What is a Neighbours Be Gone tree? (Syzgium paniculata)

Looking for a fast-growing privacy hedge?

Perhaps you want to create a windbreak or screen off unsightly sights from your yard.

Or maybe you just need some noise muffling and sun protection for your front porch.

Whatever your reason, one plant will meet all of these needs and more: the Neighbours Be Gone tree.

What is Neighbours Be Gone?

Also known as Backyard Bliss, or Syzygium paniculata, Neighbours Be Gone is a Lilly Pilly native to New South Wales and Queensland.

It is a fast-growing screening or hedge plant that can be grown in containers or directly in the soil.

Neighbours Be Gone is a hardy plant that is highly adaptable to various conditions, making it perfect for planting almost anywhere.

Appearance and Characteristics

A Neighbours Be Gone tree is a versatile evergreen shrub that can provide privacy and screening to your backyard, or garden.

Being an evergreen means the Neighbours Be Gone is low maintenance because it keeps its foliage all year round.

It’s coloured white, green, and deep red so it looks great throughout most of the year.

Pink berries appear in spring and white flowers are produced in summer. It’s not uncommon for the Neighbours Be Gone to live for fifty years or longer.

How fast do Neighbours Be Gone grow?

Once Neighbours-Be-Gone Trees are established, they grow two or more metres each year.

In the first few years, growth is slower as the roots establish themselves in the soil, but once this happens, you will see a rapid increase in size.

When planted in full sunlight, Neighbours-Be-Gone Trees will grow faster and larger than those planted in shade or partial shade.

How to grow a Neighbours Be Gone Illy Pilly

Syzygium paniculata is an evergreen tree that grows well in most soil types. It prefers a full sun position.

Aim for around 75cm spacing between each plant.

The Neighbours Be Gone tree is pretty low maintenance in its early years, all you have to do is water it regularly until established and fertilise it in Spring and Summer with an all-purpose fertiliser.

They can be pruned while young to train the shape desired if being used for fencing.

They love well-drained soil, but will also grow well in dryer soils as long as they have regular watering during their first couple of years of growth.

It’s perfect for streetside planting because it does not create any mess on your driveways or paths below.

How tall do Neighbours Be Gone grow?

The Neighbours Be Gone tree grows to 3-4 metres tall by 1 metre wide and is dense, so it makes a perfect hedge.

The Backyard Bliss lilly pilly can easily be trimmed down to a maximum height of 2 metres.

It can be pruned or trained into a variety of shapes to create an attractive fence or barrier that matches the style you are going for.

The Neighbours Be Gone tree is hardy for planting in areas with cold winters.

Can you buy Neighbours Be Gone at Bunnings?

At the time of writing, Bunnings does stock the Neighbours Be Gone tree.

Search for “Backyard Bliss ‘Lilly Pilly’ – Syzgium paniculata”

Can you grow them in pots?

Neighbours Be Gone can easily be grown in pots.

You’ll need a large pot that’s at least 50cm wide and preferably at least 60cm tall as well.

You’ll also have to make sure it comes with good drainage holes or spaces so that water can get out.

Next, good potting soil is going to be necessary for getting these trees off the ground, literally!

An all-purpose slow-release fertiliser will also help it through its early days by adding some nutrients directly into the soil over time.

Other screening plant alternatives

Are you wanting to grow a privacy screen that will still look pretty?

Here are some plants to try:

  • Viburnum
  • Photinia
  • Mock orange
  • Magenta lilly pilly
  • Bamboo
  • Kohuhu
  • Pittosporum
  • Westringia