Don’s Expert Answers: Growing lilly pillys near sewage pipe

Question From: 
Duncan Shields in  Mosman,  Mosman NSW


Nature of problem: 
Growing lilly pillys near sewage pipe


Type of Plant (if known): 
Acmena Smithii minor


Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself): 
Not planted yet


Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type: 
Clay, I think


How often do you water the plant:
Not planted yet


How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:


What type of plant is it:
Acmena Smithii minor


How long since you planted it:
Not planted yet


Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
Not planted yet


Is the plant indoors or outdoors: 


Is the plant in a pot or in the ground: 
Not planted yet – would like advice on that.


What other treatments have you given the plant: 
Not planted yet

Upload photo if available: 

Other Comments: 
I have recently purchased 5 acmena smithii minor lilly pilly’s to plant along my 6m back border. My Neighbour’s garden is below the height of my garden by about 2 metres and I believe that there is a sewage pipe along the back wall, below where I intend planting my hedge.

Do you think there will be issues with the root system getting into the sewage pipe?

If so, do you think I could get a 3m+ high hedge if I create a long raised bed for the lilly pillys?

Do you have any ideas what dimensions that bed would need to be to get 3m+ height of plant?

Thanks in advance,


Answer: Hi Duncan, The lilly pillies will be fine. From your description, it is a sewerage main pipe. It is virtually impossible for a root to get inside that. Even household piping only gets invaded if the pipe is terracotta and leaks first. It is very rare for plants to invade intact or plastic pipes.  Don