lilly pilly close up

Commonly used as screening hedges, the Lilly Pilly (Syzygium spp. / Waterhousea floribunda ) is a hardy native and great alternative to the Murraya or English Box Hedges. They have graceful, dark-green foliage with red or pink new growth. Most varieties produce lovely flowers followed by pink shaded berries that are edible and a great attractant for native birds and bees alike.

How to grow lilly pilly in a garden

  1. Choose a place in the garden that gets full sun to part shade. Prepare the planting area well by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Feed occasionally with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. to ensure strong root development.
 


How to grow lilly pilly in a pot

  1. Choose a pot that is at least twice the size of the selected plant. Position in the garden that receives full sun to part shade.
  2. Fill the pot with a quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
  3. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  4. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well.
  5. Mulch around the base with organic mulch, keeping it away from the trunk.
  6. Feed occasionally with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. to ensure strong root development.

Growing tips

  • There are many varieties available. The most popular of these include:
  • Lilly Pilly (Acmena smithii syn. Syzygium smithii)
  • The height of this tree can reach up to 20 metres if grown in its natural environment, however, due to the various cultivars available, the overall heights can vary between 4 metres to 10 metres tall. 
  • When planting as a feature tree, the root systems can become quite invasive. In this case, ensure that you plant at least 20 metres clear of any sewerage or water mains.
  • A. smithii is psyllid resistant variety.
  • New growth is bronze green, turning to a dark green once formed.
  • White flowers appear in Spring to Summer with light pink to white berries forming from Autumn to Winter.
  • A hardy variety that can tolerate light salt conditions, moderate frosts and pollution. It is a great variety to use around pools.
  • Scrub Cherry (Syzygium australe)
  • New growth of this variety is a deeper red than of the A. smithii, which matures to form a dark green leaf. 
  • White flowers appear in Summer with deep pink berries forming from Autumn to Winter.
  • Most of the new growth can be distorted by Psyllids. This can be controlled using Confidor Tablets during the growing period or choosing Psyllid resistant cultivars.
  • This variety does not tolerate frosts or salty conditions and is not recommend for use around pools.
  • Small Leafed Lilly Pilly (S. leuhmannii)
  • This variety has a weaping habit and has smaller leaves than the other varieties. The new growth is pink and matures to a glossy green colour over a period of several weeks.
  • White flowers appear in late Spring and bright red, pear-shaped fruit (known as Riberries) appear through summer.
  • Does not tolerate frost conditions and is best grown in temperate to tropical climates.
  • It can handle light salt conditions, part shade and is not attacked by psyllids. It is a good choice for pool hedging.

Weeping Lillypilly (Waterhousea floribunda)

  • Generally used as a tree it can grow up to 30 metres if left in its natural habit.
  • Can be used a hedging plant and is suitable where the soil can get dry or waterlogged from time to time. 
  • The new growth is bright green compared to the other varieties and the leaf form is long and narrow.
  • Psyllids take advantage of weak and stressed plants. Help your plants stay healthy by keeping the soil moist and feeding them regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  • Psyllid resistant varieties of lilly pillies are also available.
  • Weeping Lilly Pilly can have some invasive roots and it is advised to keep them at least 6 metres clear of any sewerage or water services.

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