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Island grown is best

News release
18 May 2015

There are great benefits to living on an island – spectacular coastal scenery, fresh clean air, unique plants and animals. However, some of these assets can make gardening difficult.

Plants that thrive on the mainland often don’t like our limestone, sandy soils or the strong, salty sea-winds that sweep across the island. It can be a challenge to find plants that will grow well here, especially close to the coast. Furthermore, plants that are not native to Kangaroo Island pose a biosecurity risk if they escape from the garden, potentially becoming weeds that require costly interventions to control or eradicate.

The answer is to grow native Kangaroo Island plants selected for the appropriate Kangaroo Island conditions. Native Kangaroo Island plants are adapted to our soils and climate and are less likely to be attacked by diseases or insects.

It hasn’t always been easy to obtain KI seedlings but the KI Native Plant Nursery has overcome this problem. The nursery has over 10,000 seedlings from over 100 different species of KI native plants. Check the plant list. Staff are happy to provide advice about the most appropriate plants for landholdings, large or small.

The plants are propagated and grown on the island and range in cost depending on size. A discount is offered for purchases of more than 50 plants. The nursery also sells guards and stakes and is located at 22b Telegraph Road, Kingscote next to the Caltex service station.

Winter trading hours are Tuesday 9.00 am–12.30 pm and Thursday 9.00 am–5.00 pm, as from Tuesday 5 May. Other times by appointment — please phone 0437 322 692.

For those difficult coastal areas you might like to try growing cushion bush (Leucophyta brownii) with its beautiful silver foliage and yellow button flowers, round leaved pigface (Disphyma craassifolia) with its colourful flowers and leaves, or the coast beard heath (Leucopogon parviflorus) whose white star-shaped flowers yield a sweet fragrance. All of these are available from the KI Native Plant Nursery.

Contact us for more information about the nursery or to download a plant list, please check the