FAQ

About the Scheme

What is the Plant Sure Scheme?

The Plant Sure Scheme is a free, voluntary, industry-led program to promote the supply and development of Certified Gardening Responsibly plants. Scheme membership is open to greenlife industry businesses including:

  • Plant breeders
  • Production nurseries
  • Wholesale nurseries
  • Retail nurseries
  • Landscape architects
  • Landscapers
How did the Plant Sure Scheme come about?

The Scheme began as a grant-funded scheme through the NSW Environmental Trust. A consortium of stakeholders from industry, government and the community collaborated under the direction of our Program Manager, Aimee Freimanis, to design and deliver a proof-of-concept trial of the Scheme and the broader gardening responsibly movement.

We’re in the process of becoming an independent organisation to continue to work with industry, community and government to grow the movement.

The Gardening Responsibly Movement

What is the gardening responsibly movement?

The gardening responsibly movement is all about beautiful, healthy gardens that reduce the impact of future landscape scale weed invasions.

We’ve got lots of information on why you should garden responsibly and how to garden responsibly.

How does the gardening responsibly movement work to prevent future landscape-scale weed invasions?

At the heart of this is our Certified Gardening Responsibly eco-label — the gardening responsibly tick of approval!

Only ornamental plants that have been assessed through our Research Portal as having a low future-invasive risk can get the tick, and only our member suppliers who have joined the Plant Sure Scheme can sell or provide plants with the tick.

The result? You can feel confident that when you choose a Certified Gardening Responsibly plant for your garden or project it will look great in place — and it will stay in place!

The Plants

Are Certified Gardening Responsibly plants guaranteed not to spread and become invasive?

Certified Gardening Responsibly plants are only recommended as being low risk. They can’t be guaranteed as being low risk because each plant may behave differently in different environments and under different climatic conditions. Plant status may change as conditions change, and as more evidence emerges about the plant’s behaviour and impact on the environment. We encourage you to check out our website disclaimer to understand how best to use this site.

What do I do if I already have a high-risk plant in my garden?

Removing and safely disposing of a high-risk plant from your garden is your best option, however, if you’re not ready or able to do that, you should do your best to understand the plant you have, take steps to manage the plant’s spread and monitor it for any invasive behaviours.

What happens if my business uses high-risk plants?

The Plant Sure Scheme is voluntary and in a trial period and welcomes all suppliers to join. The intent of the Scheme is to make it easier and to encourage people to choose plants with a lower invasive risk. Until we have risk assessed more of the 30,000 different varieties of plants sold, the focus will be on encouraging low-risk plant use rather than discouraging other plant use. If you discover a plant you sell or promote has a high risk of invasion, we encourage you, where possible, to take action to mitigate any invasive risk factors.

Our Research Portal

How do I nominate a plant for a risk assessment?

To nominate a plant for assessment, you’ll need to set up an account in our Research Portal. Once logged in to the portal, you can nominate a plant for assessment, or even conduct the assessment yourself using our custom-designed risk assessment tool.

Why can’t I find a plant in the plant search?

There are a few reasons why you may not have found the plant you searched for:

  1. Spelling — You may have spelt the keyword you were searching for incorrectly or differently to how it appears in our database. You could try searching using the filters or with different keywords.
  1. Misidentification All plants follow specific naming conventions and must be the correct and current scientific species name or cultivar name. You can find out more about identifying and naming plants correctly in our Are You Plant Sure? booklet. 
  1. Your plant hasn’t been assessed yet — The plant search on our site shows only the plants that have been assessed through our program so far and that have been found to be low risk. With over 30,000 ornamental plants in trade, it will take a while to assess them all! You could create an account in our Research Portal, where you can carry out a more detailed search and see if your plant is in the process of being assessed, or you could nominate the plant for assessment, or you could complete an assessment yourself.
  1. Your plant has been assessed but it was found not to be low risk — As mentioned above, the plant search on our site shows only the plants that have been assessed through the Scheme so far and that have been found to be low risk. If your plant was assessed and was found not to be low risk, then it won’t appear in our search. You can create an account in our Research Portal and carry out a more detailed search to see if your plant has been assessed and what its risk outcome was.
  1. Your plant is out of scope of our the Scheme — If the plant you’re searching for is a regulated plant, i.e., listed as a weed by a State or Territory government, it isn’t part of our Scheme. Additionally, aquatic plants are also not within the scope of our Scheme.

Suppliers

Why can’t I find a supplier?

Our suppliers list shows only those suppliers who are members of the Plant Sure Scheme. This will keep growing as the movement grows! We encourage all relevant plant suppliers and businesses to sign up. If you have a regular supplier and they’re not in our suppliers list, tell them about us and pass them a link to this website!

Definitions

Ornamental gardens have plants that are designed more for their aesthetic pleasure and appearance than for production of crops or cooking. Ornamental gardens can include native and exotic plants, such as flowering plants, foliage plants, ornamental grasses, shrubs, climbers and trees.

Native plants are endemic to Australia, e.g., Callistemon citrinus, commonly called Crimson Bottlebrush.

Exotic plants are not native or endemic to Australia, e.g., Magnolia grandiflora, commonly called Teddy Bear Magnolia, which is native to the US.

A weed is a plant in the wrong place or a plant where it is not wanted.

Invasive species is a plant that is not native to the environment where it is planted and escapes, spreads and smothers other plants or otherwise causes negative impacts to the economy,  environment or human health.