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 provide many benefits to us and are especially important in urban areas. A green city, with lots of trees and foliage can cool urban areas, improve air and water quality and provide food and habitat for native wildlife.

Boy planting a tree

Grow local native plants

Local natives are plants that occur naturally in a particular location. They have adapted to the conditions and grow well in the area.

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.

Benefits of growing local native plants

  • Attract native birds, butterflies and frogs to your garden
  • Local native plants are adapted to the local conditions and often need less water
  • Provide the most suitable source of food and habitat for local wildlife
  • Native gardens are unique and attractive and complement the Gold Coast's landscape character.

Choosing the right local native plants for your garden

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 and plant suggestions download our Plant selection guide(PDF, 1MB)

Create habitat for wildlife

Not all animals thrive in urban areas. By giving some thought to the needs of native wildlife when landscaping your backyard, courtyard and even your balcony, you are likely to encourage and enjoy a much greater variety of native animals. Small changes could be a big help to a koala, platypus or sugar glider.

Download one of our backyard biodiversity booklets to learn more about our local wildlife, which local native plants to grow and other actions you can take in your backyard. Booklets available include:

Backyard biodiversity – Our nature: Koalas(PDF, 3MB)

Backyard biodiversity – Our nature: Frogs(PDF, 4MB)

Backyard biodiversity – Our nature: Hollows are homes(PDF, 3MB)

Backyard biodiversity – Our nature: Native bees(PDF, 6MB)

Backyard Biodiversity – Our nature: Butterflies(PDF, 2MB)

Limited printed copies remain and are available at your local City Library or the Friends Centre at the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. You can also request a copy via email: Alternatively, you can download the PDFs and print at any time. Please consider the environment before printing.

Check out these helpful guides produced by Griffith University.

For additional urban habitat options, visit Biodiversity SEQ.

Get free trees

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

Buying local native plants

Friends of the Gardens nursery at the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens 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.

Use the GroNATIVE app to find nurseries in South East Queensland who stock plants listed in the app.

Native Plants Queensland has autumn and spring plant sales which are a great way to buy interesting and hard to find native plants.

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

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