Planting indigenous plants in your garden support our local flora and limit the number of invasive species entering our natural spaces. An indigenous selection of plants in your garden will help to create a healthy ecosystem and support biodiversity.

Non-indigenous flowers and trees may look good in our gardens, but they often require a lot of work and use a lot more water. They also provide little or no food for honeybees, indigenous pollinators, songbirds, and other endemic wildlife, which sadly leads to the reduction of our bird and bee populations. Often non-indigenous plants grow faster than indigenous species, displacing them and suppressing the endemic flora.

Planting indigenous plants in your garden have many benefits:

  • They’re drought resistant
    Indigenous plants have adapted to our dry climate and can survive in poor soil conditions during the drought season. Non-indigenous plants use a lot of water, so by planting indigenous you also save water during times of drought.
  • They attract indigenous birds
    Many indigenous plants attract birds and wildlife with their blooms, scent, fruit and insect life. By planning your indigenous garden carefully, you’ll create a safe and natural environment for abundant life.
  • You can preserve our natural habitat and heritage
    The Western Cape is home to some of the most unique flower species in the world. By planting indigenous, you play a role in preserving our indigenous flora.
  • They attract indigenous pollinators like bees and songbirds
    Indigenous trees and fynbos attract pollinators and birds that will spread pollen and seeds and in turn create a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Below are a few of our indigenous gems that can really uplift you garden:

  • Strelitzia regina or Crane Flower – The Strelitzia reginae is one of South Africa’s well-known plants, it’s even captured on the 50 cent coin. It’s a robust plant that requires little maintenance and little water. They resemble the head of the crane bird, which earned it the colloquial name, bird of paradise.
  • Plectranthus ciliatus ‘Mona Lavender’ or Spur Flower – A quick-growing, herbaceous, perennial shrub reaching up to 0.75 m in height, forming a lovely, rounded, dense bush. It has dark green, glossy leaves with intensely purple undersides and sprays of lavender flowers dashed with purple markings.
  • Gardenia thumbergia or forest Gardenia – a hardy, evergreen shrub has glossy green leaves, silvery bark and wonderful branching patterns. The sweet scent of the magnificent, large, white flowers will permeate the garden from October to February.
  • Geranium incanum or Carpet Geranium –Finely divided leaves which give it a soft texture in the garden.  The mauve flowers have identical petals.  It can be grown in full sun or semi-shade, although it does flower better and form a tighter carpet in full sun.
  • Buddleja salviifolia or Sagewood – One of the toughest indigenous shrubs. An evergreen with attractive grey-green leaves. It bears lovely clusters of fragrant, white, cream, lilac, Pink or purple flowers in late winter or early spring.
  • Crocosmia paniculata or Falling Stars – This beautiful garden plant is the tallest and most vigorous of the Falling Stars. Well-established plants form large clumps and, at 1 m tall, produce an eye-popping display in summer. Flowers are bright red to dull orange, forming long 70 mm slightly curved tubes that hang in dense bunches from sturdy stems that reach well above the leaves from December to February.
  • Dierama pendulum or Hair Bells – Dierama pendulumis an evergreen geophyte reaching up to 1,5 m. Its striking pendulous, bell-shaped blooms are borne on a long arching, branched inflorescence. Flowers range in shades of pink and measure up to 50 mm long, with a distinct bell shaped tube up to 13 mm long.
  • Diascia barberae or Twin spur Plant – The Diascia Barberae is a dainty little perennial plant originating from the Drakensberg mountain range. It produces numerous upright stems growing to 30cm tall from a mat-forming root base. Each stem is clothed in small green leaves and topped with a raceme of individual tubular flowers about 1,5cm across, rich salmon pink in colour.
  • Nemesia fruticans – The flowers resemble little snapdragon flowers, with two lips and a spur. They are dusty-pink or mauve and decorated with bright yellow protuberances in the throat. Like many other grassland perennials it has a woody taproot that helps it survive fires and winter frost.
  • Strobilanthes anisophyllus or Gold Fuchsia – Strobilanthes anisophylla or Goldfussia is an evergreen, erect, bushy shrub with lance-shaped, purplish foliage and long, tubular, lavender flowers that open to a bell-shaped mouth on long, brittle, cane-like stems.

Gardens planted with exotic plants can be resource-intensive and high maintenance, requiring frequent watering, weeding and fertilisation. Embrace the eco-conscious movement of planting indigenous for a garden that’s kind to the earth, and to you.

Join us this Friday  28 October 2022 for our FREE online workshop on: ‘Indigenous Gems – Our Hidden Treasures’, with Garden Guru Sue Both.

Please use the following login details to join us at 11am sharp over Zoom:

Meeting ID: 863 2568 9794

Passcode: 993030

or use the following direct link: