plant laboratory

Some of our customers ask about our biosecurity restrictions on the website. And why they can't get certain specific plants shipped to their addresses.

Most of the time, customers are in VIC or SA, while our nursery is in QLD. Here's a short explanation of why we sometimes can't send you the plants you want, depending on where you live.

Garden plants can pick up diseases and viruses from airborne spores, birds' feet, and other plants. It's easy to do and most of the time it doesn't cause any problems. Your plants might look a bit scruffy, or some leaves are marked or spotted.

Practising good plant health -

  • feeding and watering plants regularly to keep them fit and thriving
  • pruning where necessary to improve airflow
  • planting in the optimal situation and soil type for that plant variety
  • removing weak and affected parts of the plant

will all help garden plants resist disease.

However, when plant diseases spread to edible, commercial crops such as potatoes, sugar cane and fruit, then it becomes more serious.
A disease which makes a garden hedge look less than perfect, could wipe out half a field of food crops. Some diseases and viruses are resistant to, or cannot be treated with, the approved-use chemicals currently available.

Australia has some of the strictest border security in the world. As an island as well as a country we have the advantage of keeping a lot of plants - and plant diseases - away from our shores. Sometimes that means that nurseries such as Australian Plants Online can't import all the kinds of plants and seeds we want to grow.

Individual states set extra rules as to what can be sent over their state borders, as well as the national border import restrictions. This is an attempt to limit and restrict the potential spread of viruses between plants.

Some Australian native plants can be particularly vulnerable to viruses, as the plants evolved in isolation. So the Myrtaceae family;- that's tea tree, eucalypt, bottlebrush, lilly pilly - can't be shipped from our nursery state of QLD to SA and VIC. Similar rules apply to azaleas and blueberries.

To read more about this topic, here's an excellent overview by ABC Rural which explains why we all have to follow the rules.