Expert Tips

Picks for Pots

Digby Growns is the Senior Plant Breeder at Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Western Australia and one of the country’s leading native plant experts. Digby lives, breathes and speaks plant botany and is here to share some expert tips for your own Native Plant Project…

Digby’s Top 5 Plants for Pots…

#1. Banksia blechnifolia – Groundcover Banksia

Typically used as a striking prostrate ground cover, try these in pots for a dramatic statement. Best suited to a sunny spot flowering in Spring – Summer with dramatic flower heads. When not in flower enjoy the interesting serrated green foliage. A hardy plant that can handle a light frosts and prefers well drained soil.  Order from the e-nursery. 

#2. Lomandra confertifolia ‘Little Con’ – Matt Rush

This verdant clumping grass-like perennial looks great as a border, planted on mass as a striking ground cover but is a great feature plant in pots. It’s hardy nature means it can tolerate a variety of conditions. If ever damaged by weather, just cut it right back and new growth will follow.  Order at the e-nursery. 

#3 Grevillea ‘New Blood’

While this grevillea can be happily grown in the ground, they look amazing as a feature plant in a large ornamental pot. Best in a sunny spot, they’ll provide year-round large scarlet flowers that birds will love. Order from the e-nursery. 

#4. Anigozanthos ‘Bush Pearl’ – Kangaroo Paw

Great for a pot and for cut flowers, this dwarf kangaroo paw will produce pink hued flowers all year round.  It prefers sun to light shade and will attract nectar eating birds.  Feed with a native fertiliser through the warmer months and tidy up dead flowers by cutting the stem close to the ground. Available at the e-nursery. 

#5 Boronia megastigma, B. purdieana, B. ‘Lipstick’ & B. molloyae

The combination of these boronia provides exquisite fragrance from autumn (B. purdieana) to spring (B. megastigma) with bright yellow, pink and red colours. Shade or semi-shade, grow in a breezy position or near a walkway to get the benefits of the beautiful fragrance.

boronia lipstick standard
grevillea hybrid new blood 1Little Con Lomandra 3
Clockwise from left: Boronia as a topiary; the brightly coloured Grevillea ‘New Blood’ has a long flowering season; Matt Rush planted en masse in pots makes an architectural feature.

red rocks 197 banksia blechnifolia
red rocks 61 anigozanthos bush pearl
Left: Banksia blechnifolia makes for a dramatic statement in pots. Right: dwarf kangaroo paw variety, ‘Bush Pearl’ works well in pots with year round flowers.

Meet our Native Plant Project Expert ~

Digby Growns is the Senior Plant Breeder at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. He manages programs in the breeding and development of Anigozanthos, Boronia, Chamelaucium, Corymbia, Grevillea, Leptospermum and Scaevola.  He has worked for many years on the development of Australian native plants for horticulture and over 40 new varieties of native plants including the hybrid Chamelaucium ‘Pearlflower’ series and Grevillea ‘RSL Spirit of ANZAC’. He leads research into new technology developments in plant tissue culture, biotechnology and plant breeding. Digby shares his knowledge with Native Plant Project in a regular ‘Top 5 Picks”…