Looking for the best low maintenance plants? 

Choosing the right plants for your garden starts here. There are an endless variety of plants out there, so we’ve made it simple by listing out the water wise plants that we've used in our garden.

Everything from colourful statements to unique textures, these plants are not only hardy, they're pretty great to look at. You can pick out specific species that suit your tastes, and we've also included the *B4C water ranking (WR) 1= high water usage, 5 = low water usage.

Natives

Australia has a beautiful and unique range of native plants which are hardy and require minimal attention. However, during the first few months they do require sufficient watering, so don't let them dry out. Once properly established, most native plants will grow and thrive in the garden with minimal watering.

Native Blue TongueBlue Tongue melastoma affine or malabathricum 

A hardy, evergreen medium sized shrub. Purple flowers in spring and summer that attracts bees and other insects, followed by sweet blue-black berries that stain (hence the name).

  • 1.2m H x 1.2m W
  • Full sun and semi shade
  • Prefers damp soils, drought tolerant once established. 
  • WR 3

Native Bottlebrush InjuneBottlebrush Injune callistemon sieberi  

Hardy, fast-growing, semi-weeping shrub. Soft pink bottlebrush flowers in spring-summer. Attracts birds, insects and small mammals.

  • Up to 2-3m H x up to 1.5-3m W
  • Full sun and semi shade
  • Great screening plant or small feature tree.  
  • WR 4+

Native Coastal RosemaryCoastal Rosemary westringia wynyabbie gem 

Dense bushy habitat shrub with fine leaves and small white flowers. Loved by birds and other wildlife. 

  • 1.5m H x 1.5m W
  • Full sun
  • Ideal as low screening / hedging plant.  
  • WR 4+

Native ConcuberryConkerberry or Bush Plum carissa spinarum 

Large shrub with glossy green leaves. White, perfumed, star-shaped flowers followed by green berries (only edible when ripe) which turn black or dark purple when ripe. 

  • 3m H x 1-2m W
  • Full sun
  • Ideal as hedge, or straggly tree.                              
  • WR 4+

Native Crowded Leaf WattleCrowded Leaf Wattle acacia conferta 

Large shrub/ small tree with small yellow pom pom flowers, small narrow foliage.

  • 3m H x 1.2m W
  • Full sun
  • Quick medium height canopy coloniser, seeds can be used as flour if grinded.  
  • WR 4

Native Grass TreeGrass Tree xanthorrhoea johnsonii

Tuft of long thin leaves, dramatic tall spears of small, nectar rich white flowers.

  • 5m H x 1.2m W
  • Full sun and semi shade
  • Slow growing, requires well drained soils and burns every seven years. 
  • WR 3+

Native Hairy Bush peaHairy Bush-pea pultenaea villosa

Compact growing evergreen shrub.  Flowers are rich in nectar and attract birds.

  • Up to 1-1.5m H x up to 2m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Leaves are fine and covered with tiny hairs along the stem. 
  • WR 3+

Native Midyim BerryMidyim Berry ustromyrtus dulcis

Shrubby habitat plant, with bee attracting flowers and edible fruits. Glossy dark green leaves with bronze new growth. 

  • 1m H x 80mm W
  • Part shade
  • Fleshy berries eaten raw; one of the 'tastiest wild fruits'; leaves used as a tea substitute.  
  • WR 4-

Native Native IndigoNative Indigo indigofera australis

Ornamental shrub with pink to purple flowers through spring. Attracts large Grass-yellow and common Grass-blue butterflies.

  • 1.5m H x 2m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Ideal feature or border plant, drought tolerant once established.  
  • WR 3

Native Pink CascadePink Cascade leptospermum hybrid

Low weeping shrub with cascading, dainty, soft pink flowers. Creates a softening effect when planted in rockeries, down slopes or low walls.

  • 0.5-0.8m H x 1-1.5m W
  • Part shade
  • Prefers loam to sand loam soils.  
  • WR 4

Native Sago BushSago Bush ozothamnus diosmifolius

Fast growing, medium dense shrub with fine green leaves. White or pink flowers appearing in spring and summer.

  • 2m H x 1.5m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Attracts insects, ideal landscape plant. 
  • WR 4

Native Swamp BanksiaSwamp Banksia banksia robur

Dramatic, large shrub with a heavy leaf structure. Flower spikes appear usually in autumn and winter, opens to yellow-green flowers.

  • 1.2m H x 1.2m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Prefers sand or peaty sand soils, drought tolerant once established.
  • WR 3+

Native Sweet WattleSweet Wattle acacia suaveolens

Sparsely branched plant, scented cream round flowers during winter and early spring. Drought tolerant and insect attracting. 

  • 2.3m H x 1m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Flowers become seed pods which can be grinded and used as flour.  
  • WR 4

Native Wallum BottlebrushWallum Bottlebrush callistemon pachyphyllus

Medium size shrub with thick, blunt pointed leaves. Red, or sometimes greenish bottlebrush flowers in summer.

  • 1.5m H x 1m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Spreading branches can be quite contorted, drought tolerant.  
  • WR 4

Native WildfireWildfire callistemon viminalis

Hardy and adaptable tall shrub with masses of bright red flowers, very attractive to nectar loving birds. Can be pruned to size. 

  • 1.2m H x 1.2m W
  • Full sun
  • Ideal screening plant or informal hedge.
  • WR 3+
 

Ornamental grasses

Looking to create a strong visual impact in your garden, then consider ornamental grasses. They’re low maintenance and are available in a wide variety of sizes, leaf colours and textures. When combined with other drought tolerant plants, you can add another dimension to your garden design.

Grass Black KnightBlack Knight dracaena marginata

Hardy, tough, low maintenance plant (not a grass), with slender dark red-burgundy edged leaves. 

  • 2-3m H x 2m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Very little leaf drop, perfect for poolside planting or indoors in pots.
  • WR 4+

Grass Blue FescueBlue Fescue festuca glauca

Tidy and attractive evergreen, slender, fine blue-green foliage, low growing. 

  • 50cm H x 50cm W
  • Full sun
  • Ideal for borders and rockeries, perfect 'no fuss' plant.
  • WR 4

Grass Blue Flax LilyBlue Flax Lily dianella brevipedunculata

Compact, clumping growth featuring dainty sprays of blue-purple flowers, followed by purple berries.   

  • 50cm H x 50cm W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Ideal when used in rockeries and as a bordering plant.
  • WR 3+

Grass Dianella Emerald FountainDianella Emerald Fountain dianella emerald fountain

Super versatile plant suited to almost any location and climate, especially shade. Pretty purple flowers.  

  • 40cm H x 40cm W
  • Part shade
  • Perfect for bordering and groundcover.
  • WR 3

Grass Little JessDianella Little Jess dianella caerulea

Fresh green foliage year round with a profusion of purple flowers in spring. 

  • 20cm H x 20cm W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Very compact, great drought tolerant landscaping plant. Almost maintenance-free.
  • WR 4-

Grass Dianella Silver StreakDianella Silver Streak variegated dianella

Impressive in mass plantings, lovely white-striped compact form.  

  • 50cm H x 50cm W
  • Part shade
  • Ideal for adding light and colour to shaded areas.
  • WR 3

Grass Dianella UtopiaDianella Utopia dianella prunina "Utopia"

Broad purple-blue metallic leaves, each with a slight twist of movement.  

  • 50cm H x 50cm W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Lovely for mass planting in landscaping, or edging a driveway.
  • WR 4+

Grass MingoMingo themeda australis

This blue form of Kangaroo Grass makes a great groundcover plant. Beautiful blue foliage contrasting with reddish brown flower heads.   

  • 50cm H x 50cm W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Can be trained as an informal native lawn.
  • WR 4

Exotics

Let yourself go troppo with a multitude of exotic plants! Think vibrant foliage, flamboyant flowers and eye-catching statement plants that will add charm to almost any garden. To get the mix right, make sure you select plants that prefer similar conditions to native plants. 

Exotic_Bird of ParadiseBird of Paradise strelitzia - dwarf reginae

Vibrant and eye-catching, this striking evergreen blooms all year round with orange petals and blue flowers anchored on a long stem. 

  • 1.8m H x 90cm W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Ideal for adding colour and dimension, bird attracting.
  • WR 4+

Exotic_ Dragon FruitDragon Fruit hylocereus undatus

Distinctive, bright green, multiple stemmed cactus. Produces very fragrant, cream, funnel-shaped flowers at night in spring which mature as edible red fruits.

  • 2m H x 2.3m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • It is a climber and requires growth stability.
  • WR 3+
Exotic_Dwarf LoquatDwarf Loquat eriobotrya japonica

Beautiful evergreen fruit tree is perfect for limited space and container culture. Fragrant flowers, delicious golden-yellow fruit about half the size of the regular loquat.  

  • 3m H x 3m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Attracts pollinators, birds, bats and possums.
  • WR 4+

Exotic_Money TreeJade Plant / Money Tree crassula ovata

One of the most easily recognised succulents. Architectural branches with dark green oval leaves that can turn red along the edges, pink or white star-shaped flowers.. 

  • 2m H x 1m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Easily propagated, insect attracting, can handle dry summers.
  • WR 4+
Exotic_LavenderLavendar lavandula

Hardy, low-maintenance, low-growing shrub. Features silvery leaves (rich with aromatic oils) and fragrant flowers.  

  • 50cm-1.5m H x 1m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Requires very little attention.
  • WR 4
Exotic_Natal PlumNatal Plum carissa macrocarpa 

Easy to grow evergreen shrub with shiny, deep, green leaves and snowy white perfumed flowers. Ornamental plump, round, crimson fruit appears in summer.

  • 2.3m H x 2m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Scent intensifies at night.
  • WR 4+
Exotic_Pomegranate DwarfPomegranate Dwarf punica granatum

Considered to be the most hardy and drought-tolerant fruit tree, this semi-deciduous shrub has light green, blunt-tipped shiny foliage, with large, funnel-shaped red/orange flowers that mature to green then red fruit.

  • 2m H x 2-3m W
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Perfect as an ornamental plant, hedging or feature planting.
  • WR 3+
 

  *B4C is a catchment and landcare group who partner with many organisations and the wider community to build a web of green across the region. 

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