Plant of the week 3.14 – 3.18 ~ Pittosporum

Pittosporum low water usage plantsPlant of the week 3.14 – 3.18 ~ Pittosporum ~ Pittosporum is an evergreen shrub with low (WUCOLS rating – Water Use Classifications of Landscape Species) water requirements and thrives in full sun to partial shade.  It looks better with medium water, but will survive a drought gracefully.  We see many varieties in our gardens, including:  P. tobira  which will grow to about 5’x5’ with shiny medium green leaves, P. tobira ‘Variegata’ which is about the same size with glossy creamy white and green variegated leaves, and P. tobira ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’, which has the coloring of the straight species, but only grows about 3’ tall. 

Pittosporum flower in the spring and are very fragrant in mass plantings.  They require a light pruning after flowering to keep their shape and fullness, but should not be sheared.  The natural shape of these shrubs is rounded or mounding and quite tidy, and shearing will destroy this rounded shape and create a woody interior. 

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