Lilly Pilly – Native and Versatile
Ah, where to start with the humble, but wonderful, Lilly Pilly! Of the 5 hedge plants on our “Common” list Lilly Pillies are the only natives, so if that’s a pre-requisite, it’s hard to look past them.
One could probably establish an entire website on Lilly Pillies alone as you can find varieties that can be easily kept to 1m, to those that can get to 10m like Acmena Smithii “Goodbye Neighbours”. Just about all of the Syzygium and Acmena species have copper to cherry red new growth. Waterhousea species are more commonly green-leafed.
Ensure you get a variety that is “psyllid-free” (right). The psyllid won’t kill your Lilly Pilly hedge but up close it certainly won’t look very healthy. Watch also for wax scale (see image left) that can attack the branches of your plants. Again, they won’t ruin your plant but it doesn’t look too good and if left unchecked, is extremely hard to eradicate.
Note: Acmena species of Lilly Pillies are generally more Psyllid resistant than Syzygium species. Double check the label and with your local nursery staff.
Biggest Positive: Dark foliage colour – great garden contrast
Biggest Negative: Diseases and pests
Name Lilly Pilly Tiny Trev, Goodbye Neighbours, Bush Christmas, Allyn Magic, Cherry Surprise
Leaf New Cherry Red, Copper through to Bronze
Old Generally dull green but the plant as a whole will maintain it's bronzey look throughout the year.
Flower Colour White
Size Small and fluffy
Fragrant Can Be
Time of Year Summer
Ageing No Problems
Size Height 1 - 10m
Width 80cm - 2m
Rate Medium - Fast (Acmena species, unless labelled "Dwarf" are usually fast)