Further Information about Pittosporum Hedging

Pittosporums are evergreen shrubs or trees commonly found in New Zealand, Asia and Japan. Well known for their varied range of foliage colours, shapes and textures they are popular with gardeners to give form and colour all year round. They are also very popular with florists and flower arrangers, the different shaped and coloured leaves are commonly used in arrangements of all kinds.

These versatile plants make a really striking addition to any garden, in beds and borders or as a specimen in containers on a patio or terrace. Pittosporums are useful as a worry free alternative to Buxus hedging, no threat of box blight or box caterpillar to worry about.  They can also be tightly clipped into shapes making them useful for topiary and make an excellent hedge. Faster growing than box they are perfect for the less patient gardener.  Small flowers are produced in spring that attract bees with their honey scent.

Some Pittosporums can reach up to 4 metres at maturity, the smaller varieties like Tom Thumb and Golf Ball are suitable for hedging up to a metre. The larger growing varieties can provide colourful screening and help with noise reduction.

To achieve the best foliage colour amongst the purple and variegated types it’s best to grow in full sun, this versatile plant will however tolerate partial shade. It copes with most soil types but requires a relatively fertile soil, well drained but moist. It is also suitable for coastal positions as it doesn’t mind salt winds. When planting inland in areas prone to very cold conditions or harsh winds Pittosporum will need some protection, planting against a wall or in a sheltered spot is recommended and protection with horticultural fleece may be necessary in very harsh winters.

A light trim in the spring is all that will be needed for most Pittosporum to keep them in shape and to remove any damaged branches.

We stock a varied selection of Pittosporum that cover a range of requirements:

Pittosporum tenuifolium – the parent species of all the varieties we grow. The distinctive wavy edged glossy green leaves look stunning against the black stems. Especially impressive grown as a specimen, its strong upright habit creating shape and interest. Produces scented purple flowers in late spring that share their fragrance in the evening. Small orange fruits follow the flowers. One of the two largest growing of the types we sell, growing to 4 metres in time.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Abbotsbury Gold’ – small leathery green and gold leaves on black stems.  Amongst the dense growth small dark purple flowers appear in late spring that release their sweet fragrance on warm evenings. One of the larger varieties it can reach a final height of 3 metres.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Elizabeth’ – very pretty green and cream leaves that gain an attractive pink edging in the winter making it a particular favourite with florists.  The small blooms that appear in spring are chocolate in colour and easy to miss but they produce a lovely honey scent. Reaches 3 metres at maturity.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Golf Ball’ – bright green oval foliage that contrasts beautifully with the long black stems. Needs very little pruning to achieve a compact rounded bush that makes it suitable as an alternative to Buxus. The small brown flowers attract bees and butterflies in spring. Reaches a final height of 1.2 metres if left to grow untrimmed.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ – very popular variety with its colour changing foliage. The pale green new leaves gradually turn to deep purple through the year.  An unusual alternative to Buxus hedging. It is slow growing and compact making it low maintenance. Grows to 1 metre.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Variegatum’ – new leaves are white and gradually develop into a mixture of wavy green, grey leaves with a cream edging which turns pink in the winter. As with the other Pittosporums the black stems contrast with the showy foliage making it very sought after for flower arrangements. Small purple flowers in May and June. Grows to 4 metres making it a good choice as screening.

Our Pittosporum plants are grown here on our nursery and are supplied to you as potted plants. Subject to availability they are available for purchase all year round.

A copy of our easy to follow planting and aftercare guide is sent via email when you make your order and also as a hard copy with your plants. We recommend you read this guide carefully before planting as following our advice will ensure your plants get off to the best possible start.

We also recommend using Rootgrow Mycorrhizal fungi when planting, this supports and extends the plants root system helping it to quickly establish.

For more advice please do take a look at our websites advice and information pages.