The lowland dipterocarp forests of Southeast Asia support a substantial proportion of the world’s biodiversity. They are of considerable environmental and economic value at the local, regional and global scale, providing many goods and services to a growing population. The forests of this region are among the fastest disappearing in the world and restoration is urgently required. This paper provides a review of the ecological constraints to restoration of lowland dipterocarp forest in Southeast Asia. It focuses on the production of planting stock, the significance of site-species matching and post-planting site maintenance. It identifies gaps in our knowledge and highlights priority areas of research.