Agriculture Farming




Livestock Farming

Poultry Farming

Pittosporum Care: Uses, Varieties, Propagation, and Overview of Growing

Pittosporum (pittosporum common name: Cheesewood) is a versatile and attractive evergreen shrub that offers a range of uses in landscaping, from pittosporum hedges to specimen plants. This article provides a comprehensive guide to Pittosporum care, covering its various Pittosporum uses, popular varieties, pittosporum propagation techniques, and essential tips for successful growth.

Pittosporum Care

Understanding the nuances of Pittosporum cultivation can enhance the beauty of your garden and contribute to its overall health and vitality. Explore this article to unlock the secrets of nurturing vibrant Pittosporum plants.

Pittosporum Care

Pittosporum Varieties: Types of Pittosporums

  • Pittosporum tobira: Known as Japanese pittosporum, it is prized for its glossy evergreen foliage and fragrant white flowers.
  • Pittosporum tenuifolium: Featuring slender leaves and a variety of cultivars with different leaf colors, including green, variegated, and bronze.
  • Pittosporum crassifolium: Distinguished by its thick, leathery leaves and tolerance to dry conditions, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
  • Pittosporum eugenioides: Native to New Zealand, with small, dark green leaves and a graceful growth habit.
  • Pittosporum undulatum: Commonly known as Victorian box, prized for its weeping form and fragrant creamy-white flowers.
  • Pittosporum heterophyllum: A rare species with attractive variegated foliage and a compact growth habit.

Selecting the Right Pittosporum Variety for Your Garden

Selecting the right Pittosporum variety for your garden depends on factors, including your climate, soil type, desired size, and aesthetic preferences. For example, if you live in a coastal area with mild winters, Pittosporum tobira, commonly known as Japanese pittosporum, could be an excellent choice due to its tolerance for salt spray and compact growth habit.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a taller hedge or screen, Pittosporum tenuifolium offers a variety of cultivars with different foliage colors and textures to suit your taste. Consider Pittosporum crassifolium if you need a drought-tolerant option for arid climates.

Instructions for Propagating Pittosporum from Cuttings and Seed

How to Propagate Pittosporum from Seed
  • Collect ripe seeds from a healthy Pittosporum plant. Ensure the seeds are mature and fully developed.
  • Remove seeds from the fruit pulp and wash them thoroughly to eliminate any remaining pulp residue.
  • Use a well-draining seed-raising mix. Sow the seeds at a shallow depth, pressing them gently into the soil. Ensure proper spacing between seeds.
  • As one of the pittosporum seed germination tips, consistently keep the soil moist. Place the Pittosporum seed tray in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight.
  • Germination typically occurs within 4-6 weeks, although it may take longer for some species. Monitor the tray regularly for signs of germination.
  • Once seedlings have developed 3-4 sets of true leaves, carefully transplant them into the garden.
How to Propagate Pittosporum from Cuttings
  • For growing pittosporum from cuttings, first select healthy, non-flowering stems for cuttings. Choose stems that are semi-hardwood, neither too soft nor too woody.
  • Using sharp, sterilized pruners, take 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) cuttings from the parent plant. Remove the lower leaves, leaving a few leaves at the top.
  • Dip the cut end of each cutting into a rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth.
  • Insert the cuttings into the potting mix, ensuring at least half of the cutting is buried in the soil. Space the cuttings appropriately in the pot.
  • Keep the potting mix consistently moist and maintain high humidity around the cuttings. Cover the cuttings with a plastic bag.
  • Roots should begin to form within a few weeks. Check periodically for root development by gently tugging on the cuttings.
  • Once roots have developed sufficiently, transplant the cuttings into individual pots filled with potting soil.

In case you missed it: How to Grow Sweet Banana Peppers from Seeds: Steps to Plant and Care

Red Fruits of Pittosporum

Best Fertilizer for Pittosporum Growth

The best fertilizer for Pittosporum growth is a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated specifically for shrubs and pittosporum trees. Look for a fertilizer with an NPK ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) of around 10-10-10 or similar. Apply the fertilizer in early spring, prior to new growth beginning, following the instructions on the product label carefully.

Avoid over-fertilizing, as this leads to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowering. Also, consider supplementing with organic matter such as vermicompost or well-aged manure to improve soil fertility and microbial activity, promoting overall plant health and vigor.

When and How to Prune Pittosporum Plants

Pittosporum plants are best pruned from mid-spring to late summer after the last frost date has passed and before the onset of fall. Pruning of pittosporum involves removing dead, damaged, or diseased branches and cutting them back to healthy tissue. Next, selectively prune to shape the plant, removing any crossing or crowded branches to improve air circulation and promote a more open growth habit.

Use sharp, clean pruning shears to make smooth cuts, angling them slightly above a node or bud. Avoid heavy pruning, as Pittosporum plants tolerate light to moderate shaping. Regular maintenance pruning helps maintain the plant’s health and appearance.

Water and Light Requirements for Pittosporum Plants

Pittosporum plants prefer consistently moist but well-draining soil. Water your Pittosporum plants deeply when the topsoil feels dry to the touch, typically requiring watering once or twice a week, based on weather conditions. Avoid waterlogging the soil, as Pittosporum roots are susceptible to rot.

These plants prefer to grow optimal in full to partial sunlight, receiving 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, they can tolerate part shade, especially in hotter climates. Provide ample sunlight for optimal growth and flowering, but ensure they are protected from intense afternoon sun in extremely hot regions to prevent leaf scorch.

Seasonal Care for Pittosporum Varieties

  • Spring: Apply a balanced fertilizer to promote vigorous growth. Prune lightly to shape and remove any winter damage.
  • Summer: Monitor moisture levels and water deeply during dry periods. Mulch around the plant’s base to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Autumn: Reduce watering frequency as temperatures cool. Monitor for pests and diseases, treating them as necessary.
  • Winter: Protect from frost if in a colder climate by covering with frost cloth or moving potted plants indoors. Avoid heavy pruning, but remove any dead or damaged branches. 

Pittosporum Pest And Disease Control

Pest Control
  • Regularly inspect plants for common pests such as aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs.
  • To treat infestations, Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap by following label instructions carefully.
  • Encourage natural predators like predatory mites, ladybugs, and lacewings to help control pest populations.
Disease Prevention
  • Ensure proper spacing between plant-to-plant to promote airflow and reduce humidity.
  • Avoid overhead watering to avoid the occurrence of fungal diseases (leaf spot and powdery mildew).
  • Apply a fungicide preventatively during periods of high humidity or if diseases are prevalent in the area.
  • Remove and dispose of infected plant materials promptly to prevent the spread of disease.

In case you missed it: How to Grow Kikuyu Grass from Seed: Guide to Kikuyu Lawn Planting and Care

Green Leaves of A Pittosporum

Winterizing Pittosporum in Colder Climates

  • Mulching: Apply mulching around the plant’s base to insulate the roots and conserve moisture. This helps prevent frost heaving and keeps the soil temperature more stable.
  • Covering: If freezing temperatures are expected, cover the plants with frost cloth or burlap to provide additional protection. Secure the covers loosely to prevent damage to the foliage.
  • Pruning: Avoid heavy pruning in late fall or winter, as this will stimulate new growth that is vulnerable to frost damage. Instead, wait until after the danger of frost has passed in spring to prune.

Pittosporum Uses from Ornamental Use to Herbal Applications

  • Ornamental Use: Pittosporum’s attractive foliage, flowers, and versatile growth habits make it popular for pittosporum in landscape design, hedges, borders, and specimen plantings in gardens and parks.
  • Privacy Screening: Its dense growth and evergreen foliage make it an excellent option for creating privacy screens and windbreaks.
  • Container Planting: Dwarf varieties are suitable for container gardening on patios, balconies, and indoors.
  • Herbal Applications: In some traditional medicinal practices, parts of the Pittosporum plant are used for their purported anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing properties. 

In case you missed it: Growing Gloxinia Houseplants: Best Guide for Planting and Care

Pittosporum Leaves


Pittosporum offers a wealth of possibilities in both ornamental and practical realms. With its diverse varieties, adaptable growth habits, and potential medicinal applications, Pittosporum enriches landscapes, provides privacy, and potentially offers herbal remedies. By understanding its care needs, pittosporum propagation methods, and the array of uses, gardeners can unlock the full potential of this versatile and charming plant in their outdoor spaces.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here