Centre for Continuing Education

Australian Native Plants Gardening Course

Horticulture & Gardening. Open to everyone.

Learn Horticulture & Gardening the smart way with Horticulture & Gardening courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Australian native plants were here before us and they’re all around us. But where did they come from and how have they survived and flourished in our harsh environment for so long and so well?


Discover the answer to these questions and more, including how to choose the right native plants for your garden or balcony to screen, attract birds or create a focal point. You’ll also learn about edible Australian native plants as well as those that have fragrant flowers, act as fire retardants and need minimal maintenance.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the distinguishing features of several major Australian native plant families.
  2. Recognise the adaptations of Australian native plants.
  3. Select suitable Australian native plants for suburban gardens.
  4. Determine Australian native plants that are bird attracting, fire retardant and frost tolerant.
  5. Cultivate and maintain Australian native plants successfully.
  6. Ascertain the various Australian native plants that produce edible food.


This Australian Native Plants course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction
  • Origins of Australian native plants – Gondwanaland – South African and South American relationships
  • Australian climatic zones and environments -tropical, sub-tropical, rainforest, etc.
  • Major Australian native plant families – Myrtaceae, Epacridaceae, Proteaceae, and their features
  • Adaptations of Australian native plants – leaves, stems, flowers, roots, etc.
  • Australian native plants for specific locations – coastal; drought tolerant; frost resistant; bogs/ponds, etc.
  • Australian native plants for suburban gardens –evergreen/deciduous trees; plants for screening/windbreaks; shrubs for sun/shade; climbers for sun/shade; groundcovers/grasses for sun/shade
  • Australian native plants with special features – bird attracting; fire retardant; fragrant flowers/ aromatic leaves; focal point/architectural plants; etc.
  • Edible Australian native plants
  • Cultivation of Australian native plants
  • Planting techniques; pruning; maintenance
  • Pest and disease control
  • Review

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for anyone who would not only like to be able to identify Australian native plants but also recognise their adaptations to the environment. It would also be of interest to anyone who would like to select suitable Australian native plants for various locations, cultivate them successfully and grow edible varieties.

Delivery Style

This course is delivered in an interactive classroom environment where the origin, features and cultivation of Australian native plants is discussed.


Comprehensive course notes will be provided in class. Examples of Australian native plants will also be presented.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • I loved the course, and learned so much in one day. The tutor was great. Perfect pace, content, warmth, passion. Fantastic!

  • The tutor provided a comprehensive and thorough coverage of the material involved in a clear and instructive way. All attendees were engaged in interactive discussion with ample opportunity to discuss any issues of personal concern. I was most impressed with the overall presentation.

  • Well presented. Very informative – with plenty of literature to read and follow-up on.

  • Really enjoyed the class. The presenter was a warm and knowledgeable tutor who did the best to ensure everyone got what they were after from the course. No question was too small or silly, nor went unanswered. I would definitely recommend this course and look forward to doing more of them.

  • It was a wonderful day, lots of helpful information on native plants, and the management of a native garden. I traveled a long way, so I definitely appreciated the full use of the time allocated. All information was delivered in a nurturing environment, with camaraderie and class participation encouraged by the presenter.

Australian Native Plants Gardening Course

<p>{block name:“Course Tagline - Horticulture & Gardening”}</p><p>Australian native plants were here before us and they’re all around us. But where did they come from and how have they survived and


What others say.

  • Well presented. Very informative - with plenty of literature to read and follow-up on.
  • The tutor is extremely knowledgeable and tailors the course to match the experience and interests of the group. Used images and plant samples to explain concepts, and there were plenty of opportunities for questions and clarification. The course was very practical, with vast amounts of applicable information for gardeners of all skill levels.
  • This course was outstanding.