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How to Attract Wildlife to Your Garden

Australia is full of gorgeous wildlife. Familiar magpie songs, the buzz of native bees and a cheeky blue tongue are all welcome guests and its easy to attract them to your garden with a few simple tips.

Planting Food

Native flowering plants are well-known for attracting bees and birds. The Burst™ range of callistemons are a great choice, with abundant flowers providing a food source often favoured by nectar-eating birds such as lorikeets and honey-eaters.

For attracting bees, you can’t go past Aussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus. Its enormous pink flowers are a magnet for pollinating insects. Purple Fusion Scaevola is also a great choice due to its continuous flowering throughout most of the year.

While native plants are common sense when wanting to bring in wildlife, don’t write off exotic species. For example, Mighty Gold™ and Mighty Coral™ Aloes have tall flower spikes that attract bees and birds too. They are a great choice for providing a winter food source, when many other plants are not flowering.

Pinnacle™ and Straight and Narrow™ Syzygiums are excellent for wildlife, because they produce pollen and lilly pilly fruit, attracting a wide array of wildlife including birds, bats and possums.

For your insectivorous friends there are other ways to attract food. Leaf litter and mulch create habitat for bugs which feed a huge variety of birds and marsupials. One of the best ways to attract these animals is to bury compost in your yard, this creates a cache of insect life for ground dwelling animals such as lizards and bandicoots.

It is also recommended to reduce or eliminate pesticide and herbicide use. These products not only harm the food populations, but can also harm any wildlife that eats poisoned food.

New Holland Honeyeater bird feeding on a Callistemon flower
New Holland Honeyeater bird feeding on a Callistemon flower

New Holland Honeyeater bird feeding on a Callistemon flower

Aussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus is very attractive to bees

Aussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus is very attractive to bees

Mighty Coral™ Aloe attracts nectar feeding birds and insects

Mighty Coral™ Aloe attracts nectar feeding birds and insects

Bandicoots are rare nocturnal garden visitors

Bandicoots are rare nocturnal garden visitors

New Holland Honeyeater bird feeding on a Callistemon flowerAussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus is very attractive to beesMighty Coral™ Aloe attracts nectar feeding birds and insectsBandicoots are rare nocturnal garden visitors

Providing Cover

Shelter is another important aspect for attracting wildlife to your garden. Bushy shrubs, trees and groundcovers provide a variety of hiding places for wildlife. Denser shrubs can attract more shy wildlife such as small birds like fairy wrens.

Slim™ Callistemon’s dense and tall growth along with attractive flowers makes it a haven for birds.

Blue Horizon™ Eremophilia is another great hiding place for animals due to its dense growth. It’s small yellow flowers also attracts bees and birds.

Westringias like Ozbreed Aussie Box® and Mundi™ provide dense cover, attracting wildlife to hide amongst its fine leaves.

Apart from plants, a garden with diverse habitats including logs, rocks, mulch, leaves and sticks provides shelter for lizards and insects. You can also install specific homes such as bird or possum houses. These are great for nesting animals especially if there are few hollows available in your area.

Small birds like this Superb Fairy Wren need dense bushes to feel safe in your backyard
Small birds like this Superb Fairy Wren need dense bushes to feel safe in your backyard

Small birds like this Superb Fairy Wren need dense bushes to feel safe in your backyard

Dense shrubs like Westringias and Callistemons attract wildlife

Dense shrubs like Westringias and Callistemons attract wildlife

Blue Horizon™ Eremophila provides cover for birds, lizards and other small animals

Blue Horizon™ Eremophila provides cover for birds, lizards and other small animals

Logs, rocks, mulch, leaves and sticks provides shelter for lizards and insects

Logs, rocks, mulch, leaves and sticks provides shelter for lizards and insects

Small birds like this Superb Fairy Wren need dense bushes to feel safe in your backyardDense shrubs like Westringias and Callistemons attract wildlifeBlue Horizon™ Eremophila provides cover for birds, lizards and other small animalsLogs, rocks, mulch, leaves and sticks provides shelter for lizards and insects

A Water Source

A pond surrounded by plants is the best thing to attract wildlife to your garden. The cover and water source will attract any animal in your area for a drink.

However a pond is not possible in all backyards, so you can also provide bird baths and water dishes as a water source in your garden.

Small backyards can still attract visitors with small water features such as bird baths
Small backyards can still attract visitors with small water features such as bird baths

Small backyards can still attract visitors with small water features such as bird baths

A pond attracts water loving wildlife such as this Eastern Water Dragon

A pond attracts water loving wildlife such as this Eastern Water Dragon

Shallow water dishes with sand or pebbles attract thirsty bees

Shallow water dishes with sand or pebbles attract thirsty bees

Tree hollows are important habitat for possums. You can put up a possum house to attract more visitors

Tree hollows are important habitat for possums. You can put up a possum house to attract more visitors

Small backyards can still attract visitors with small water features such as bird bathsA pond attracts water loving wildlife such as this Eastern Water DragonShallow water dishes with sand or pebbles attract thirsty beesTree hollows are important habitat for possums. You can put up a possum house to attract more visitors

Overall, having a garden full of diverse ecosystems that meets wildlife’s need for food, water and shelter will attract them to your garden for you to enjoy. Even just improving your garden a little can help wildlife a lot.

You can sit back and enjoy birds feeding in the callistemons at sunrise, lizards sunning themselves at midday and maybe even spot some night-time visitors such as possums, wallabies, bandicoots and more!

Bianca Boman

Bianca has worked in marketing in the horticulture industry for 5 years. She is passionate about creating greener spaces and the environmental applications of plants. In 2020, she graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Business (Advanced Business Leadership) Majoring in Marketing.

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