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Acidic Loving Australian Plants

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
Australian native plants thrive in acidic soil

Most Australian native plants prefer acidic soils, with a pH of 4.0 to 6, according to Scotts Australia. Native Australian plants have evolved in isolation, some species in arid, somewhat inhospitable conditions. Australia’s growing zones range from tropical to desert, making her native plants a hardy bunch, thriving where many other plants would wither.

Callistemon

Callistemon, also known as bottle brush

Endemic to Australia, the callistemon, or bottle brush, is a genus of shrubs in the same family as myrtles, cloves and guavas. Excellent ornamental plants, they offer a jolt of color with their long, brush-like flowers that bloom from spring to summer, and sometimes will offer a second bloom in the fall. Depending upon the variety, flower colors are red, pink, purple and yellow. The callistemon thrives in moist, slightly acid soil in full sun.

Grevillea

Grevillea flowers can sometimes resemble spiders

Also known as spider flower, this member of the protea family is a popular Australian garden plant. Grevillea will thrive in either full sun or partial shade, acid soil and becomes drought tolerant once it’s established. Grevillea, a small tree or shrub, shows a lot of variability throughout its more than 250 species. Most, however, display the same sort of spider-like clusters of flowers.

Common Everlasting

Common everlasting plants have silvery foliage

The common everlasting (Chrysocephalum apiculatum) is a low shrub, generally growing to 1 foot in height and 2 to 3 feet wide. The common everlasting is prized by Australian gardeners for not only its bright yellow to almost orange clusters of flowers but for its silvery foliage as well. That it has low water requirements is an added bonus. The common everlasting is a relative to asters, daisies and sunflowers. This plant requires an acid soil, so if it is not being grown in Australia, the soil may need to be amended.

 

About the Author

 

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.