How to Grow Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly – Syzygium Australe

by Corinne Mossati

Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly is a compact and bushy plant with edible fruit that is suitable to grow in a container and makes a great addition to an Australian native edible garden.

Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly

Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly – Photo © The Gourmantic Garden

Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly (Syzygium australe) is a new addition to my edible garden. The evergreen Australian native shrub is also known as Creek Lilly Pilly, Brush Cherry and Scrub Cherry and is part of the Myrtaceae family.

It’s a compact and bushy shrub which is ideal for my tiny courtyard garden where I can grow it in a container. The foliage of the perennial shrub changes colour as it ages, starting from dark burgundy on new growth followed by a pink-tan hue to deep green and is known to be at its brightest in spring and after the plant has had a good prune. It grows up to 2m high and 1.5m wide and flowers in spring.

The puff-like white flowers turn into a 2cm long red, fleshy fruit which is edible. The fruit can be eaten raw or made into sweets like jam.


How to Grow Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly (Syzygium Australe)

Syzygium Austral

Syzygium Australe – Photo © The Gourmantic Garden

Plant the Toffee Apple Lilly Pilly in a location that gets full sun to part shade with protection from strong winds. The shrub favours well-draining soil and can tolerate sandy soil with the addition of compost. Water regularly until the plant is established and mulch well. It can be grown in large pots with good drainage which is how it’s growing in my garden.

In spring, feed with blood and bone or a native slow release fertiliser. Although it’s a low maintenance plant, tip pruning encourages a more bushy appearance and helps keep it in shape. It is prone to psyllids which are sap sucking insects. The affected parts can be removed and disposed of or you can spray with white oil.

Syzygium Australe can be grown from seed but germination is slow and erratic and grows best from cuttings taken of current season’s growth.

Note: As I have recently acquired this Australian native plant, I will update this article with additional information and photographs as the plant grows.

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