Don’s Expert Answers: I need to access if the plants have an invasive root systems so as to damage pipes

Question From:
Cheryl Berry in Glass House Mountains, Glass House Mountains Queensland

Nature of problem:
I need to access if the plants have an invasive root systems so as to damage pipes

Type of Plant (if known):
Dwarf Baby Bunting Lillypilly and Nerium Oleander

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

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

How often do you water the plant:
Every second day in Summer

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

How long since you planted it:
2 Years

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:
In the Ground

What other treatments have you given the plant:
Only a light prune.

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:
I am concerned that the roots of these shrubs may be invasive to sewer and storm water pipes and need to know if that is correct.
I would appreciate your expertise.

Hi Cheryl, Any plant can grow into pipes seeking water, however, 99% of the time that this occurs is when the pipes are made of clay and are already leaking at their joints. IE the pipes cause the problem, not the plants. If you have modern plastic piping, there is little to worry about. While Oleanders are not water-seekers, all lillypillies are water lovers. Nonetheless, in the very rare case where they break pipes, it would be entirely by accident – plants are not clairvoyant enough to guess that inside a plastic pipe there is water. The nasty plants that break footpaths, gutters and roads are mostly evergreen figs (Hills weeping fig and other rainforest figs are the worst) . Don