Let’s Propagate

plant giveawaySo… you’ve heard all the stuff about how good native plants are. You have even been persuaded that local native plants are best. They don’t need watering or fertilising and they provide the best food and shelter for birds and animals. You have decided to give them a go in your garden.

The next question is – where do you buy them? Well… you can’t! Local retail nurseries don’t sell them. Nor does the Forestry Commission at West Pennant Hills. Hornsby Council’s community nursery at Pennant Hills grows thousands of local native plants each year, but they don’t sell them to the public. You can get them if you become a nursery volunteer, or if you join a Council programme like the Rural Lands Incentive Scheme.

You might find a friend who will grow them for you, or you can do it yourself!


Propagating your own native plants is interesting and with a bit of practice, it can be quite easy. You can propagate by seed, cuttings, layering, grafting or dividing. Seed and cuttings are the most common methods.

Propagation by seed involves collecting the seed, treating it by various methods, sowing it in trays, transferring the small seedlings to individual pots and growing them until big enough to plant out.

Propagation by cuttings involves collecting the plant material, preparing the cuttings, planting them in a growing medium, transferring them to individual pots when roots have formed, growing them until big enough to plant out.

Some simple equipment, such as polystyrene boxes with clear plastic on top, can increase your success rate. At the end, you will have plants in your garden that no-one else has, you can share them with friends, you have done something to help the environment and you feel good!

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