Pittosporum, Plant Profile and Landscaping Uses
Pittosporum species and varieties include both taller growing hedging plants and low growing types. They have become one of most widely used screening plants in both commercial landscaping and home gardens. Wholesale growers offer a wide range of plants suited to different landscaping uses.
It is the variety of leaf colour and size along with different growth habits that make these such a useful plant.
A fast growth rate, and an easy to prune nature are two more aspects that make them so popular. They can be cut back to shape, or semi hard pruned to regenerate.
Pittosporum Fast Fasts
- Botanical Name – Pittosporum Tenuifolium is the most commonly used species.
- Common names – Silver Sheen, Green Pillar, Golden Pillar, James Stirling, Silver Stirling, Silver Song, Golf Ball and others.
- Leaf – Leaf size varies, the small leaf varieties are best for more formal hedges.
- Soil – Humus rich well drained.
- Aspect – Full sun to a little shade. Deep shade tends to lead to leggy growth.
- Foliage Colour – Varies from deep green to pale and mid greens, some with variation on the leaf margins.
- Flowers – Generally small and not a feature.
- Height – Varies according to cultivar height will range from less than 1 metre to 3 metres plus.
- Spread – Varies, form less than 1 metre to 2 metres. Some such as Green Pillar are more upright than others
- Growth rate – Medium to fast
- Planting distance – As a general rule for taller growing varieties – For a 3 metres plant at 1 metre apart. Closer for lower hedges, check depending on variety.
- Pruning – Regular pruning from an early age will give the best results for a hedge. Pittosporum can be hard pruned back to near ground level if needed.
Variegated Pittosporum varieties include:
- P. tobira ‘Variegata’.
- P. tenuifolium ‘White Cloud’.
- P. tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon’.
- P. eugenoides ‘Variegated’.
Dwarf Pittosporum varieties include:
P. tenuifolium argentea nana – available under names such as ‘Wheelers Dwarf’ , ‘GolfBall’, ‘Shorty’, ‘Silver Night’ and ‘Miss Muffet’.
Species and Common Names
- P. tenuifolium is the most widely used species with many cultivars.
- P. angustifolium is the ‘Weeping Pittosporum’.
- P. tobira is called ‘Japanese Cheesewood’.
- P. crassifolium is also widely used as a hedging plant
- P. 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 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.
Diseases and Pests
Pittosporum plants can have problems that make the leaves turn black and the plant to eventually die. Causes include:
- Poor drainage is one such issue, this cause root rot and gradual die back of foliage.
- Hot humid weather conditions are another issue that can cause die back.
- Scale insects is another issue. Ants are often the first indication as they are attracted to sugary secretions from the scale.
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:
Pittosporum plants are available for sale from the following Wholesale Nurseries
1750 Westernport Rd Heath Hill VIC 3981
Australias largest grower of semi advanced native and deciduous trees. .9 - 2.6mts high. Supplying councils, developers and landscapers. Includes Acacia implexa, acacia melanoxlylon.
55 McDougal Rd Neerim South Victoria 3831 PH: (03) 56281507
Advanced ornamental trees and garden designs and concept plans. Direct to your property combined with specialist knowledge and outstanding service.
111 Stanhope Road Theresa Park NSW 2570
Offering a variety of sun hardy Australian natives and exotic trees, shrubs, groundcover's and perennials from semi advanced through to super advanced and semi-mature stock.
17 McCarthy Rd Monbulk, Vic, 3793, Australia
Specialising in propagation and production of over 900 species / varieties of ornamental plants, perennials & rare plants. Supplying nurseries, landscapers & others. Minimum quantities apply! Contact us to discuss plants or growing requirements.
ALL GREEN NURSERY
130 Old Geelong Rd Hoppers Crossing VIC 3029
phone: 03 9749 1688 fax: 03 9749 5135
Wide range of wholesale plants including: Grasses, Designer Plants,Trees and Shrubs, Native Plants, Screening Plants, Hedges, Succulents and Ground Covers
144 Coolart Rd Hastings VIC 3915
PH(03) 59792491 Fax (03 59792363
Conifers, box varieties, hedging plants including ‘Blue Arrow; and “Screenmaster”