5 Unusual Plants To Grow: A Guide For Adventurous Aussie Gardeners

Unusual Plants To Grow

If you’re an avid gardener, then chances are you’ve already got tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, and all those nursery fruits and vegetables showcased in your backyard already. Yes, honing a green thumb can come with quite a learning curve, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s only natural to look at other plant projects that may be out of your comfort zone.

So are you feeling adventurous? If you’re looking to inject a little something new into your own garden, then consider this little list to be a great jumping off point. Here are our picks for the top 5 unusual plants to incorporate into your own garden space.

1. Japanese Maple Trees

First on the list is the stunning Japanese Maple tree. Characterised by its eye-catching red, orange, yellow, or purple foliage and ability to be kept in pots, the Japanese Maple tree has been cultivated for ornamental purposes, often being used as a focal point in landscaped gardens. 

One of the key selling points of the Japanese Maple for a lot of hobby gardeners is that this tree can grow as tall as 30 feet or be comfortably kept at around 6 feet tall in its ornamental varietal. This means that you can feasibly plant your Japanese Maple in containers like PVC planter boxes or large terracotta pots. If you’re uncertain what kind of depth you’ll be requiring for your Japanese Maple cultivar, we highly recommend checking out our blog on selecting the perfect plant pot here.

2. Red Kangaroo Paw

One of the most eye-catching native Australian plants you’re likely to see in gardens across the country, Kangaroo Paw is just as easy to cultivate as it is to maintain. Growing from underground rhizomes, this striking stalked plant can provide an effortless verticality and geometry to your garden alongside its signature pops of colour. The best part of this plant is of course, its hairy upper stalks and buds which mimic the appearance of curled kangaroo paws – hence the name!

There are many different variants of Kangaroo Paw plants available in nurseries across the country, but Red Kangaroo Paw is amongst the most popular thanks to its striking colouring and taller stalks. Red Kangaroo Paw also happens to be the floral emblem for the state of Western Australia. Adding some Red or Green Kangaroo Paw to your front garden will be sure to make you feel like a proud Perth native.

3. Lamb’s Ear

Another great texture-rich plant, Lamb’s Ear is a low-growing foliage plant that’s renowned for its ‘fluffy’ appearance. Lamb’s Ear is named not only for its fluffy, lamb-ear like appearance, but also for the family Lamiaceae, which also happens to be the same family that mint is in. 

Fittingly, Lamb’s Ear leaves do look very similar to mint, are just as easy to grow as mint, and can also actually be used in food preparation. So even though this fast-growing plant can make for great ground cover and may even take over your garden beds, you can actually harvest it to use in homemade teas, or even in salads as the foliage has a subtle fruity taste which has been described as similar to apple or pineapple.

And if you’re not planning on eating it, you’ll still find plenty of joy in growing this fluffy little plant and feeling its soft ‘ears’ from season to season.

4. Pitcher Plants & Venus Flytraps

Two other eye-catching plants that’s sure to send a shiver or two down your spine, pitcher plants and venus flytraps are actually more commonly grown in gardens than you’d expect them to be, and for one very good reason. As these plants are carnivorous and feed on a range of different insects, they’re actually great for pest control! 

Pitcher plants and venus flytraps also love sunlight and thrive in warm, sunny environments, making them suitable for a wide range of different regions across Australia. Whether you’re looking to grow some zany plants in your South Australian garden or your tropical Cairns patio, adding some pitcher plants to your garden design will be sure to instil some intrigue and action that you can enjoy year-round.

5. Finger Lime Trees

If you’re a novice gardener, then chances are you’ll be looking to add plants into your garden that are on the easier side to grow. This can include edible crops like potatoes or happy tomato plants, or even low-maintenance plants like succulents. 

Citrus trees are also amongst the most popular, low-maintenance plants for novice green thumbs. Typically providing high yields of fruits, citrus trees are a great introduction to all the many benefits of managing a self-sufficient garden for your home and household. But if you don’t use that many lemons or oranges in your home cooking and want to try growing something a little more interesting that a lemon tree, then why not try cultivating your own finger lime tree instead?

Known for its unique finger-shaped fruit and unique caviar-like citrus pulp, finger limes have been growing in popularity as a native Australian food ingredient. Growing your own finger limes will simply mean that you’ll have your very own supply of these sought after fruits for your own personal uses. And there are a surprising number of uses for finger limes today, with this list only continuing to grow as Aussie chefs keep experimenting with this unique citrus. So get ahead of the curve and grow some finger limes in your own backyard today.


We know that these 5 unique plants will naturally catch your eye, but have any piqued your interest? If so, then make sure to head to your local plant nurseries and gardening supply stores to ensure you have all you need to give your new unusual flora the best possible start to their sun-kissed lives.

Picture of Lilly Thomas

Lilly Thomas

Amateur wedding planner and a full-time good-time, Lilly Thomas loves to bring her bubbly, bright personality to everything she does, especially writing! Always looking to try new things and sample what life has to offer, Lilly runs a DIY glass-blowing class when she's not busy making that bank!

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