Weeds in Australia

How you can help

Tips for gardeners

Green waste disposal

Poor disposal, such as dumping garden waste in bushland, is one of the main ways that weeds escape from gardens and start growing in bushland and waterways. Some of the ways that you can help minimise the spread of weeds through responsible disposal of garden waste include:

Check with your local council about what garden waste disposal facilities are available in your area.

Plant selection

Some of the worst weeds found in our native bushlands have escaped from gardens. When invasive plants escape from gardens they can reproduce and aggressively invade natural habitats, crowding out and threatening native plants.

According to the CRC for Australian Weed Management, 65 per cent of the exotic plant species that naturalised in Australia between 1971 and 1995 were introduced as ornamental or garden plants.

Some of the ways that you can help are:

Sourcing plants from other areas within Australia

Even within Australia you need to be very careful about transporting plants from one area to another or from one state to another. Plants that are perfectly safe in one part of Australia may be an environmental disaster in another. Check the weeds list for problem plants before you consider transporting them to other parts of Australia.

Check with your relevant state or territory government department before transporting plants from one area to another or from one state to another.

For more information about quarantine arrangements when travelling within Australia can be found at Travellers' Guide to Interstate Quarantine .

Sourcing plants from overseas

Exotic weeds are those that arrive in Australia from overseas and establish in the country. These weeds are of particular concern because of the damaging impacts they have on the country's primary industries, trade, the economy and the environment. In order to protect Australia from the impact of exotic weeds we need to know what to look out for and what to do when a suspect exotic weed is found.

Imported plants, bulbs and seed including those ordered over the Internet or through mail order must be cleared before coming into the country and some may be banned or require permits. Check with the Department of Agriculture  before ordering plant material.

Check your existing plants

Some of the worst weeds found in our native bushlands have escaped from gardens.  Of the almost 3,000 introduced plant species now known to be established in the Australian environment, two thirds are escaped garden plants.

When we talk about weeds in this context some of you might be surprised to find out that we are talking about common garden plants, like Agapanthus or Arum Lilies. Here are some suggestions that can assist you to check your garden for weeds:

Removing weeds

Different weeds have different methods of removal depending on the way they grow and propagate. The CRC for Australian Weed Management has guidance for removing four different types of plants:

Garden maintenance

Even when you have removed weeds, it is important to regularly monitor your garden to ensure weeds do not re-establish.

Some steps you can take to maintain a weed-free garden include: