Learn about growing Australian natives for your own backyard or to advance your career in the horticultural industry.
Introduction to Australian Natives is a professional development program that provides an in-depth exploration of native plants and their cultivation, with a focus on Australian species
In this Australian natives course, you will learn about native taxonomy, botanical nomenclature, binomial systems, cultivation and how to create sustainable and visually appealing landscapes. This course also explores the many levels of plant division, plant families, and the identification of species, hybrids, varieties, and cultivars using botanical keys.
On completion of this course, you will have the skills necessary to design, cultivate and maintain beautiful native plant gardens.
Unit - Australian Natives I
Unit 1 – Introduction
Australian natives worldwide
Scope and nature of native plants
Botanical and horticultural nomenclature
Levels of division
Plant families and species
Hybrids, varieties and cultivars
Common Australian plant families
Botanical keys and their use
An easy key to plant groups
Key to plant phyla
Origins of Australian plants
Australian sclerophyll flora
Resources for more information
List of seed suppliers
Unit 2 – Culture of native plants
Cultivation of Australian plants
Pests and diseases
Improving soil structure
Soil acidity and soil pH
Soil and water
Why is water important to plants?
Infiltration and water retention
Suitable organic materials
When to water
Period of watering
Being water-wise and improving drainage
Creating raised beds
Improving soils – composting
Hot heaps versus cold heaps
No dig techniques
What nutrients do plants need?
Choosing the right fertiliser
Pruning Australian natives
Pruning trees and shrubs
Frost-hardy native plants
How to plant an Australian native plant
Natives at a glance
Special planting techniques
Natives for shaded areas
Plants suited to full shade
Propagation of Australian plants
Life of seeds
Sexual versus – asexual propagation methods
Collecting and harvesting seed – guidelines
Methods of collecting
Soaking in boiling water
Stratification (moist chilling)
Sowing your seeds
The bog method
How to propagate a cutting
Classification of cuttings types
Types of cuttings
Nursery hygiene practices
Unit 3 – Eucalypts
Types of eucalypts; gums, stringybarks, boxes, ironbarks, yates, peppermints, etc.
Some eucalyptus species
Eucalypt cultural requirements
Review of important eucalypt species
Unit 4 – Native trees
Casuarina : Casuarinaceae
Some Allocasuarina species:
Australian Conifers: Overview
Unit 5– Acacias
The genus Acacia (The Wattles)
A brief overview of the Acacia genus
Acacia Cultural Requirements
Pests, pruning and Feeding
Elements of a landscape drawing
What to draw on and with
Landscape design procedure
Using plants properly
Drawing a landscape plan
Unit 6 – Melaleucas, Callistemons, Leptospermums and Other Shrubs
The Myrtaceae family
Callistemon – family Myrtaceae
Important callistemon cultivars and species
Leptospermum overview and culture
Important leptospermum species
Unit 7 – Grevilleas and their relatives
Grevillea (family: Proteaceae)
Types of flower: erect cluster, toothbrush, pendant, cylinder
McGilveray identification method
Flower and leaf terminology
Low growing grevilleas
Banksia type hybrids
Hybrid parents from tropics and sub tropics
General culture of grevillea
Pest and diseases
Review of many important species
Unit 8 – Ground cover and small shrubs
Overview of Fabaceae
Boronia; overview and culture
Unit 9 – Commercial applications
The boronia family
Uses for eucalypts
Uses for grevillea
Other scented natives
Uses for acacia: timber, tanning, cut flowers, food, etc
Aboriginal uses for acacias
Growing natives in containers
Growing natives in containers
Choosing a container
Caring for plants in containers
Plants for pots
Plants for baskets or pots
Other commercial uses
Estimated duration 50 hours
Course Delivery and Start
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Assessment will be comprised of written exercises, including short-answer questions, reflective tasks, short reports and/or projects. There are no examinations or due dates for assessment. As a result, you can complete training in your own time and at your own pace with the assistance of unlimited tutor support.
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