How to grow and care for your hedge
Everything you need to know about purchasing your hedging or screening plants, and keeping them alive and thriving !
Which plant is the best?
I was a landscaper for 20 years, these varieties are hand picked, there are no duds!!! All our plants perform that hedging and screening perfectly …..The information on the website including the videos should see you self selecting based on what your requirements are. A good way to start is with what varieties fit your finished height requirement. Narrow the field by colour and leaf shape, and then check what we have ‘in stock’
Are any of your plants ok in the shade?
NO, A minimum of half a day’s sun is required. The more sunshine they get the thicker and denser will be their growth.
Any pre-planting tips?
I like to give the area a deep slow water several days before planting for easier digging. I then spray the existing grass/weeds where I am planting the hedge at least a day prior to planting with roundup / zero. (no residual soil effect) This will be taken in by the weeds / grass through their leaves, and regardless of your digging and disturbance they will die. This saves much removal effort and the weeds and grass will break down overtime to provide lovely organic matter.
Planting – how do we do that?
Place out all your plants, stand back and adjust positions so you are happy. Dig a hole bigger than the root-ball, place plant in hole and settle loose soil back in around root-ball you can compact the soil a little bit. Finish with the top of the root-ball being level with the top of the soil, make sure NO soil is against the trunk. If you mulch, make sure no mulch is placed against the trunk. Immediately water plants in heavily and thoroughly.
Should I add stuff to the soil?
If your soil drains water reasonably you have what’s needed as soil! Adding organic matter, adding new soil, adding this or that will all help but in most circumstances is non essential.
Do I need to fertilise?
Any type of mixed complete fertiliser will be a “helpful growth speed bonus” applied a couple of times a year in the warmer months. They are not fussy and do not require a “native” type fertiliser. A complete non organic (chemical) fertiliser can be used at the rate of 1 adult handful per metre of row spread evenly (not against the trunks). The fertiliser will sit there and wash in when it rains. If you use something that’s only organic for example manure pellets you need LOTS more, think a spade full per metre of row. CK 88 fertiliser or any brand similar is an example of a good complete fertiliser.
Should I mulch the plants?
Any sort of decaying plant material as a layer on top of the soil will suppress weeds, insulate the hedge feeder roots, and over time, provide organic matter to the soil “all good” It’s nice but not essential. It’s difficult to place mulch too thickly, BUT place no mulch against the plant trunks.
When to plant?
In the warmer states any time of year. In a very cold location maybe avoid mid winter.
How long until my plants can look after themselves?
Plants will start putting roots out into the surrounding soil from around 1 month (think vulnerable baby) At around 3 months they should have reasonable roots and be capable of limited self care (think teen with access to fridge) Water very frequently directly to the root-ball at the start, If its summer hot and windy this could be twice a day. At three months you can be watering much less frequently and watering the root ball and surrounding soil, at 6 months deep water only when obviously dry. 12 months normal rainfall (depending) will be enough, a single deep slow water during an extended dry will speed growth.
My soil area is poorly drained will it be ok?
Maybe ! The Lilly Pillys (Syzygium) species are better at handling poor drainage than many other plants. This is because their parent species are native to the rainforest.. If your soil stays really wet for extended times (many weeks) that’s an issue. Building up the soil level to be higher than the surrounding ground will at least provide drainage within the added height of soil.
Should I trim?
It depends ! If you just want bushy privacy maybe not at all. Our plants will do this! Trimming will enable you to cap at a particular height and width (you just created a hedge!) Trimming is as simple as let it grow and then cut that new growth back by half, repeating until desired height / shape is achieved.These plants love to be trimmed and will respond well whether you are a frequent snipper or random lopper.
What’s gone wrong, 3 of my newly planted hedge plants are dropping leaves,?
This is a very common issue. Our plants have a lot of leaves that are sucking water from a small root-ball of soil. The root-ball becomes dry quite quickly. For the first couple of months after planting the plant will only have access to that water not to the surrounding soil.. If the root ball soil gets really dry at anytime it can become dusty dry and phobic to water so no matter how much water you put on it the root-ball will repel it.. Dig in and check the root ball if you suspect this. Easily overcome by leaving a hose just dripping/dribbling right on top of that root ball for 10 minutes+ this will slowly re-wet the root-ball. The root ball is now re-set and will accept water normally.
My tidy hedge grew into a high bushy screen while we were living away for several years can we “Lop it HARD”?
Firstly how good are these plants for surviving and thriving at a rental property, they are TOUGH. I have chain sawed my 3m screen of Aussie Boomers down to 10cm above ground level . They sat there for 2 months and then bang off they went again stronger than ever! A normal trim through to extreme lop – they love it all. If you do an extreme lop aim to do it in the cooler months while the plant is slightly dormant.
Do they drop leaves?
Yes as all plants do, older leaves eventually drop and new leaves replace. None of our plants are known as being a “problem plant” in this respect.
Are the roots a problem?
Any shrub or tree can be, depending on circumstance, however the plants we grow are not known as “root problem” plants, and are on balance a popular choice as can be seen in many gardens / situations. The rule of keeping the top small will keep the roots small is a good one.
I hear about pests on Lilly Pillys what’s the story?
Ok, as just about any plant gets pests.Lilly Pillys can and do as well. On some species leaf pimples occur (pimple psylidd) from time to time. It is not usually something obvious at a distance, it will slow the growth a little, little or no screening effect will be lost. If desired a systemic insecticide can be applied (ask for this at your garden centre) this will ensure the new growth is unaffected. Confidor for example is a popular and readily available choice. Species that are resistant or free of this are, Select, Resilience, Cascade, The non Lilly Pillys we grow do not get this pest.
Do you have smaller plants?
No we specialize in advanced sized plants (instant effect) that’s all we do.
Do you have any Lilly Pilly Jam recipes?
These can be easily found with a Google search.