Australian natives for indoors and shady spots

Most gardeners think of Australian natives as plants for outdoors, but here is a list of shade loving beauties for your indoor and shady area.

Think of native plants; many go straight to grevilleas, banksia, kangaroo paw and many other sun-loving natives. Australian native plants are not just sun lovers; the list of shade lovers will amaze you with their volume and surprise you with their beauty. Did you know many types of maiden hair ferns are Australian native plants, love the shade and flourish indoors? Some of the following listed plants may have you thinking of native plants in a different light. It is important to mention Latin names for the following, as common names of these plants can be the same for half a dozen other plants and most are not native.



Surprisingly, several ferns used for indoors are native to Australia, such as the bird nest fern, also called Asplenium austrlasicum. The forms of maiden hair that are natives include Adiantum aethiopicum or atroviride or formosum; when you look at a maiden hair fern, you do not usually think of it being native to Australia. The kangaroo fern or Microsorum diversifolium is another surprise addition, and the walking stick palm Linospadix monostachya and Kentia palm Howea forsteriana are for height and elegance in a room. 



If your indoor space is getting a bit crowded, move onto the shaded areas outdoors that need some greenery; again, natives can spruce up an area easily. The Brisbane lily (guess where it is native to?) and the lovely native violets Viola betonicifolia or banksii or hederacea are winners for these areas. Kidney plant Dichrondra repens are an unassuming ground cover, extremely hardy, and will tolerate some sun. One of the loveliest ferns is the Drynaria rigidula, or basket fern, which hangs in a wire basket and is magnificent. The Dianella caerulea, or blue flax, has a sweet blue flower followed by blue berries, bringing in the birds and pollinators. You can even add some native swamp orchids, Phaius australis and Bernaysii, to show the diversity of Australian native plants for shaded areas.

The list goes on, with some Peperomia species even being native, such as native ‘radiator plant’ Peperomia leptostachya. Many of these plants will surprise and inspire you to use them in your shady garden or indoors.


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