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Local is always Lekker: Indigenous gardening wins hands down

South Africa isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s a harsh place that’s prone to drought, our soils are known to be poor in many parts of the country, and our coastal areas are battered with wind. It makes good sense to choose indigenous plants. It’s even better sense if those indigenous plants are found in your part of the country. 

In addition to being able to stand up to the harsh South African climate, indigenous plants also offer food and refuge for local wildlife. Wild birds are awesome to observe and you can draw them into your garden simply by planting indigenous flora. Nectar feeding plants include Tecoma’s, Halleria lucida,  Leonotis, Kniphofia and Aloes. Fruit feeding birds can be attracted with Searsia crenata, Carissa, Dovyalis, or Psychotria. Buddleja’s will attract insects that birds will feast on. Popular bird friendly trees include Schotia, Ekebergia, Olea and Celtis as they make for great nesting sites and offer food as well.   

Plant brightly coloured and nectar rich indigenous host plants in sunny spots to attract butterflies. Use Plumbago, Freylinia,  Asystagia, Salvias, and Buddleja’s. Stay away from using insecticides in your garden as they will harm incoming wildlife. Remember that as any excess insect life (such as caterpillars and Aphids) will be controlled by the birds’ voracious appetites. 

If your garden is big enough, consider creating a ‘Wild Zone’ where plants can grow freely that will act as a natural environment for wildlife. Provide fresh water in bird baths and a pond to appeal to dragon flies, frogs and aquatic insects. 

Our environment has helped shape a number of extremely low maintenance and waterwise indigenous plants like succulent Crassula’s, Cotyledons, Aloes, Vygie’s, and Kalanchoe (which we stock at Floradale). Fynbos also offers a spectacular choice of Proteas, Pincushions and other indigenous varieties to create a Cape theme in your garden. 

Finally, indigenous climbing plants like Senecio Canary creepers are also excellent for hiding walls and providing shelter. 

Our South African wild plants are excellent for complementing our landscape and fit well with South African vernacular architecture. Whether it’s in shade or sun, for a pond or in a windy coastal garden, there is always an indigenous solution to your gardening challenges at Floradale Nurseries. 

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