Simple steps to ‘Grow Your Own’

Habitat volunteers Charlie Bell and Stan Zikman harvesting banksia cones in the Koala Bay estate.
Habitat volunteers Charlie Bell and Stan Zikman harvesting banksia cones in the Koala Bay estate.

WANT to grow your own native plants to attract the birds and beautify your garden?

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It’s easy and a good species to start with is the banksia.

They were named after Sir Joseph Banks.

It was he who named the first place Captain Cook landed in Australia as Botany Bay. The reason?

It was full of hitherto unknown species of flora.

MV Banks, formerly HMAS Banks, which was moored at the Lemon Tree Passage Marina was also named in his honour.

We are lucky in Tilligerry to have quite a few types and they are dead set easy to propagate.

It’s best to select the type which suits your land.

The serrata is our tallest and lives outside the floodplain whereas the wallum banksia likes low lying topography such as Tanilba Golf Course.

The large leafed robur prefers the edges of water courses and marginata are prolific near the rim of the foreshore.

Collina and oblongifolia can be found in the rocky hills.

Just go into the scrub and snap off a few old cones (which haven’t been visited by bushfire for a few years) and put them in an oven.

An hour at 120 degrees should do the trick. Leave them for a few days to fully open
then use tweezers to pluck out the winged seed which hides behind a woody ‘tongue.’

Directly plant them or pot them up. A ‘butterfly’ seedling will emerge a week or so later.

Want to know more?

Get on down to the ‘Habitat’ where the grow them in their nursery for sale to ‘Sibelco,’ the silica sand miners at Oyster Cove.

By Geoff WALKER

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