The Garden Diaries: New South Wales in May

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It’s the last month of autumn and the days are getting colder. As those temperatures drop, it’s a great time to get out into the garden in NSW and the ACT. Here’s a list of things to grow, sow or harvest in May.

Hero plant this month: Cyclamen

This month the focus is on indoor plants and with things starting to look a bit bleak outside, why not think about bringing some colour and life inside the house. Cyclamens are a great choice for vibrant colour. They come in white, pink and purple and when potted they’ll lighten up any brightly lit corner of your home, but you should avoid placing them in direct sunlight. 

The best tip to keeping your cyclamens alive is to keep them away from heaters and fires. They like cool, draught-free spots – preferably with an hour or two of sunlight each morning, although no strong sunlight. They are sensitive to rot, so wet the soil, not the flowers or foliage. 


What else to plant

Another plant to take a look at round this time of year is the zygocactus. It’s very low maintenance and extremely tolerant if you’re a forgetful waterer. They flower beautifully in winter and go well in a sunny room.

Calatheas and philodendrons are another couple of great indoor plants worth considering.
They have colourful and intriguing patterns and make an eye-catching indoor plant, hence the common name – peacock or zebra plant. There are many varieties to choose from and they all look a little different to each other, making them a wonderful choice for a striking display. Calatheas like a well lit spot, away from direct sunlight. Always water them from the top of the potting mix, then let the plants dry out thoroughly until the next watering.

Even though the temperatures are dropping, you can still put edibles into your vegie patch such as cabbages. Start by sowing seeds into trays and in at least a month you’ll have seedlings ready to plant into your garden. You could try peas, onions and winter varieties of lettuce too. 



If you love roses and are thinking about planting them, now’s the time to get your garden beds ready. Plant roses in full sun with good drainage and before planting always remember to dig in some manure or good compost and let the soil settle before planting.

Don’t forget to check your indoor plants at this time of year too for scale and other diseases and water them regularly.

Finally, add any fallen leaves to your compost bin as this will be a great source of nutrients over the coming season.

A person watering their indoor potted plant


May is still a great time to be harvesting in your garden. Pick pumpkins straight off the vine along with mizuna and lettuce which can be planted every few weeks so you’ve got a continuous supply of leaves for your salads.


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Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 percent happy, return your plant (with receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants online or visit your local Bunnings Warehouse to find out how you can bring your garden to life.

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Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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