How to Choose the Right Plant for Your Garden

It’s the weekend and you’re looking to put some new plants in at your place. You visit the local nursery, pick some plants you like the look of, take them home and plant them. Only to find a few weeks later that they aren’t growing – or worse – they’re dead.

As much as we need to like the look of the plants we buy, it’s just as important – if not more – to look at the growing conditions and your lifestyle, first. Because there are downfalls to picking looks over substance that can easily be avoided with some initial considerations.

Sun and shade

It isn’t rocket science, but this basic element is often ignored. For a plant to survive – and thrive – this is one element that you must consider. If you have a shady spot in your garden and you put in a plant which requires full sun, it will die. If you have an area in your garden with full sun and you put in a shade plant, it will die. Before you choose your plant, consider:

  • Where am I planting it?
  • Does this space have access to sunlight for most of the day?
  • Is it mostly in the shade?
  • Then choose accordingly 
Photo by Max Denisov on Unsplash

Species vs climate

Not all plant species are suitable across different climates. Those which grow well in Victoria, will likely not be suitable in subtropical north Queensland – and vice versa. Whilst you may like the look of a species from another climate, it’s likely this plant will always struggle in yours. Garden’s which have plant species specific to their climate will invariably grow well.

Lifestyle factors

Many of our lifestyle factors impact the types of plants we have in our garden and how well they establish. Do you have pets? How much water is available? How much time can you dedicate to its upkeep? Do you have a pool? Do you have young children? All of these factors influence your plant choices, from grass selection to shrubs, climbers and trees. Considering these elements will help you choose plants that benefit your garden for the long term.

Size of plant vs size of yard

Have you ever made the mistake of planting a large tree in a tiny yard? It’s a mistake you only ever make once! An overbearing plant can consume all the water and nutrients in your garden, making it sparse yet also out of scale. If your yard is small, choose wisely – otherwise you may have little room for anything else.

Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash


If you live a busy life or aren’t physically active, maintenance is crucial to consider. It can impact your time from the grass right up to the trees. When choosing plants, consider:

  • how often does it need trimming?
  • does it require a full prune each year?
  • will I need to mow it each week?
  • does it drop a lot of leaves (particularly relevant if you have a pool)?
  • how quickly will it grow?
  • is it known to take over a garden?

Location within your garden

While sun and shade are important, so too is location. If you plant near a house, you will need to consider how tall it will grow. You need to know what is underground, planting trees near your foundations, drains or sewerage pipes below that could be a problem. Some may need more water than others, so don’t plant something that needs lots of water in the farthest corner of your garden. It shouldn’t stop you planting, but instead help you be informed when choosing what and where you place your plants in your garden.

If you would like assistance with choosing the right plants for the right place, contact us to find out how we can help.

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