Green your backyard

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now." – Chinese proverb

Trees and plants are natural wonders. They provide many benefits to us and are especially important in urban areas. A green city, with lots of trees and foliage can

Boy planting a tree
  • cool urban areas by between 2oC and 8oC
  • reduce glare
  • increase property value by 20% to 30%
  • create energy savings:
    - cut air conditioning use by 30%
    - reduce energy use for heating by between 20% and 50%
  • improve air quality by filtering airborne pollutants, including particulates
  • intercept stormwater, reducing infrastructure costs
  • improve water quality and reduce erosion
  • create wildlife corridors and provide food and shelter for our diverse native wildlife.

Get free trees

A selection of native trees and shrubs are available every year through our Free tree program.

Grow native plants

There are so many local native plants to choose from. Our 1730 native plants species come in a diverse range of textures, colours and sizes. Many can be used in a range of garden styles including formal, contemporary, tropical and cottage gardens.

Why should I grow local native plants?

  • They attract native birds, butterflies and frogs to your garden.
  • They often require less water.
  • They provide a food source and habitat for local wildlife.
  • Native plants are adapted to the local conditions.
  • Native gardens are unique and attractive and complement the Gold Coast's landscape character.
  • Gardens filled with local native plants provide much needed additional resources for wildlife.
  • They can help you avoid having environmental weeds escape from your garden into waterways and natural areas.

What are local native plants & why do they matter?

Local natives are plants that occur naturally in a particular location. They have evolved in the local environment, so they have adapted to their conditions and grow well in the area.

Native wildlife has also evolved with them, so local native plants provide the most suitable food sources and habitat for local fauna and insects.

Some native plants sold in nurseries occur naturally in Australia – but they are not natural to the Gold Coast – therefore they are not local native plants.

Just like exotic plants and invasive weeds, non-local native plants can out-compete local natives and impact on natural areas.

Which local native plants should I grow?

Native vegetation grows in groups of species and these groups vary depending on soil, landform, aspect and climate.

Growing conditions will also vary within your garden. When you plant the right native plant in the right place you save time, money, effort, energy and do less maintenance. To learn more about the different vegetation groups on the Gold Coast download our Plant Selection Guide below.

Plant selection guide

The varieties of native species are wide ranging. A reference guide with plant suggestions categorised by suitability to particular growing conditions, type, species and size is available.

Plant selection guide(PDF, 996KB)

Where can I buy local native plants?

Visit the Friends of the Gardens nursery at the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. The nursery stocks a wide range of local native plants and is open from 8am to 11am on the first Friday of each month.

Local native plant nurseries help to support the local economy and purchasing plants that are native is an important contribution you can make to the environment.

Search for suppliers & native plant sale events online

Gardening events and shows are held regularly on the Gold Coast and within southeast Queensland.

Ask your local nursery or garden centre about stocking local native plants.