Lilly Pilly (Syzygium Australe)
This hardy evergreen Australian Native is a fast growing plant that handles full sun to part shade, has foliage that is bronze in colour when young, changing to glossy green as it matures. It will produce both white flowers in the spring and small red berries in the summer months.
Although some Australian natives are touchy when it comes to having their roots played with, this Lilly Pilly variety doesn’t seem to mind.
Foliage needs to be regularly thinned out as new growth springs up all over the place, so pinching out unwanted growth is important to keep a compact shape.
Young shoots are flimsy and can be difficult to wire, but once set they can be quite brittle, so caution is required when wiring.
Planted in the ground these trees handle full sun really well, in a bonsai container, placing them were they get only a few hours of full sun works well.
Lilly Pillys love water and quickly let you know with new shoots drooping if let dry out for too long. Keep them well watered throughout the growing season especially if in full sun.
I haven’t given any specific native fertiliser for my tree, I use fish emulsion monthly during the growing season and a handful of slow release just before Winter sets in.
Re-pot yearly in spring
Pinch out unwanted new growth, regularly prune to keep compact shape.
The 2 main pests I have found is Psyllid and caterpillars. Both of these attack the young foliage.
Cures and Preventions:
Pests can be kept at bay with regular spraying of white oil or pyrethrum based sprays.
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All information on this website is based entirely on my 20 years of experience growing bonsai on the Northern New South and South East Queensland coasts of Australia. Results may vary when bonsai are grown in other locations or conditions.