Home gardeners

Some plants can be weedy in some areas and not others. There are many common garden plants that fit this description (e.g. morning glory and agapanthus). For example a harmless garden plant from inland NSW may become weedy if grown in a garden on the coast. Therefore, care must be taken when bringing plants home to your garden from other areas.

Generally, Australian native plants are safe to grow, but not always. Some, such as Cootamundra wattle (Acacia baileyana), bracken fern (Pteridium esculentum), fishbone fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) and umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) have become weedy and invasive when planted in parts of Australia where they do not grow naturally.

Even popular edible species of plants that are often grown in gardens like olives and passionfruit have become weeds in some areas. They need to be carefully managed to reduce the risk of becoming a weed problem elsewhere.

Generally, a plant has the ability to become weedy if they have any of the following traits:

  • The ability to spread by vegetative means (e.g. bulbs, roots or stem fragments)
  • Produce berries that can be eaten by birds (e.g. olives, camphor laurel)
  • Produce large amounts of seeds
  • The ability to survive under extreme conditions
  • A history of weediness in similar climates.

You can check what weeds are in your area and how they need to be managed using NSW WeedWise or you can ask an expert for advice.

For tips on having a biosecure garden see the Australian government's 'Biosecurity Matters' website

By law biosecurity is everybody's business. Weeds threaten our biosecurity and come under the new Biosecurity Act in NSW.

Every person and organisation needs to do their bit to protect the economy, environment and community from the risks posed by weeds. This is now part of your "general biosecurity duty".

What can you do?

  • use NSW WeedWise to find out about the biosecurity duties for weeds in your area
  • talk to your accredited local nursery or council weeds officer about weeds on your property
  • control and prevent weeds spreading on and from your property

Visit the General biosecurity duty page for more information.