Plant Natives

Last Updated : 14 Mar 2022
Plant Natives

Our native birds love gardens where they can easily find food and water and build a nest. Native plants provide them with the best sources of food and shelter. The more backyards have natives, the easier it is for native birds to thrive and move around the neighbourhood.

Planting natives with Ranger Glenn

Natives we love for Auckland

Kowhai (1)

Kōwhai – there are eight species of kōwhai, and one of them, Sophora fulvida is native to the Auckland/Northland region and doesn’t grow as big as other species, making it ideal for backyards and gardens.


Karo - karo is hardy and can be pruned to size, making it an ideal species for hedging.

Mountain Flax

Mountain Flax/Wharariki - a type of flax, Phormium cookianum, native to the Auckland region. This type doesn’t grow as big so is well-suited to home gardens and the nectar of the flowers is great food for tūī.

Handy tips

  • Autumn is a good time to plan ahead and choose what to plant in winter (which is the best time to plant natives as there is time for the seedlings to get enough rain and establish before the summer rolls around).
  • Planting a variety of native trees and shrubs helps ensure there is food available all year round. The handy tables on this page tell you what birds eat and which plants supply this food and when - so you can help with a year-round buffet in your backyard.
  • Eco sourcing plants is the best way to make sure you are planting seedlings that will survive and thrive in the Auckland environment. Find out how here.
  • Use these tips to help chose a site and plant your tree.

Safety in numbers

When groups of neighbours have native trees and shrubs planted along their boundaries, they start to form corridors that help our native birds move all over Auckland. 

If you don’t know where to start or want to get active, you can also look here to see if there’s a community planting day coming up near you.

Find out more on how to attract birds to your garden and backyard biodiversity here.

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