Gardening Advice

What to Plant in Autumn in Australia

iMarzi /

Autumn is one of the best times to plant in Australia. The scorching summer sun has lost its intensity, giving way to cooler temperatures and wetter weather. Autumn certainly provides the best climate for you to dig, plant and prep your garden for spring and the following summer. The question is: What to plant in autumn? A question that we’re going to answer with this handy guide.

So if you:

  • Are a beginner gardener in need of advice;
  • Want a beautiful garden year-round;
  • Want to know the best vegetables, herbs and flowers to plant;

Then stick with us!

Table of contents:

What vegetables to plant in autumn

Let’s get started with veggies! Having your own vegetables at hand can be both advantageous and extremely rewarding. Not only do you get a lush, green garden (depending on what you grow), but you’re also able to eat the ‘fruits’ of your labour. Plus, nothing beats the freshness and taste of homegrown vegetables, free from the pesticides, preservatives and fertilisers used in commercial farming. Just make sure to prepare your soil properly.

Some of our favourite veggies to plant in autumn are beetroot, radishes, English spinach, kale and lettuce. All are exceptionally fast-growing, being ready to harvest within 6-8 weeks, with the sole exception of beetroot, which takes between 10-12.

Keep in mind, that the type of vegetables you plant will depend on an area’s climate. For instance, for our Sydney readers, you’d be best planting garlic, broad beans and spinach, as these veggies thrive in more temperate climes. For those living in subtropical climates, like those in the Northern regions of New South Wales and South-East Queensland, you’ll have a lot more choice of what vegetables to plant.

If you’re willing to wait slightly longer for your crop, then broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and onions are also viable planting options in autumn. These veggies take the longest to grow (onions taking 24-36 weeks), but most should be ready by late spring, or early summer as long as they are well cared for.

You may also like:
Gardening Advice
Choose the Best Soil for a Vegetable Garden

What vegetables are best for my climate?

Keep in mind, that the type of vegetables you plant will depend on an area’s climate. Australia has six different climates, each of which will affect what kind of vegetables you can grow. For our readers based in Sydney for instance, you’d be best planting garlic, broad beans and spinach, as these veggies thrive in more temperate climates.

If you live in the Northern regions of New South Wales, you have a subtropical climate, which increases the amount of choice of what vegetables you can plant. Veggies like broccoli, lettuce, onion, peas, shallots and turnips all do exceedingly well within subtropical climates.

Where should you plant the vegetables

Let’s talk about sun exposure. Generally, lettuce, brussel sprouts and spinach like to have fuller protection from the sun, so shadier areas would be best. Cabbage, onion and radishes do prefer partially shaded areas, with garlic being a notable exception, in that it prefers full sun. Partially shaded crops should still have access to the sun for around 4-6 hours, preferably in the morning, when the sun’s heat is less intense.

Make sure not to harvest radishes too late. They can become stressed, leading to a more peppery flavour in the root. Make sure to keep a careful eye on them once you get to the sixth week of growth.

Protect your veggies from pests

Like most greens grown in the garden, they’re going to attract pests. Most notably snails and slugs. Granted, these are easily taken care of, you just need to be vigilant. Inspect your veggies every day and keep an eye out for munched leaves and remove any of the pests you find by hand. For an easier solution, you can buy slug and snail pellets, which are safe for your vegetables and your pets.

For cruciferous veggies, like kale and cabbage, be on the lookout for caterpillars. The best way to prevent these beasties from ruining your garden is by installing a net over the top of your crops. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, but they do a world of good protecting your greens.

What herbs to plant in autumn

Herbs are a very popular addition to many gardens during the autumn season, as they’re versatile and fast-growing. Plus, herbs are perfect for utilising smaller spaces, as many varieties can be grown in pots. They’re also easy to maintain, which should be a relief to the beginner gardeners out there.

Growing herbs from cuttings

Most common herbs are best grown from cuttings. Rosemary, thyme, oregano and lemongrass are within this group and are best grown in Autumn.

To propagate from cuttings simply:

  1. Cut from the stem and place in water.
  2. Wait for the stem to grow roots (usually between 1-4 weeks, depending on the herb).
  3. Plant in a pot or in the garden once rooted.

This is a convenient method, as you can buy herbs directly from the supermarket and take your cuttings from them. You can grow these herbs from seeds, though it takes around 2-4 weeks for them to germinate, again depending on the seed. Regardless, both ways are acceptable.

Growing herbs from seeds

Some annual herbs, like parsley, coriander and dill can’t be grown from cuttings. They must be seeded first. Seeding is easy enough, especially in Autumn, you just need to give the herbs a little extra time in order to germinate.

  1. Choose your location, whether it’s in the garden or small containers within the home
  2. Seed evenly (or use a hand seeder) if you’re planting outside, or deposit 4-5 seeds into pods.
  3. Cover with soil lightly. The amount of soil covering should be twice the thickness of the seed.
  4. Keep the soil moist, but don’t soak it. If you use too much water, there is a chance you’ll wash the seeds away.
  5. Make sure the soil can drain properly. If you’re using seed pods, poke some holes at the bottom.
  6. The seeds should get a minimum of 6 hours per day of sunlight. Preferably in the morning, during warmer temperatures.

Best herbs to grow by climate

Again, you’ll have to deal with the differing Australian climates while trying to figure out what to grow. It’s always best to check whether a herb will be suited to your environment, but let’s take a look at some examples.

  • Subtropic (Northern NSW) – Lavender, marjoram, oregano, parsley, coriander, fennel, thyme, rocket and sage.
  • Temperate (Sydney and coastal NSW) – Coriander, garlic, tarragon, parsley, thyme and marjoram.
  • Cool and Southern tablelands (Melbourne and cool highlands) – Chives, lemongrass, mint, thyme, rosemary and oregano.

Balcony gardens

Growing herbs is perfect for those with smaller spaces, like balconies. Most herbs and veggies can be potted (helpful for growing indoors too) to help you utilise your space. Before planting, you should consider how much sun exposure your balcony gets. If it gets half-a-days sun, you’re in the perfect location to grow herbs. That being said, if your balcony is exposed to the sun all day, or is mostly shaded, it’s best to look at other options. Cacti, ferns and certain species of flowers would be good alternatives.

What flowers and shrubs to plant in autumn

For those of you who want your garden to be flush with colour, there are a number of flowers and shrubs that are best planted in autumn. Freesias, tulips, daffodils and succulents are best planted in the season, though each has its own requirements.

  • Tulips – Generally, these should be planted in late autumn (around mid-April to May) and need to be planted deep for the best results. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to plant the plant as deep as the bulb is high.
  • Daffodils – Like tulips, these should be planted quite deep. They usually take around 6 weeks to grow (depending on the climate). If you get them ready for spring or summer, they should stay in bloom for 6 months.
  • Lilly Pilly – A native of Australia, Lilly Pillys’ are a great addition, adding some colour to your garden throughout the year. They have bright, glossy leaves and most species produce vibrant edible berries in the winter. They are best grown from a cutting, as from seeds they can be difficult to germinate and prefer partially shaded areas.
  • Correa – Another species endemic to Australia, Correas are tubular flowers with pink petals. They are relatively easy to take care of, preferring cooler climates and requiring little water. Plant in partially shaded areas.
  • Iceland Poppy – Iceland poppies produce a variety of different colour petals and can help brighten up summer or spring gardens. They prefer subtropical climates and are easy to care for, meaning they are perfect for beginner gardeners. Plant seeds directly into your chosen bed, preferably in an area that gets plenty of sunlight.
  • Spindleberry – Spindleberries can be among the most attractive plants in your garden come winter and autumn, producing bright berries that split to reveal a large yellow seed. Spindleberries are incredibly hardy and are known to survive whole drought seasons with little watering needed, meaning they’re great for beginners. They generally prefer partial shade and are easily grown from cuttings.

Best flowers to grow by climate

As a final note, depending on what part of Australia you live in, the climate can have a huge impact on the types of flowers you can grow. If you live in a subtropical climate, like those found in New South Wales and South-East Queensland, Iceland poppies, carnations, and marigolds have the best chances of thriving.

Alternatively, for more temperate climates, like those found in Victoria, Sydney and the coastal regions of NSW, you’d be best to plant foxgloves, candytuft, snapdragon and primula. Keep in mind, that these lists are in no way exhaustive and there are a huge variety of flowers that thrive in both environments. That being said, it’s always best to check whether a flower can handle in your area’s climate, before attempting to plant them.


  • Autumn is an excellent time to plant all manner of flowers, herbs and vegetables;
  • Be aware of the amount of sunlight a plant requires, whether they would prefer partially shaded, or full sun areas;
  • Balcony gardens are a perfect way to utilise space, with a large variety of plants that can be grown from pots, just be wary of the amount of sun your balcony receives;
  • Your area’s climate will have an impact on what you can grow in your garden. Be sure to check what a plant’s climate requirements are before adding it to your garden.

Need some expertise in making a perfect garden?

Get a professional gardener to help take care of all your needs!

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
  • We're certified:

We hope you found our article on what to plant in autumn helpful. For any questions, or to add a tip of your own, leave a comment with us below.

Image sources


Sylvie Bouchard /
BlueSky_31 /
Papava /
demm28 /
CTatiana /
Dagmar Breu /
Julia2485 /
Patnaree Asavacharanitich /
Luiza Kamalova /
nnattalli /
Inga Gedrovicha /
FotograFFF /


YuliaTabakova /
Tatyana Mut /

alex rodrigo brondani /
Wakhron /
Zulashai /
Stephen Orsillo /
JeannieR /
Old Man Stocker /


zzz555zzz /
vahitdag /
Samo Trebizan /
Wattlebird /
Michaelnero /
Ruth Swan /

5 1 Vote
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x