These 10 Plants Will Thrive In The Sunshine Coast Winter

 In STEPS

Elsewhere in the world, thoughts of winter conjure up images of frost, deep snow, bare trees and dead plants. But not here. In Australia, we’re lucky enough to enjoy just about every type of climate under the sun. From the humid tropical wetlands of Queensland, and through the arid outback, the perfect balance of subtropical New South Wales, to the cold wintery conditions of Melbourne and Tasmania, the conditions here in Australia are perfect for planting a wide range of attractive (and sometimes edible) plants and flowers in winter.

This is a list of 33 plants, flowers and veggies which will thrive in the Sunshine Coast winter:

Ageratum (Floss Flower)

Originally from Mexico, Ageratum (also known as Floss Flower) is exceptionally easy to grow. In fact, you should preen it attentively or you might find it takes over your winter garden. Ageratum grows small, soft, blue, pink and purple flowers atop its lime green leaves which look a little like candy floss, hence the name.

Carnation

Ideally suited to both the wet and dry lands of the north, northeast, and northwest of Australia, carnations will flourish wherever there is an abundance of sunlight and a shortage of rainfall – just as there tends to be even during winter here in Australia. Carnation is a flower famous for decorating the arms of prom queens and the lapels of prom kings, as its beauty and perseverance are undeniable, especially in the depths of winter.

Kangaroo Paw

Kangaroo Paw grows wild throughout Western Australia, and even graces part of that province’s emblem. It’s also suitable for the Queensland climate. It’s best to plant Kangaroo Paw in the cooler winter months so that it can get a nice foothold in your garden before summer comes. That way, this perennial will stay in bloom year-round.

Bird of Paradise

Native to South Africa, the Bird of Paradise plant evolved to be pollinated by the same colourful birds its intriguing flowers seek to imitate. An easy winter grower, it’s well suited to the tropics of Australia, especially in the winter. Each plant planted in winter will sprout several flowers from each stem, the blooms of which resemble a tropical bird’s head and plumage.

Flame Creeper

The Flame Creeper is a hardy climber with a wiry stem that can grow to almost ten feet tall. Suited to a mixture of sun exposure and damper root beds, it typically climbs up through, or on top of, other plants to find the sunlight it needs to flower profusely. Its flowers are red and fiery (hence the name) and will flourish in spring in temperate zones, but in winter in tropical and subtropical territories such as Queensland. Strangely enough, it also does very well in the Scottish Highlands.

Verbena

Verbena are super easy-to-care-for, attractive and fast-growing plants ideally suited to the well-balanced conditions of a winter in the subtropics. These flowers are as resistant to frost as they are to intense sun and heat, and will add a beautiful (and much needed) splash of riotous colour to any Sunshine Coast winter garden.

Forget-Me-Knots

Typically, forget-me-knots are a sure sign that spring is underway and summer is just around the corner. Whether you’re out in the country with a massive garden to curate, or working with a small urban plot of land, forget-me-knots planted in winter will bloom before the cold has gone thanks to the kind climate of the Australian subtropics.

Petunia

Beautiful, instantly-recognisable petunia can bloom year round if cultivated properly, and will thrive in a Queensland winter thanks to the warmer temperatures. In a healthy petunia, you can hardly see the stems for the huge masses of pink, purple and blue flowers sprouting in big cloud-like forms.

Melaleuca (Tea-Trees)

Also known as honey-myrtles or paperbarks, the tea-tree melaleuca is a hardy shrub native to Australia, playing an important part in many Aboriginal cultures and modern relaxation therapy. The tea-tree (which produces tea tree oil) flourishes in winter in the subtropics, including Queensland. It adds a healthy dash of greenery to your winter garden, and can either grow as a shrub up to fifty-two feet high, or as a tree growing up to one-hundred-and-fifteen feet high. Its flowers range greatly in colour from yellow to white, cream, red, and mauve. There are over eighty species of melaleuca to plant!

Grevillea

Another shrub native to Australia, and thus prepared for Australian winter, is the grevillea. Grevillea’s bloom with beguiling caterpillar-esque flowers coloured deep wine red to the most delicate of pinks. In temperate areas on the edge of the subtropics they thrive during the colder winter months, producing flowers much larger than their cousins in other, warmer areas.

Remember, if you’re planning to add a bit of colour to your garden during the Winter months, drop by STEPS Nursery on Ulm Street South, Caloundra, for a wide range of plants suitable for any home garden.

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