The plant (in the foreground of the picture) appears to be dying after a storm last tuesday. The leaves has got a darkish colour, and the flowers are turning brownish. They are supposed to be bright red and white respectively, like the other one in the background of the picture. I'm located in Sydney, Australia. How I can revive it?

enter image description here

Edit: Updated the species of the plant

  • 1
    Did this storm involve a sudden excessive drop in temperature, or have you had a heavy frost in the last few weeks? Is this plant more exposed than the one next to it?
    – Bamboo
    Oct 23, 2014 at 22:56
  • @J.Musser I would say the soil is a bit clayish. Yes, it is spring time over here. Oct 23, 2014 at 22:59
  • @Bamboo In my area the temp did not drop very sharply, but there was heavy rain (Here is the related news smh.com.au/environment/weather/…) . It is not more exposed than others. It is actually the only one in the row (8 altogether) suffered from the problem. Oct 23, 2014 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


I have a lot of lilly pilly hedges (Acmena species) and the ones growing facing north are doing well and the ones growing facing south have not bushed as much as I would have liked, but I bought some Confidor tablets (a packet of 8 ball shapes) and I put the handle of a tablespoon into the soil (to make a deepish hole) on one side of the Lilly Pilly and put one Confidor ball into the hole (made by the handle of the tablespoon). I then did the same on the other side of the Lilly Pilly. Ideally, before planting your lilly pillies you should put one Confidor ball tablet into the centre of the hole dug to put your lilly pilly into.

The confidor balls are fantastic (especially for Syzygium smithii) as they fix any physillids and they also feed and nourish the roots of the lilly pilly hedge. After putting the Confidor ball tablets into the soil, I then watered the lilly pilly hedges and I did notice a difference in a short space of time. I usually repeat putting the Confidor ball tablets every 3 or 4 months just for nourishment and protection.

I had one lilly pilly (facing south) that got burnt due to extreme hot weather and I had to cut a lot off the top and it took a long time to catch up to the other hedges next to it, but I persevered and even though it looked uneven and silly, I just kept watering it and eventually when I cut the tops of all the hedges, I noticed that the burnt one had caught up and now it is looking so much better and they are all nice and high.

I also spray my hedges with Confidor pest spray (whenever I remember) and now I have lots of white butterflies flying around.

Don't be afraid to cut the tops and the faces of the lilly pilly hedges because it does help them to grow.

I hope this has helped you in a small way.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site, Dorrie! What do you think is wrong with the plant pictured in the question? Can you add this information, along with the remedy, to your answer? Otherwise, I'm not sure it addresses the question very well as it is.
    – J. Musser
    Oct 30, 2014 at 1:31
  • @Dorrie I have found out the actual species of the plant: They are Photinia Robusta, not Lillypilly as I first thought. I am trying the confidor ball tablets as you suggested Nov 1, 2014 at 8:14

I believe this plant pictured looks like it has not been trimmed top and face when younger/on regular basis. If it had been, it would look more filled out which it doesn't. I honestly think it could do with more good soil, the confidor ball tablets and a good trim (top and face) to help it grow more fuller.

It is harder when the lilly pilly is already established but the one I have, I have been using the confidor tablets, adding good soil, plenty of water and trimming it (top and face, but not too much) every 6 - 12 weeks, or when it starts looking untidy.

Sometimes depending on the type of lilly pilly you may need to plant a smaller lilly pilly plant in between the existing lilly pilly to make it look fuller. I have one lilly pilly that I am thinking of doing this with. This was also suggested to me by a landscape gardner who said it is easier to do this than pulling the existing lilly pilly out and starting over.

I hope this addresses the question better.

  • You are quite right. I have not trimmed them regularly. There were not much to trim because they did not grow a lot since they were planted in 2011. Nov 1, 2014 at 8:19
  • That would not explain why only one plant in the row is showing symptoms.
    – J. Musser
    Nov 1, 2014 at 14:51

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