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What to plant at your place

What to plant at your place

Updated 19 June 2014 1:44pm

 Native plants provide homes and food for our birds, lizards and insects.  Some native plants, like mistletoes, are reliant on native birds to pollinate them.  Other plants, like kōwhai, flower at the time native birds like tūī need extra energy for their breeding season. Growing eco-sourced native plants in your garden is a great way to help our biodiversity.

The Wellington regional native plant guide has information about how you can use native plants to help our ecosystems flourish, and at the same time beautify your garden and feed native birds. The guide provides practical advice on selecting plants which are ecologically appropriate for your area.

The Wellington region’s "first fifteen" are 15 native plant species which are hardy and well-suited to planting in most parts of the greater Wellington region.

There are several websites which contain useful information about our native plants.


Whichever ecosystem type you would like to help restore, there are local native species that are appropriate to use. Some plants that are native to other parts of the country but were not originally found here can become weeds, displacing the local species and changing the character of our ecosystems.

Indigenous plants in the Wellington region are important for the region’s ecological identity and are irreplaceable if lost. We can protect our local plant characteristics and their resilience and genetics by eco-sourcing the plants we use for restoration. Eco-sourcing is using plants propagated from plants in naturally occurring populations of the same ecological district. Use our Wellington regional native plant guide to help you work out what is suitable for planting where you live.

When collecting seeds or other plant material from GWRC land, Department of Conservation land or district/city council land, a permit is usually required. You can contact the particular organisations for the process to get permits.  It is also important to get permission from private land owners to collect seeds and plants for propagation.

For more information on ecosourcing check out these websites:

Most nurseries, garden centres, and plant shops supply a good range of native plants, many of which are eco-sourced.


 Some planning tips

Get to know your garden and its characteristics - where the moist places are, where wind is a factor, and how much sunlight different parts get. Knowing these sorts of things will help you select the plants most suited to your garden's conditions.

There are many good books available to help you learn more about the special qualities of New Zealand's native plants, and how best to care for them. A few links are listed below, but booksellers, librarians and plant nurseries will be able to advise you about others.

Plant me instead! Wellington region

Native planting for streamsides in Wellington conservancy (DOC)

Planting natives in Wellington (Wellington City Council)

A guide to growing native plants in Kāpiti (Kāpiti Coast District Council)

Plants for native birds (DOC)

Native forest monitoring- a guide for forest owners and managers