Adding plants in bird aviaries will create a safe cool environment for your feathered friends. Select the largest practical sized pot for the area, remembering the larger the pot the better the plants will fare because there is more soil around the root system. This results in a cooler root system and a happy healthy plant that will not dry out as quickly.
Choose plants that will develop strong enough branches that will hold the weight of the birds that land on it. Callistemon are perfect as they successfully grow in a pot for an extended period and can be trimmed back hard if needed.
Westringia or native rosemary is a bushy, hardy shrub that develops a thick foliage cover, perfect for providing protection and shade for small birds. The Westringia will grow to one metre high by 60cm wide in a pot.
Correa or native fuchsia develops tubular bell flowers in autumn, winter and spring. They will reach heights of less than one metre, making them suitable and quite beautiful for small aviaries.
When planting these shrubs, select premium potting mix and fertilise with controlled release at the beginning of spring and autumn. Scratch the fertiliser just under the soil surface so the birds do not mistake it for seed or put a light cover of mulch over the top.
Written by Sue McDougall, a qualified horticulturalist and experienced garden centre owner who grew up in the WA wheatbelt and has had experience in gardening throughout the entire state. You may know Sue as the garden expert on 6PR radio and by her many TV appearances.