Pittosporum, Plant Profile and Landscaping Uses
Pittosporum species and varieties such a Pittosporum Screenmaster are used widely as hedge plants.
As hedging plants the most popular are Pittosporum tenuifolium species and cultivars such as screenmaster, james stirling, Pittosporum silver sheen, silver song, green pillar, Pittosporum Stirling Mist.
Species such as Pittosporum undulatum ( sweet pittosporum) , Pittosporum revolutum, Pittosporum angustifolium and Pittosporum tobira are generally not as popular.
Pittosporum varieties are popular as a screening or hedging plant. With growth rates of over 1m per year depending on conditions, cultivars such as Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Sheen’ with their attractive black stems and silver/green foliage will reach 5m, easy to prune into a hedge, frost tolerant and will handle coastal conditions are popular.
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘James Stirling’ is a smaller growing cultivar reaching arou nd 3m, used widely as a hedging plant ‘James Stirling’ has proved to be reasonably drought tolerant. The small green foliage will look great a few weeks after pruning in early spring. Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Golden Pillar’, ‘Green Pillar’ and ‘Ivory Sheen’ will all reach around 3m.
Variegated Pittosporum include
- P. Tobira ‘Variegata’.
- P. Tenuifolium ‘White Cloud’.
- P. Tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon’.
- P. Eugenoides ‘Variegated’.
- And the dwarf variegated form, P. tenuifolium argentea Nana.
Dwarf Pittosporum varieties include:
- P. tenuifolium argentea nana are available under names such as ‘Wheelers Dwarf’ , GolfBall’ and ‘Miss Muffet’.
- P. angustifolium is the ‘Weeping Pittosporum’.
- P tobira is called ‘Japanese Cheesewood’.
- P. crassifolium is widely used as a hedging plant
Fast growing and tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Pittosporum undulatum (Sweet pittosporum) is regarded as weed in many areas, P. revolutum is commonly called the Brisbane Laurel.
A tough and hardy plant Pittosporum is also easy to prune as a formal hedge. With a few pointers anyone can successfully maintain a neat Pittosporum hedge.
The first factor to take into consideration is that early formative pruning will make life easier later on.
With any size hedge commence by determining the lowest level to be pruned to, this is always at least the lowest part of the hedge or lower unless of course you have a gap. So looking at the top of the hedge determine a good line. Once you have determined the height you are ready to go.
However it is easier to start pruning the sides as this will allow you to get closer to the hedge when you get to the top. The sides should be pruned to be a little wider at the ground level than at the top, this allows more light to get to the lower part of the hedge, not essential, but desirable in shaded positions.
You can use shears, loppers or mechanical hedge trimmers. Just remember that leaders of branches thicker than a pencil may need loppers.
Die back can be a problem after pruning, usually caused by
- pruning in summer when it is to hot
- pruning to hard, anything over 1/3 can cause problems
- pruning older hedges hard can cause stress.
- ladder stability is essential
Other Hedging Plants Include:
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