Ornamental plants

Ornamental and food producing plants can enhance the bushfire resilience of your home

Ornamentals and food producing plants, provide variety and colour to the garden and are generally less flammable compared to other types of vegetation. Nonetheless, it is important to maintain them appropriately by removing dead plant materials from the garden bed and regularly pruning dead limbs. Most ornamental and food producing plants are seasonal, so consider what this means for the design of your garden and its bushfire resilient properties. Remember that all plants, no matter how green or succulent will burn if the fire is intense enough.


  • Keep plants irrigated and clear of debris.
  • Position ornamentals and food producing plants in strategic locations.
  • Orchard trees and large flowering shrubs can be used as Screen plantings when positioned between the home and the likely direction of the bushfire, while smaller ornamentals and food producing plants (such as herbs and vegetables) can be used to break up areas of more flammable vegetation.
  • Plant ornamental and food producing plants in widely separated garden beds, away from the house and other structures.
  • Break-up or separate large or dense plantings with non-combustible features, such as pathways, retaining walls, open spaces or irrigated lawn.


  • Avoid plants that have highly flammable characteristics.
  • Avoid plants that produce a lot of leaf litter or other dead plant material.
  • Do not plant large or continuous areas of vegetation – break up or separate your plantings.
  • Do not store on window ledges or in window mounted pots.
  • Do not plant under or around vents, doors or other vulnerable elements of the house.

Close up of a vegetable garden with green and red spinach

Vegetables provide variety and colour to the garden (source: demamiel62/Shutterstock)