It’s not easy to keep curious pets away from houseplants, but you can keep them safe by having non-toxic indoor plants. Cats and dogs eat or nibble on plants for various reasons and sometimes, they are just playing.
Most pets don’t require much supervision; however, you can put them in harm’s way by having the wrong houseplants. They might look good, but might be fatal for your cat or dog when ingested.
The Banksia Spinulosa, more commonly known as the Hairpin Banksia, is fabulous for first-timers and seasoned garden enthusiasts alike. This evergreen perennial is a striking addition to any garden, and with its incredible drought resilience, it’s quite an easy plant to care for.
Known for its breathtaking flowers which bloom into the shades of the sunset, the banksia spinulosa can be grown in a variety of environments, even indoors. Not only that, but the banksia also attracts plenty of wildlife to your yard!
Watermelon peperomia (peperomia argyreia) is a tropical plant originating from South American. It gets its common name from attractively green leaves that are striped and shaped like watermelon.
These plants are low-growing, often only reaching 30cm in height, with dwarf varieties reaching about 15 cm. Although they do develop small flower spikes, these are pretty insignificant, and the main attraction are the attractive, lush leaves.
Right now, right across the climates, Australia is starting to experience milder weather. Whether it be a relent from the striking suns of summer in cooler and temperate zones or whether it be a drier period in the tropics, mild weather brings its own challenges in the garden.
One of the big challenges is the proliferation of weeds but this is not the only problem. This is also the time that so called ‘nuisance plants’, which are not technically weeds but not always appreciated, really can start to take hold of your garden.
What are Nasturtiums?
One such plant is known as a Nasturtium, from the Tropaeolum genus (and NOT the genus ‘Nasturtium…which is VERY confusing). Right now in gardens throughout Australia you may be facing a decision, even if you are not aware of it! What decision is that? Well…it is whether or not to let any Nasturtium’s that might pop up in your garden take hold.
Common Name: Woolly Tea Tree or Silky Tea Tree
Flower Colour: White
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 3m
Leptospermum lanigerum is a variety of Leptospermum is endemic to the southern parts of the east coast of Australia, encompassing Victoria and Tasmania. As this would suggest, it prefers a cool to cold climate, though success in termperate area’s is possible. This variety is not recommended for sub tropical or tropical area’s, though they have been grown along the coast around Brisbane.
When mature the foliage can create a silvery appearance, even though the leaves are green. This, along with the white flowers, makes it a good plant to use around other more colourful varieties because it will help to cause the more colourful feature plants to stand out.
Plant in a sunny position in well draining soil, though this variety will tolerate part shade. This plant will tolerate very wet soils, as long as the do drain. Given the area it is endemic to, this variety actually prefers access to lots of water. There are also varieties available which will grow up to as tall as 18m. Leptospermum lanigerum is a fairly common cultivar available in many native nurseries in and around Victoria and Tasmania.
Last week I featured the Hakea bucculenta, this week I’ll be looking at the Hakea myrtoides.
Common Name: Myrtle Hakea
Flower Colour: Shade of red/pink
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 0.5m
Flowering: Winter to Spring
This is a great example of a smaller variety of Hakea that you could add to your garden. This variety stays nice and low, growing to around about half a metre in height to a metre at most, and has prolific flowers which makes it a fantastic shrub to plant in and around some of your bigger growing shrubs or feature plants.
This variety can be difficult to grow and requires a dry climate, so is not a good choice for sub tropical or tropical regions. It is endemic to Perth but can even struggle to grow there if Perth experiences a more humid than normal summer, so anywhere that regularly experiences humidity is probably not a good location.
It also requires very well draining soil for it to thrive, but if you can get the right conditions, this variety is a very good choice. I really like the shape of the flowers and the colour contrast between these particular greens and red/pinks. Possibly a variety for the more brave to try and grow, but why not learn by trying!