The Horticultural Advice and Support team (HAS) is a group of Friends of Kings Park volunteers who provide expert gardening advice to the public over the phone and by email, as well as undertaking duties to support BGPA Horticulture staff.
Formerly known as the Volunteer Master Gardeners the HAS team has a long-term history of volunteering in Kings Park.
We are here to give advice to home gardeners about common issues with Western Australian native plants. This includes:
- Which WA native plant to purchase
- Where and when to plant it
- How to plant it
- How to take care of it
- What to do when it doesn’t go to plan
Please see if your query can be answered by the FAQs below, then send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!
Can you tell me the name of this plant?
Unfortunately no! We don’t offer a plant identification service. We recommend you contact the WA Herbarium here. There are some apps available for your mobile phone, or you could take a sample to your local nursery.
My plant has a disease, can you help with that?
We are not able to diagnose diseases and pests, or give detailed advice about how to treat them. We suggest you contact the Department of Agriculture
Do you have any information about edible native plants?
At the moment, we aren’t in the position to give out information about native edibles (or “bush tucker”). We don’t have the expertise to give advice about what is safe to eat.
However we can give you some tips about how to care for your plants and how to get the best from your native plants. Please email us on [email protected] with some information about your plants and their growing conditions.
I am new to gardening with WA native plants, where should I start?
The diversity of WA native plants is spectacular, and it is well worth learning about how to grow them in the home garden. Many species are hardy, and require little water once established.
If you are interested in WA native plants you might like to become a member of the Friends of Kings Park. The Friends sends a monthly newsletter and quarterly magazine with plenty of plant information. There are regular events with guest speakers, where members can learn about WA native plants. Members also have the amazing opportunity to volunteer in Kings Park, and get hands on experience with the experts.
You might like to contact our garden advice team on [email protected] if you have a specific question.
Come to the Friends of Kings Park plant sale, or visit a nursery that specialises in WA native plants.
Look in your area for a garden club or society.
Where is the best place to buy WA native plants?
The Friends of Kings Park holds native plant sales four times a year. More information is here.
A list of what is available goes online about two weeks before each sale. If you would like to discuss which plants on the list would be best for your garden please give us a call on 9480 3672 on a Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon.
Don’t forget Friends of Kings Park members get a discount on purchases at the plant sales, as well as opportunities to purchase from our members only online sales. More info about membership is here.
If the Friends doesn’t have what you are looking for there are a number of nurseries in Perth that specialise in native plants. We recommend Zanthorrea Nursery in Maida Vale.
I’ve bought some plants in pots, how do I plant them?
Dig – dig a hole at least twice the size of the pot.
Mix – in the hole, mix together equal quantities of soil and soil improver. Add a slow release native fertiliser (read the packet instructions for quantities). Blend well.
Plant – tip the plant out of the pot. Place it in the hole at the same level as the surrounding soil. Fill with soil mix and gently firm the soil.
Water – water in well to settle the new plant. Water daily in summer for the first month, and gradually reduce.
Care – add slow release native fertiliser about every six months.
Should I use fertiliser on my WA native plants?
Yes, you should fertilise your native plants about every six months but be sure to only use a fertiliser formulated specifically for native plants. Read the label for quantities.
I am looking for plants that attract birds to my garden, what do you recommend?
Our database has a category for bird attracting plants. Please have a look here – you just need to tick the boxes for bird attracting and black cocky food and press search.
Can I grow a hedge with WA native plants?
Yes, you definitely can. A row of hedge in the garden is always beautiful. It has a number of purposes as well. It defines garden rooms, covers unsightly fences, maintains privacy and so on.
A hedge will need attention since it must be pruned regularly to keep its height, width and thickness.
The selection of plants that you will need is dependent upon:
- where you live—coastal, in the hills or on the river plain
- where the hedge is going to be established in your garden—in full sun or semi-shade
- the height of the hedge itself.
To establish the hedge, position each plant half the width of its full size (check the height and the width of the plant).
Here are a few suggestions of plants that can be used as hedges.
Tall hedge (2—3 m) Adenanthos sericeus, Leptospermum sericeum, Melaleuca nesophila, Murraya paniculata
Medium hedge (1—2 m) Agonis flexuosa nana, Melaleuca huegelii, Murraya paniculata, Olearia axillaris
Low hedge (0.5-1 m) Astartea fascilucaris, Leucophyta brownii, Grevillea thelemanniana, Eremaea pauciflora
If you would like more information, please get in touch.
My plant is not a WA native, can you still give me advice?
No, we only offer advice about Western Australian native plants. Please contact your local nursery for advice about non-natives.
Will you design a garden for me, or come on a site visit?
We can give you tips about what to plant and where you should plant it, but for a complete landscape design service it is best to engage a professional in the field. We are happy to talk you through the basics of your garden planning, based on what you tell us about your garden conditions (soil type, sunlight, watering) and suggest some species that would be suitable.
We are based in Kings Park and are not able to give advice off site.
I am a commercial landscaper, student or researcher - can you give me detailed plant info?
Sorry, we are only able to give advice to home gardeners and are not able to provide detailed or technical advice for commercial or research purposes. We are not able to assist with school or uni assignments.
Can you give me advice my verge tree or a tree on a neighbouring property?
No, we can not give advice about verge trees or trees on neighbouring properties. These are both council issues. Please contact your local government.
We would love to hear from you! Please email us on:
So that we can give you the best advice possible make sure you tell us everything you can about your garden situation, especially the following:
- Your suburb
- The soil type
- Is it in sun or shade?
- Watering – is there reticulation?
You can phone us to chat on a Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon on 9480 3672.
Want to meet and get some garden advice in person? Come to one of our Dig It With Coffee events at Zamia cafe. These events are free but bookings are essential. Make your booking here.
For more information about individual species search our plant database – it contains over 1,300 Western Australian native plants. Links are provided where possible to FloraBase where you’ll find further information about each species.