Gardening Blog - Lush Online Plants Nursery australia

Welcome! We hope you will enjoy our articles about plants, garden care, tropical plants & more. Select a category on the left, or scroll down to start reading! If you are looking for growing information for a specific variety please use the 'search' function below. We'd love to hear your feedback or experience; leave us a comment!
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The Amazing Ice Cream Bean! Inga Edulis - Growing the Ice Cream Bean Tree

Ice Cream Bean - Inga Edulis

Did your parents ever tell you, in the height of a hot summer, that ice cream doesn’t grow on trees? Well, that’s not strictly true! Inga Edulis, a member of the Legume family, sprouts seed pods that contain fleshy matter with a taste just like Vanilla ice cream.

This tree is native to South America, where it is grown for various reasons including its fruit, shade and timber. It has also been used in medicines for centuries, and forms the basis for an alcoholic drink called Cachiri. The fruit that gives it its name are contained in seed pods-these are long and thin and shaped like bean pods, and can grow up to 3 feet long! The seeds themselves are not generally eaten, but are surrounded by a cottony covering which tastes like ice cream.

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Malabar Chestnut, or Saba Nut - The Provision Tree for your Garden (Pachira aquatica)

Amazing!  Highly Ornamental and Nutritious!

The Malabar Chestnut is one of those very special trees.  Also named the Provision tree by the U.N, this tree is an important source of tasty, nutritious nuts and can withstand the often harsh conditions in developing countries.  Native to an area from Southern Mexico to Guyana and northern Brazil, this tree is well suited to tropical and subtropical regions as well as mild inland and coastal areas. Although native to naturally wet areas, it is extremely adaptable and will grow very well in most conditions.

What does the Malabar Chestnut look like?

It is a stunning tree.  Foliage is shiny deep green, with lighter green new growth. Leaves are palmate, or finger-shaped.  It gives away its distant relative - the Boabob with a distinctive swollen trunk base.  This makes it very suitable as a bonsai or house plant, as well as a beautiful shade tree for parks, gardens and bush blocks.  The Malabar Chestnut grows up to 18m tall in its tropical native habitat, but in subtropical areas a maximum of 6-7m tall is more likely.

Flowers are quite showy, like a creamy yellow powder puff or shaving brush!  Being self- fertile, you can expect a seed pod to form following each flower.  The seed pod is very woody, 5-7 cm in diameter, and contains the yummy edible nuts.

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Fresh Dragonfruit delivered to your Door!

Buy Fresh Dragon fruit Online!

Good afternoon!  I hope all our customers are enjoying a lovely break! 

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Monstera Deliciosa - The Delicious Monster

Lush Plants Online Plant Nursery Australia is delighted to have Monstera Deliciosa back in stock!   As well as a gorgeous foliage plant, and an easy care pot plant, it produces an exotic tropical fruit.  The name means "Delicious Monster" for a reason!

Native to the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico and south to Panama, it is now widespread.  This has led to a huge variety of names for the same plant including; Split leaf Philodendron, Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plant, Fruit Salad Plant, Monster Fruit, Mexican Breadfruit, Locust and Wild Honey, Windowleaf, Delicious Monster, Monstera, Penglai banana and Balazo.

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Jicama - Yam Bean - Delicious Mexican delicacy and Permaculture Plant!

The Pachyrhizus erosus, Mexican Turnip, Yam Bean or Jicama Bean – is a delicious and versatile root vegetable originating from Mexico and you can buy online!

This vigorous vine grows above ground and features white or blue flowers and bean pods.   It really is an attractive vine, and as a legume it will help to fix nitrogen in the soil.  All parts of this plant above ground ie. vine, stems and bean pods and seeds are poisonous as they contain a natural pesticide called rotenone.

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Miracle Fruit, a Miraculous Berry-Bearing Shrub (Synsepalum dulcificum)

Miracle Fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum - Intro

Buy Miracle Fruit plants online for Australia 

Miracle Fruit shrubs have the amazing capability of changing the taste of foods; mainly sour to sweet. A lemon tastes like a lolly after chewing on a Miracle Fruit berry! The plant itself grows 2-4m tall and is quite ornamental. Suitable for most Australian gardens, containers and as indoor house plant in bright light. Read on for the full monty!

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4 Easy to Grow Plants Your Chooks will Love

Our chooks are part of the family. We have 8. They all have their own characters. Vanessa, our smallest chook, is a chick with attitude. She won't be caught. She won't come when called. And she rules the nest. She happens to be my 5-year old's favourite. Probably because they have very similar characters?

My youngest daughter loves them, at a distance or behind a fence. The chooks think her toes are worms. 7 of the 8 chooks are very well behaved. They free-range every day. They have a run which I've planted out to be like a chook-jungle, and I've put rocks all around to stop them from digging up plant roots. 

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Perennial Basil; a Beauty for Bees and a Hardy Edible Plant (Ocimum americanum)

Perennial Basil is our ultimate bee-attracting plant; it is covered with bees throughout the day, every day. The ‘buzz’ around this plant is well-warranted, it smells divine and is one of the strongest plants we grow. It has an amazing growth rate and, if pruned regularly, makes a fantastic, good-looking, and edible addition to your garden.   

Perennial Basil and attracting Bees in your garden 

The absolute main attraction of the Perennial Basil is that the bees absolutely love it. We grow a few in every one of our gardens for this very reason! A study of ‘Plants and Pollinating Bees’ lists Ocimum americanum as one of the main bee-attracting plants, receiving some of the most bee visits. For full study visit here

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Dwarf Coconut Palms - Backyard Dwarves

Solomon varieties of dwarf coconuts open up possibilities for the backyarder!

A recent global survey found 780 described coconut varieties. Many have been developed specifically for certain commercially important traits. Tall varieties represent the majority in commercial production due to a higher copra yield and longer productive lifespan, but the merits of the dwarf varieties are well worth considering, especially for the backyard or small scale production.

There were eight dwarf varieties selected from the Solomon Islands and imported by the Townsville council in the early 1980’s. The original plan was to replace some of the tall palms along The Strand with these impressive compact varieties for foreshore stability and tourism appeal. I won’t elaborate on the perceived danger issue but it is said “coconuts have eyes of their own and have long served mankind”.

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Cordylines and Cabbages……. To eat!!!!

I found this fascinating article recently in the NZ gardener May 2000 about Tipene Manthera, written by Diana Madgin. This article inspired me to find, cook and taste the fleshy shoots of our native cabbage tree, Cordyline australis. Cabbages have always been one of my favourite veggies, in a coleslaw, a stir-fry or steamed with butter and a pinch of pepper, and is chock full of vitamins.

Tipene was from the Tuhoe Maori Tribe, and was raised in Matahi near Opotiki in the North Island of New Zealand. For his first 10 years, ‘the terrible years’ as Tipene calls them, his life consisted of hard endless work, harvesting seeds for the communities’ own crops to use as a bartering currency. Cocksfoot, ryegrass, clover seed, potatoes and maize were harvested and stored, but kumara to cook in the hangi had to be bought (bartered for) in Opotiki.

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