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The Best Low Maintenance Plants For a Sydney Winter

daphne shrub

The dead of winter may seem like the last place you'd expect your garden to produce any blooms. After all, usually, we dead-head autumn flowers and wait until the next season to resume gardening activities.

But, you don't have to endure a flower-free garden for the entire season. There's an array of vibrant blooms that can withstand the cooler Aussie temperatures, from dainty whites to deep fuchsia.

You might need some gardening tools for some of them. But most flowering plants in this list won't require high maintenance and can grow fine if planted with care.

Here's a list of eight flowering plants that can withstand the Sydney winter.


Daphne is a cool, white flower that can tolerate much of Australia's frosts. With 50 types of Daphne, there's a lot of this majestic beauty to find. The most common Australian bloom is the Daphne odora, capable of growing a metre high with white and pink flowers.

This flowering plant enjoys moist, rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Make sure that you plant it under some light shade where it can lay under the morning sun. Drainage is also essential for this plant as its roots can rot. Generously spread mulch to avoid weeds from growing or roots from tangling with nearby plants. Though as much as possible, it's best to grow it in its own space.


In dreary months, Polyanthus produces lovely whites during the Australian wintertime. It can also produce a range of colours like pink, blue, purple, red and orange. For excellent growth, you may keep it in a pot or planter with the right potting mix. Position it gently and expose it to healthy doses of sunlight and water.

You may also choose a spot in the garden for setting up. If you do, don't forget to add organic mulch like bark chips, woodchip, compost or pea straw to retain the flower's lustre.


Also known as the Purple Coral Pea, this Australian native flora produces a mass of dark purple flowers in the wintertime. Other less-common forms include the Hardenbergia 'Rosea' having a pale pink colour, and the Hardenbergia' Alba', which is pure white.

Bokashi Composting Bin

The Hardenbergia likes semi-shaded areas in the garden, but it thrives and prefers well-drained soil under full sun. It's a climber and a great way to hide fences. But if you don't want it running along the fence, be sure to prune it regularly after flowering.

Helebore for winter gardens

Also known as the Winter Rose, the Hellebore is a cool-climate plant that can enliven any winter garden. It flowers between winter and spring. It includes plants like delphinium, aquilegia, buttercup and anemone, characterised by its clumpy and low-growing evergreens. They come in a vast range of colours, from black, white, green, pink and maroon.

Hellebore plants prefer nestling in a shady spot under deciduous trees where they can grow without much maintenance. If you plan to reposition it, it's best to do it while it's just a few centimetres tall since its roots don't like getting disturbed.

Protea for winter gardens

Although the Protea hails from South Africa, Protea can commercially grow in Australia's winter climate. Their rugged, evergreen hardiness characterises these plants. They grow between winter and spring; both hold a tolerance to hot and freezing temperatures. The Protea comes with a dazzling combination of colours, from golden yellows to bright pinks.

These plants prefer a mild climate with little to no humidity. Expose it to plenty of sunlight and plant it in perfect free-draining soil, particularly gravelly, sandy, or open loam soil. Most adult Protea can tolerate slight frosts and don't require much water (1x a week), making it a decent winter-garden addition.

Hebe Shrub
Hebe Shrubs

The Hebe plant is a gem in the garden, taking its name from the Goddess of Youth in Greek mythology. These evergreen shrubs are native to New Zealand and grow anywhere from one metre to two metres tall. Their foliage grows year-long and can range from bronze, burgundy, to a speckled mix of colours.

There are plenty of ways to grow the Hebe plant. You can grow them in rock gardens, containers, planters or pots. You can plant them in borders or use them for edging. They experience the best growth in loose, well-draining soil. They can grow in both sun and shade, although full sun is preferred for the best growth.

Emu Bush
Emu Bush

Emu bush can tolerate droughts and cold winters, making it an excellent backyard plant that requires very little maintenance. These dense, rounded bushes bloom during the winter and don't require much water at all. They don't need a lot of water, making them an excellent low-maintenance plant. They are also versatile in size and growth habit, growing from 3 to 6 feet wide to 3 and small, low-growing shrubs to 15-foot trees.

The Emu Bush grows well under little shade and full sun. Soil should be well-drained, but it isn't too picky. Water dosage is infrequent, but when you do irrigate, generously soak it. Shallow and frequent irrigation decreases the plant's life span.

Lily of the valley

Lily of the Valley

No other Australian plant has the gorgeous and fragrant white bells and broad leaves that the Lily of the Valley possesses. It blooms during early spring and is best planted during wintertime. This flower enjoys shady areas under trees. Although this plant blooms best during other seasons, this perennial bloomer continues to grow during cooler weather. Just be sure to prune the old stems for it to grow its new ones.

This plant enjoys the full sun and rich soil, particularly with a leaf mould. If the flower's under full sun, irrigate when 1 to 2 inches of soil becomes dry.


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