Native plants for restoration
There are a couple of ways you can get plants for restoration activities. You can grow your own or buy them from nurseries.
Have a look at the Wellington regional native plant guide and the Wellington region's "first fifteen" to help you decide what to plant.
GWRC encourages the use of eco-sourced plants. This means that the seeds (or other propagation materials) are sourced from within the region and are species that would occur here naturally.
When collecting seeds or other plant material from GWRC land, Department of Conservation land or district/city council land, a permit is usually required. You can contact the particular organisations for the process to get permits. It is also important to get permission from private land owners to collect seeds and plants for propagation.
Many native plants are not difficult to grow from eco-sourced seeds or cuttings. If you have the time and room for some basic nursery facilities, growing your own plants can be a rewarding aspect of a restoration project.
For many restoration projects, it’s likely that plants will be purchased from a nursery. There are a number of specialist native nurseries that can supply eco-sourced plants appropriate for your area. It’s not always possible to buy eco-sourced plants ‘off the shelf’ from garden centres and retail nurseries, but they might be able to help you out if you plan well ahead. Some city or district councils may also be able to supply plants or offer local sourcing tips.
It is worth considering entering into a contract with a specialist native nursery to supply all the plants for the duration of your project. While this takes a bit of planning, it often reduces the cost per plant. You can either supply the nursery with the seeds (or cuttings) of the plants you want or, in many cases, the nursery can handle the seed collection aspect as well.
If you or a nursery are growing plants for your project, you will need 12 to 18 months of lead time before your plants are ready to plant. This gives you plenty of time to sort out fencing and control weeds and animal pests so that your plants can get off to the best possible start in their new home.
More planting resources can be found on Nature Space.