Growing dune plants

Goodness knows how many dune plants I have planted, let alone grow to nourish the narrow dunal corridor along Gold Coast’s beaches. But I have had some time away from the dunes in more recent months while I finished off my Honours thesis so yesterday was quite the experience for me to be back on the dunes and planting native dune plants to help restore the dunes at Lacey’s Lane, Palm Beach.

A group of us got together for International Surfing Day 2015 and planted about 100 plants – 20 plants from pots grown in a local nursery and 60 or so cuttings taken straight from the beach. Most of the people didn’t know you could plant cuttings, so it got me thinking… to propagate and grow dune plants for my local beach. Cause I’ve been wanting to plant more dune plants along the foreshore at the end of my street so I am now one step closer having now propagated some dune plants at home – this morning.

As it is really easy I thought it would be handy to share my knowledge to inspire you to start growing your own dune plants (or other plants) and then even donate them to a local dune care (land care) group.

I hope this ‘how to’ is helpful for you!

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Along the foredunes take cuttings from native dune plants (note: only take what you need).

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I chose Yellow Beach Bean and Coastal Pig Face, it is an easy dune plant to propagate and there was plenty at Lacey’s Lane.

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Cut the runners at about a metre in length so you can take further cuttings from the runner / to re-plant the entire cutting where you might need some dune plant coverage on the dune.

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Be creative about what you can use as a pot. We had some left over coffee / beer bio-paper cups so I made some holes at the bottom to allow drainage.

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Then fill the cup/ bottle/ pot with seed raising and cutting potting mix.

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Hanging pots are great to use too! I found some extra pots in the shed and some plastic bottles in the recycling bin. It’s always best to re-use waste.

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Put a teaspoon of native slow-release selective fertiliser and mix it into the soil.

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Cut the runners into smaller cuttings and place in the soil and then fill up the cup/ bottle/ pot with soil to the top.

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If the runners are longer and you have a bigger pot place them in a circle and cover most of the foliage with soil.

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Then place the propagated native dune plants in the sun and water well once – twice a day depending on moisture. They should be ready to plant in the dunes in about 6-weeks.

Gold Coast Intrepid Landcare have a pretty neat resource about ‘how to grow plants’. Check it out below and get into it! The more plants we grow and plant the healthier our planet will be! More native dune plants planted = happy beaches.

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