Work with Australian Plants

Learn to grow about Australian Native Trees, Shrubs and Climbers

Start an Australian Plant Nursery

Work in a Garden Centre selling Australian Plants

Become a plant breeder or seed collector

Become a Garden Designer, specialising in Australian Plant Gardens

Career possibilities are diverse, and go well beyond these examples.

If Australian natives are a passion; this could be the first step toward a career that is focussed on that passion.


Australia has one of the oldest and most diverse varieties of plants of an country. Australian natives come from tropical areas to cold temperate snow covered mountains, and from inland deserts to fertile wet rainforests. Develop your ability to identify, select, cultivate and plan a management program, for appropriate varieties of Australian native plants, in a wide variety of situations. This is relevant to not only Australia, but most parts of the world.

Learn to Identify and use a wide range of different Australian Native Plants.

Australian plants are diverse -you can find plants for most climates, in most sizes, shapes and forms.
Many of these species have been brought into cultivation only recently; and that fact means that you can often find plants that are different and can be used to give a garden something unique, whether in function or appearance.


Duration:  100 hours



There are nine lessons in this course, as follows:

1.  Introduction

Review of the system of plant identification, general characteristics of Australian flora, information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs), review of major Australian plant families.

2.  Cultural Techniques

Planting, staking, mulching, watering, pest & disease, feeding, pruning, protection from wind, salt air, mounds and raised beds, containers.

3.  Eucalypts

4.  Native Trees: Casuarina, Brachychiton, Tristania, Angophora, Callitris, Araucaria, Palms, etc.

5.  Acacias

6.  Melaleucas, Callistemons and Leptospermums

7.  Grevilleas: concentrated study of 25 species

8.  Ground Cover and Small Shrubs

9.  Commercial Applications

What The Course Covers

Compiling a series of plant reviews with information on each plant variety, such as:

  • Common Name

  • Plant Family, Genus& Species names

  • Variety (if applicable)

  • Height

  • Width

  • Soil requirements

  • Environmental requirements

  • Cultural procedures (eg. propagation and pruning)

  • Pestand disease susceptibility

  • Classify most significant cultivated native plants, to the family level.
  • Determine cultural practices to maintain healthy native plants.
  • Explain the identification and culture of eucalypts in your locality.
  • Explain the identification and culture of native trees.
  • Explain the identification and culture of acacias in your locality.
  • Explain the identification and culture of native shrubs, including species of Acacia, Melaleuca, Callistemon and Leptospermum
  • Explain the identification and culture of different Proteaceous native plants, with particular emphasis on the genus Grevillea.
  •  Explain the identification and culture of a range of Australian Native ground covers and
  • small shrubs.
  • Determine commercially viable applications for different native plants.


There are many purposeful ways that native plants can be used in the garden regardless of the garden style. They may be used to create barriers against wind, sun, or fire, or to block out unsightly views and to frame vistas. Native plants are also an essential component for attracting indigenous animals, insects and birds to a garden, and they can play a significant role in land conservation

Tips for Landscaping 

  • Repetition of species and forms provides a natural feel to the garden and replicates the natural landscape.  There is always a dominant set of species, which provide the structure.
  • Texture and form are more important than colour when choosing plants.  The foliage, trunks and branches of native plants are often highly varied and often quite complex. They often generate as much interest as do the flowers.  Buds and fruit also often add very exciting dimensions to the plants, e.g. Pimelea, Hakea sp. and Banksia sp.
  • Careful attention needs to be given to those plants which make up the ground cover. Grasses, sedges and other upright plants can be intermingled with prostrate, spreading species when the natural tree cover allows sufficiently high light levels get through to the ground under the tree canopy. 

Balance the softness of plants with hard landscaping such as paths and seating. Tree trunks also give some solidity.  Timber decks are an ideal means of linking the garden to the house. Balance between open and closed space is also necessary throughout the garden. This may be achieved through making use of the borrowed landscape, for example the sky or the neighbor's trees.

Climate Considerations
When putting together a planting design, it is very important to take into account the climate of the area.  Consider the following:

  • Wind - frequency; seasonal characteristics; prevailing directions; duration and strength.
  • Temperatures - monthly average maximums and minimums; extremes; likelihood of severe frosts.
  • Length of growing seasons.
  • Sun angles - where is the sun in the morning and where is the sun in the afternoon?
  • Rainfall - annual and monthly; variability; snow; humidity.