Best Time of Year to Plant a Lilly Pilly

Lilly Pilly Tree (Syzygium Smithii)
Scientific Name
Syzygium smithii
USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11
Full Height 25 feet
Native to Australia

The lilly pilly tree (Syzygium Smithii) is an Australian native tree that can grow up to 25 feet tall. It produces a white flower that blooms through late summer they can also develop lavender, white, or pink berries.  The best time of the year to plant a lilly pilly is early spring or late winter.

The lilly pilly does best in the USDA plant hardiness zones nine through 11. If you’re not sure which hardiness zone that you live in, check out this guide straight from the USDA.

When to Plant a Lilly Pilly

Best time of year to plant a lilly pilly

The best time of year to plant a lilly pilly tree is in the early spring or late winter.

There are three main ways that you can grow a lilly pilly tree. You can grow from a seed, you can grow from a cutting, or you can pick it up at the garden store and transplant it.

Regardless of whether or not you decide to grow it or buy it, you’re going to have to plant it outside at some point. That’s when the time of year that you should plant the lilly pilly matters.

From a Seed

Many people choose to grow a lilly pilly from a seed. We do not recommend this method due to the lackluster results that this tree has germinating this way.

It may or may not grow. Before planting it in the dirt you need to remove the flesh from around the seed. One way of doing that is to put it in a Ziploc bag putting a little water in there, and letting it sit for a while. This method allows the seed to ferment a bit and softens up the flesh of the seed.  Here’s more on that.

From a Cutting

If you already have access to a lilly pilly tree a much better way to go is to make a cutting and get some roots established.  Lilly pilly trees really do well with this method of growth.

You’ll need to take an 8 inch long cutting from one of the stem tips. You’ll want to trim the end of the cutting beneath a node. This maximizes the ability of a cutting to establish a root system.

Rooting hormone can further improve the chances of the cutting germinating. That being said ,lilly pilly trees are pretty easy to grow from a cutting.

Transplanting an Established Lilly Pilly

Obviously, the easiest way to plant a lilly pilly is to buy a new one and plant it in your garden.  When you actually put the tree in your garden is of the upmost importance. Make sure to plant it in late winter or early spring.

Lilly pilly trees are pretty forgiving, but they like moist soil or even sandy well draining soil.  These trees can grow in full sun or shade. Once you’ve established them they can withstand drought pretty well.

While these trees can grow in shade, they will do better in full sun.  Lilly pills can grow up to 3 m a year under the right conditions.


Lilly pillies are a wonderful tree that is pretty forgiving once you plant it. The best time to plant a lilly pilly is late winter or early spring.  This gives it ample time in the summer to establish a root system.