Your Indoor And Outdoor Summer Planting Guide
‘Natural and organic’ is one of the key design trends tipped to make an impact in 2018, filling our homes with gorgeous wood, handcrafted pieces, and abundant greenery. While a handcrafted oak dining table is a serious investment, updating your indoor and outdoor plants is an easy fix, requiring nothing more than a trip to the nursery and a little bit of know-how. Here’s what to plant this summer to get a head start on one of the new year’s biggest trends. (Related: Trend Alert Everything Old Is New Again)
The first step in getting a handle on what you should be planting over the summer months is working out which temperate zone you live in. Thanks to Australia’s impressive size, we have six separate zones across the country. Find yours from the list below:
- Tropical: hot and humid year-round, with a distinct wet and dry season. Areas include northern QLD, coastal areas of NT, and northern WA.
- Subtropical: wet, humid summers and mild winters. Areas include south-east QLD, northern NSW, and the WA coastline between Exmouth and Broome.
- Desert: dry year-round with frequent drought. This zone stretches across most of central Australia.
- Temperate: areas with four distinct seasons and reliable rainfall, such as coastal NSW (including Sydney) and the south coast of WA.
- Mediterranean: cool winters and warm, dry summers. Most of Australia’s southern coastline falls into this category, including Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
- Alpine: cold winters with frost and snow, paired with mild summers. This zone includes mountainous areas like the Granite Belt, NSW Tablelands and the Great Dividing Range. The ACT and Tasmania also fall into this category.
Now you know your zone, let’s look at what you should be planting over the coming months to increase your chances of having luscious greenery (and being very on-trend) in the new year.
If you live in the tropics, December is the perfect time to start a herb garden, regardless of whether it’s in the backyard or along your kitchen windowsill. Try basil, lemongrass, coriander, mint and tarragon, and make sure you keep them well-watered. If you’ve been looking into creating your own farm-to-table set-up, now’s also the ideal time to plant beetroot, tomato, eggplant, and pumpkin. If you’d prefer to stick to flowering plants, try marigolds, petunias and cockscomb. All three work equally well indoors and out, providing great options for little bursts of colour wherever needed.
Cockscomb and marigolds also grow well in the subtropics at this time of year, along with impatiens and zinnias. Zinnias in particular grow quickly and bloom heavily, making them an excellent choice for quick rewards. If you’d like to add some edible greenery to your home and garden, the time is ripe for planting chives, fennel, parsley, cucumber and capsicum.
The Australian desert is one of the harshest places on Earth and, unfortunately, summer isn’t kind to new plants. Indoor pots have the best chance at survival, and succulents are the safest option. Sturts pigface is particularly hardy and flowers at this time of year, making it a solid choice. Calandrinia, with its pink and purple flowers, is also a good option - particularly if you can secure one which is already in bloom. Remember the trick to healthy succulents is not to over-water them: they grow best in warm, dry conditions.
Summer in Australia’s temperate areas is much more agreeable to new plants. Beautiful verbenas and playful Iceland poppies are your best bet for indoor additions, while boronias and malope plants are perfect new buys for your backyard. For edible plants, look to leafy greens such as cabbage, silver beet and broccoli, or get herbal with mint, chives and coriander.
If you live in the Mediterranean zone, now is the perfect time to start a veggie patch any Nonna would be proud of. Tomato, zucchini and capsicum will do especially well if planted before January comes to a close. For flowers, look no further than bacopa plants and geraniums, which flower heavily and love being planted in hanging baskets, perfect for outdoor entertaining spaces and balconies in need of a little colour.
Flowering plants love summer in Australia’s alpine regions, leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on which greenery to add to your home. Try alyssum or forget-me-not for delicate blooms, pansies or petunias for bright hits of colour, or gorgeous cyclamen for a modern shape and beautiful scent. For edibles, try thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, radish, zucchini, carrot and squash.
If you need some inspiration to put you in the mood for planting, have a look at our Flora Pinterestboard. It's full of beautiful ideas for whatever greenery you’re looking to add to your home or garden this summer.
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