Pittosporum Growing Tips
Common name: none
The Pittosporum genus is grown principally for its attractive and distinctive foliage. Many originate from the southern hemisphere and are of uncertain hardiness in the north. They cope well in salt-laden atmospheres. Theare small, and bell-shaped or tubular, and in many cases fragrant.
The species best known is Pittosporum tenuifolium, a native of New Zealand, a slow-growing shrub with pale green, wavy leaves carried on black stems. In mild districts it can be used foror screening.
There are a number of named varieties, among them ‘Purpureum’, with leaves that turn to rich bronzepurple. ‘Gold Star’ is a compact shrub; its foliage has a yellow-green blotch in the centre. ‘Tom Thumb’ (AGM) forms a dense, rounded shrub with distinctive reddish purple leaves. ‘Warnham Gold’ (AGM) is a real eye-catcher — the young growth is greenish yellow and, as it ages, it turns to a golden yellow. It looks particularly attractive during the winter months.
Soil type Well-drained, fertile.
Planting Choose a warm spot where they are not subjected to cold winds. Plant out in early to mid-spring.
Pruning Keep the shrub in good shape by removing any odd shoots in the spring. Any frost-damaged branches should also be removed at this time. If grown as a hedge, trim in late spring.
Propagation In early summer, take semi-ripe cuttings with a heel. Overwinter the cuttings in a frost-free frame or greenhouse.
Pests and diseases Problems are unlikely.