions, they are fabulous additions to any South African garden!
There are myriads of indigenous plants, shrubs and trees available at Lifestyle Home Garden. Here we have highlighted a few of the common favourites to help you choose what indigenous plants to grow in your Summer Garden…
(Click on images to see full version)
Fynbos…our pride and joy! From the daintiest Erica to our majestic national flower, the Protea, we all want to add these indigenous beauties to our gardens. The only problem is most passionate gardeners literally love them to death! Growing fynbos with success requires a certain measure of restraint – call it tough love – and by following a few basic guidelines they can be grown with success and a great deal of pleasure.
Click |HERE| to read our Fynbos care guide so that you can have success with growing fynbos in your garden.
Other Indigenous Plants:
Mackaya Bella’s are shade to semi shade loving evergreen shrubs that attract butterflies. Showcasing big white flowers marked with fine purple lines, this plant looks stunning in borders and containers. Prune often to encourage bushiness and water well in the hotter months.
Freylinia are semi-hardy, sun loving, fast growing shrubs with white, blue or purple flowers that flower profusely from September to February. They thrive in Summer rainfall areas and attract butterflies. Great for containers and screening, and they can also be pruned wonderfully into a hedge or as a standard.
Plectranthus species (Spurflowers)
South Africa is host to more than 40 species of Plectranthus, some of which are endemic to limited areas of the country, while others can be grown more widely. Plectranthus generally prefer a semi-shaded position in morning sun/afternoon shade or in the dappled shade of larger trees. They are incredibly striking if planted en masse or in borders and pots and will simply light up the garden during summer and autumn. Spur flower growth types vary from dense groundcovers to smaller sub-shrubs and large shrubs.
Scabiosa certainly is one of our prettiest and most cheerful perennials. The leaves of Scabiosa form a dense mounding groundcover, while the flowers can grow on stems up to 1m tall. They do look stunning planted in large groups in the full sun, but can just as easily be grown in pot or tubs. Scabiosa is fast-growing and their lovely blooms will grace your garden all summer long.
Felicia amelloides is one of our many Felicia species. It is fast-growing, frost hardy, drought-resistant, long-lived, long-flowering and low-maintenance and, to top it all, extremely pretty with its sky blue and bright sunny-yellow flower heads – a winner every time! It looks good as a single plant or planted in a group in rockeries, herbaceous borders, shrub borders, pots and other containers and can even be pruned and trained to form a low, formal hedge.
Delosperma cooperi is a sun loving, succulent groundcover with creeping habits that showcases masses of small deep purple long lasting flowers through Summer. Great in pots and rockeries.
Sun loving, low growing ground cover available in a range of flower colours that flower in Spring. The Vygie is a hardy, succulent-like plant that needs only moderate watering.
Clivia’s are semi-shade to shade loving, semi-hardy shrubs that showcase bright orange (Clivia miniata ‘Bush Lily’) or yellow (Clivia miniata citrina) flowers. They are great in containers or en masse and need regular watering during Summer.
The Arum Lily is a hardy, shade to semi shade loving shrub that showcases elegant white flowers on long stems through Summer. It is a semi-deciduous bulb plant that is great near water or in a shallow pond.
Agapanthus can thrive in sun, semi- shade or shade conditions. They look amazing planted en masse when flowering throughout Summer. Available in a range of white, blue and purple flower colours, Agapanthus are semi-hardy, evergreen shrubs that are great for bordering or planted en masse in a large garden bed.
Polygala myrtifolia is a sun or semi-shade loving, semi-hardy, fast growing shrub that showcases magnificent green and purple flowers all year round. It is water saving as it only needs moderate to low watering. This semi-hardy plant is great planted close to walls and en masse.
This sun and semi shade loving perennial showcases dark green leaves with yellow and blue crane-like flowers. Strelitzia’s make for a lovely cut flower, are wind resistant and flower most of the year round.
Click |HERE| to view the SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute) list of indigenous trees well suited to the Highveld and grassland regions.
Find one of our friendly sales advisors to help you find an array of your favourite indigenous plants and trees to grow in your garden!