Pittosporum are lovely evergreen shrubs that are perfectly placed for sunny and sheltered locations.
Pittosporum tobira Nanum
They are available in lots of different sizes and shapes, whether large, small, conical, compact, domed, variegated or even colourful, meaning there is something perfect for you and your garden regardless. They are often grown into hedges or even clipped to shape.
Common Pittosporum include Pittosporum tobira, Pittosporum tenuifolium and Pittosporum Tom thumb.

BUY: Pittosporum here from UK Sellers

Pittosporum is a genus that has over 200 species occurring as both trees and shrubs in various sizes. They are evergreen shrubs and a great option for sheltered gardens, or sunny locations. 
Also, they are popular for their variegated leaves, colourful stems, and tiny scented flowers. Interestingly, they can be pruned to any desired shape and size without hurting the plant so long as it is done in the right season. They can be pruned to form pittosporum hedges and short fences.

Commonly available Pittosporum in UK nurseries

GROW GUIDE: How Do You Take Care of Pittosporum?
Why Is My Pittosporum Dying? Signs, Symptoms, Issues & Answers
How Big Do Pittosporum Grow for Hedges & Screening + how to prune
What is Pittosporum, how to propagate and how to use in UK gardens

Types & varieties of Pittosporum
Pittosporum is a collection of evergreen shrubs. They are popular hedge plants that are multi-stemmed in appearance. Their leaves are leathery green in colour and grow whorls at the ends of their branch.  These plants are a popular choice among plant lovers because they are low maintenance shrubs. They are also able to grow in many garden landscapes. 
Below are some varieties you can add to your garden and home to give it that excellent, and unique touch. You may decide to choose a single variety or combine different varieties. 
Pittosporum Tenuifolium 
This particular variety of pittosporum is a broadly columnar evergreen shrub. It has slender shoots that are dark in colour. Its leaves are glossy light green coloured as well as rounded with wavy margins.
Its honey-scented deep purple coloured flowers open in clusters in early summer and in late spring. Those flowers are usually small in size. 
A typical plant of this variety grows up to 4-8m in height and has a spread of between 2.5-4m. With a hardiness of H4, Pittosporum tenuifolium thrives best in moist, fertile but well-drained soil. 
You may need to protect this plant from cold, drying winds if your garden or home is located in colder climes. It is advisable to also cultivate this plant in full sun for optimum growth. 
Propagation is best achieved via semi-hardwood cuttings in the summer. Coastal, wall side borders, flower borders and beds, cottage and informal garden, city and courtyard gardens are the suitable planting locations for this variety. 
Although it is generally disease-free, you should be on the lookout for pests such as glasshouse red spider mite, cushion scale, aphids, and pittosporum suckers.
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘John Flannigan’
Pittosporum tenuifolium john flannigan showing leaf detail
The new growth on this Pittosporum ‘John Flannigan’ really stands out with their variegated lime green edges and bright green almost yellow centre. The leaves do become a darker mid green showing only slight variegation as they mature and act as a great backdrop to highlight the new brighter growth.
As with many evergreen plants we now grow in the UK Pittosporum tenuifolium, is a native from New Zealand and known as the New Zealand pittosporum. This plant was labelled ‘John Flannigan’ but I believe this is a synonym as Provender Nurseries names it as Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Margaret Turnbull’. I’ve also seen it listed as ‘John Flanagan’ and ‘John Flanigan’ so I am guessing it has been mislabeled.
Pittosporum tenuifolium john flannigan in semi-shaded location
It is evergreen and hardy to H4 so similar to to many evergreen plants we grow in the UK so should be fine in our milder winters. It does prefer semi-shade to full sun but I have it growing in a well drained slightly more shady spot.
As a note I did trim it back and it seemed to respond well to this with bright new growth. It can grow to small tree size so combined with its attractive small dense foliage that remains green all year round would be a good candidate for use as part of a hedge.
Pittosporum Silver Queen:
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It is a tree of average about 13 feet in height and diameter. It is popular because of its beautiful foliage of green leaves with white markings on the edges. It blooms purple flowers in late spring and early summer and round seed capsules form on the flowers following the blooming. It thrives in moist and well-drained soil with partial sun to full sun. Pruning should be done after its blooming period and only to maintain the general shape of the shrub.
The silver queen is a large evergreen variety that has a rounded grey-green coloured leaves. Its leaves are also narrowly margined with creamy-white colour. This variety produces small, deep purple coloured flowers sparsely.
This variety is able to grow to between 2.5-4m in height and a spread of between 1.5-2.5m. It is advisable to cultivate this variety in full sun or partial shade in order to get the best out of it. 
A moist, fertile, and a well-drained soil is the most ideal for this variety. Gardens located in colder climes should provide adequate protection for this variety from cold, drying winds. Semi-hardwood cuttings in the summer is the best mode of propagation. 
You can cultivate this variety in the following planning locations: low maintenance, hedging and screens, Mediterranean climate plants. It is generally disease-free. However, be on the lookout for pests such as aphids, cushion scale, and pittosporum sucker. 
You will usually find on this variety purple coloured flowers during the summer and spring. This can create a picturesque surrounding in your garden when combined with other plants. 
Pittosporum Tobira Nana
A dwarf, evergreen species of pittosporum reaching, a height of only 2 feet and a diameter of 60cm. Its glossy dark green leaves are arranged in a whorl around the stem and form thick foliage that lasts all year round. It blooms tiny white flowers with a sweet-orange smell bloom at the tips of the branches in late spring. The shrub, also called Japanese mock orange is a fast grower, reaching maturity in its first season. The beautiful contrast of the white flowers against the dark green foliage makes it a favourite for any garden.
This broad, dense, medium-sized evergreen shrub is another variety of pittosporum you should consider for your garden. You may choose to cultivate this variety alone or combine it with others. 
Its leaves are glossy, leathery and obovate. You will normally find on it large terminal umbels of small flowers that are sweetly-scented. These flowers when open are white in colour but soon turn yellow during early summer or late spring. 
Its maximum height is between 2.5-4m and possess a maximum spread of between 1.5-2.5m. Partial shade or full sun is the position in which this variety thrives best. 
Ensure you cultivate this plant in a moist, but well-drained soil cultivated outdoors. It is important you protect it from cold, drying winds. Grow pittosporum tobira nana under glass in a loam-based compost in full light for optimum growth.
You may choose to either propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. Ideal planting locations for this plant includes: hedging and screens, low maintenance, as well as Mediterranean climate plants. 
This variety may be susceptible to powdery mildews. It may also attract pests like aphids, cushion scale, pittosporum sucker, and glasshouse red spider mite. 
Its white and yellow flowers will certainly give you a wonderful spectacle during spring and summer. You can combine it with other varieties as well as other plants. However, this variety will certainly standout. 
Pittosporum Elizabeth
It is a beautiful evergreen shrub with green-grey flowers that have cream and pink edges regardless of the season. Although in cooler seasons and winter, the pink edges become more pronounced. This shrub blooms tiny honey-scented dark pink flowers in spring and summer. It is a small shrub reaching a height of only 6-8 feet and spreads 5-6 feet only. A low-maintenance plant with the basic requirements of other pittosporum plants.
This is yet another variety you can consider to add to your collection. This evergreen shrub have leaves that are narrow oval in shape, as well as wavy-edged grey-green in colour. 
The edges of its leaves are flush pink, and cream in colour in all seasons. It produces dark purple, scented, star-shaped flowers in early summer. Pittosporum Elizabeth has a hardiness of H4.
You can grow this variety in most fertile soils outdoors. However, ensure you protect it from cold, drying winds. Cultivate pittosporum Elizabeth under glass in a loam-based potting compost in locations that are susceptible to frosts.
Ensure you water the plant moderately when it is still growing and do so sparingly as well during the winter. It has a maximum height of between 2.5-4m and a spread of between 2.5-4m. 
Ideal planting locations for pittosporum elizabeth includes: coastal, low maintenance, wall side borders, cottage and informal gardens, city and courtyard gardens, hedging and screens. 
The best mode of propagation is via semi-hardwood cuttings in summer. It is generally free from pests. however, watch out for diseases like powdery mildews, and leaf spot. 
You will find purple coloured flowers on this variety during the summer was spring. Having this plant in your garden will surely be worth it in terms of the aesthetics it would provide. 
Pittosporum Irene Patterson
It is a slow-growing dwarf species of pittosporum, reaching a height of only 4-5 feet. It has beautiful variegated foliage of wavy-margined leaves that open white before turning to a dark green and remains mottled with white between the veins that sit on purplish stems. Oftentimes, the white on the leaves turn pink in cold seasons and winter. It blooms inconspicuous deep purple flowers in spring. It requires moist and well-drained soil in partial shade to full sun to grow. 
This particular variety of pittosporum has a hardiness of H4. It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that has a height of between 1-1.5m and a spread 1-1.5m. 
It has purple-colored stems that bear wavy-margined, round leaves which opens white and then become dark green in colour. Pittopsorum Irene patterson’s flowers are often tinged pink in winter and become deep purple in late spring. 
It is advisable to cultivate this variety in full sun. It grows best in moist, fertile, and well-drained soil. You may need to protect it from cold, drying winds if your garden or home is situated in a colder climes.
The best mode of propagation for this variety is through semi-hardwood cuttings in summer. Coastal, cottage and informal garden, city and courtyard gardens, low maintenance, hedging and screens, wall side borders, and cut flowers are ideal planting locations.
Pittosporum Irene Patterson is generally pest free but susceptible to powdery mildews in dry soils. They can also be affected by leaf spot in exposed locations. 
Their purple coloured flowers in summer and spring gives a unique appearance to wherever you choose to plant them. 
Pittosporum Tom Thumb
This particular variety is slow-growing, dense evergreen shrub. Pittosporum tom thumb isn’t free-flowering and its undulate leaves possess a deep purple colour. 
Its maximum height is between 0.5-1m and has a spread of between 0.5-1m. This variety has a hardiness of H4 and its leaves are small, leathery in appearance and often fragrant.
Pittosporum tom thumb grows best in a moist, fertile, and well-drained soil. It is advisable to plant in full sun in order to get the best leaf effect. If your garden is located in colder climes, ensure you protect them from cold, drying winds.
The best planting locations for this variety includes: coastal, hedging and screens, wall side borders, cottage and informal gardens, city and courtyard gardens. Its best mode of propagation is via semi-hardwood cuttings in summer. 
You don’t have to worry about pests when you have this variety in your garden. However, you should always be on the lookout for diseases because it is susceptible to powdery mildews and leaf spot.
Pittosporum Golf Ball
“Golf ball” is an evergreen shrub that has bright green coloured leaves. This variety naturally produces a dense, rounded globe that is 1m in diameter. This plant is perfect for a low hedge and rarely requires clipping. 
With its 0.5-1m height and 0.5-1m spread, this plant thrives best in full sun or partial shade. When cultivated in your garden, ensure you do so in a moist, fertile, and well-drained soil. It has a H4 hardiness and requires protection from cold, drying winds. 
Propagation is carried out in the summer through semi-hardwood cuttings. It thrives best in planting locations like coastal, architectural, city and courtyard gardens, low maintenance, garden edging, cottage and informal gardens, patio and container plants, hedging and screens.
Pittosporum gold ball is generally free from pests. However, it is susceptible to leaf spot, powdery mildews, and pittosporum sucker. 
Pittosporum Tobira
This variety is commonly referred to as Japanese mock orange. It is an evergreen shrub that thrives best in either full sun or partial shade. Ensure it is cultivated in a fertile and moist but well-drained soil. 
It is capable of having a height of between 1.5-4.5m and a spread of between 1.5-4.5m. Pittosporum tibia flowers in April and May. You can easily carry our propagation on it by transplanting from containers. 
It is able to tolerate pruning and it is also a low maintenance plant. Its 5-petal whitish flowers which are borne in branch tips is sure to give your garden and its surrounding a unique view.
Pittosporum Silver Ball
The silver ball variant of pittosporum is compact, spherical in shape and posses grey-green leaves. These leaves have irregular margins that are whitish in colour. Its purple-brown coloured flowers that produces a fragrant becomes visible in May and June.
Its natural globular shape and the fact that it is suitable for topiary makes it an alternative to buxus balls. This variety is usually between 0.5-1m in height and a spread of 0.5-1m. 
Pittosporum silver ball has a hardiness of H4 and is easy to grow in a moist, fertile, and a well-drained soil. Position it in full sun when cultivated in order to get the best foliage colour. Make sure you protect this plant from cold, drying winds if your home, or garden is located in a colder region.
Propagation is best achieved through semi-hardwood cuttings in the summer. You won’t have to worry about any pest when you cultivate this plant in your garden. 
Ideal planting locations are: wall side borders, hedging and screens, low maintenance, flower borders and beds, patio and container plants, city and courtyard gardens, cottage and informal gardens. 
Be on the lookout for pittosporum sucker, leaf spot, and powdery mildews when you cultivate this variety. The purple-brown coloured flowers pittosporum silver ball produces in spring and summer makes it one of the popular plants in gardening. 
You can also combine it with other plants and it wouldn’t appear awkward at all. The more varieties and plants you choose to combine it with, the more beautiful your garden or home will look. 
Pittosporum Variegatum
This variety produces purple coloured flowers in spring and summer. This makes it a wonderful addition to your plant collection. Pittosporum variegatum is an evergreen shrub that is bushy, oval-shaped as well as upright in appearance.
Its stems are dark in colour and they contrast with its margined leaves which are grey-green and creamy-white in colour. It produces flowers from May to June and these flowers are honey-scented dark purple in colour.
Pittosporum variegatum is usually between 2.5-4m in height and posses a spread of between 1.5-2.5m. The best soil to cultivate this variety is one that is moist, fertile, and well-drained. 
You need to provide some form of protection for it if you plan to cultivate it in colder climes. This is because it get affected by cold, drying winds. Position it in partial shade or full sun in order to get optimum result. 
This particular variety has a hardiness of H4 and its best mode of propagation is through semi-hardwood cuttings in summer. It is advisable to pay adequate attention to this plant because it is susceptible to aphids, cushion scale, pittosporum sucker.
It is susceptible to powdery mildews just like other varieties in to the same family. So adequate attention is needed if you want to afford your garden with the beauty it produces. 
Pittosporum Silver Sheen
The silver sheen is a small tree that is columnar, fair and open-growing. Its stems are dark reddish purple in colour and its leaves are green ovate in colour as well as small in appearance.
It produces dark brown-maroon scented flowers in late spring and early summer. Pittosporum Silver sheen are usually between 4-8m in height and have a spread of 2.5-4m. With a hardiness of H4, its best position for optimum growth is either partial shade or full sun. 
It is advisable to cultivate this variety in a moist, fertile, but well-drained soil. Their leaves are more colourful when cultivated in an open sunny position. Ensure you provide some shelter for it if you cultivate this plant in the open especially in milder areas and coastal gardens. 
You can effectively protect its roots in winter with dry mulch and in colder gardens, place the plant in a south- or west-facing wall position. Propagation is done in the summer by semi-ripe cuttings, in late autumn by basal hardwood, and by layering or air layering in spring.
Ideal location to plant this variety includes: coastal, city and courtyard gardens, cottage and informal gardens, low maintenance, Mediterranean climate plants, wall side borders, hedging and screens. 
It is essential that you trim in spring and midsummer when you grow this plant as a hedge. Pittosporum silver ball is susceptible to pittosporum sucker and it is mostly affected by powdery mildews and leaf spot. 
This colourful variety is one of the plant you need to add to your collection. Its numerous colours will blend in well with the others you have in your garden. 
Pittosporum Garnettii
This bushy, medium-sized, dense variety adds some form of uniqueness to your collection. It is erect, and have rounded grey-green leaves. This variety also have deep purple flowers in clusters.
Pittosporum garnettii is between 2.5-4m in height, has a hardiness of H3 and an ultimate spread of between 2.5-4m. This variety can be cultivated outdoors. In such situations, it can grow in most fertile soils. Protection is needed from cold, drying winds.
You will require loam-based potting compost when you cultivate it under glass especially in areas susceptible to frosts. Propagate in summer using semi-hardwood cuttings. 
Ideal planting locations includes: wall side borders, coastal, cottage and informal garden, city and courtyard gardens, hedging, and screens. It is generally pest free but susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildews. 
Pittosporum Gold Star
The gold start variety of the pittosporum is compact and bushy. Its branches are dark brown in color and bear wavy-margined, light green young leaves. This plant produces fragrant, dark maroon coloured flowers in spring. 
Pittosporum gold star is drought resistant so you don’t have to worry about cultivating it in an droughty area. It has a hardiness of H5, with a height of between 1.5-2.5m. Its ultimate spread is between 1-1.5m.
Grows easily on a relatively fertile, moist but well-drained soil. You may need to protect it from cold, drying winds especially during their young stage. It is advisable to plant in full sun so as to get the best out of its leaves.
Cottage and informal garden, city and courtyard gardens, low maintenance, architectural, flower borders and beds are ideal planting locations for this variety. It is generally pest free but prone to leaf spot and mildew.
It produces a mixture of red and black coloured flowers in spring thereby improving the aesthetics of your garden.
Pittosporum Bannow Bay
The bannow bay variety of pittosporum is compact, mound-forming, as well as evergreen. The leaves you’ll usually find on it are glossy, oval in shape, and grey-green in colour. During the winter, its entire leaves turn maroon.
It usually produce fragrant, small flowers that are purple-brown in colour between late spring and early summer. This is usually followed by the production of seed capsules that are dark grey in colour.
Your normal pittosporum bannow bay thrives best in a well-drained, fertile soil. It has a maximum of height of about 0.9m and a spread of 0.9m.
The best position for this plant is full sun or partial shade. Pittosporum bannow bay usually flower in June. Take extra care not to bury the plant in the ground than you would do in the pot. 
One on the major reason why you should add this plant to your collection is its foliage. When cultivated, it affords your garden the perfect contrast growing with orange coloured perennials. 
This plant also looks amazing with ornamental grasses. You can either cultivate it alone or with other varieties. Ensure you water this plant thoroughly after cultivating for the first two weeks.  

How to Grow and Care For Pittosporum
Pittosporum can be propagated by seed and by cuttings. Propagation by seeds is less common and takes longer for the plant to germinate so the popular choice for propagation is usually by cuttings.
Propagating Pittosporum From Cuttings
Select a cutting of 4-6 inches from the current season’s growth of a pittosporum tree. Make sure the cutting has fresh foliage on it. 
Dig the planting spot, one metre on all sides and mix the sand with compost. 
Remove the leaves from half of the pittosporum cutting and place the cutting into the planting hole.
It takes the plant about one month to germinate. During this time, water regularly so that the new foliage that will form will come out healthy.
To Wrap It Up
Pittosporum shrubs are the most suitable choice for hedge plants. This is because they are fast-growing, have dense evergreen foliage and are very easy to prune.
In addition to that, they are able to tolerate salt, survive hot conditions, and are drought-tolerant. Pittosporum is noted as one of the fastest growing plants for hedges.
Their beautiful foliage is one of the reasons why its varieties are popular as low maintenance barriers. Another benefits of having any of these varieties in your garden is that you are afforded a tall privacy screen by cultivating them. 
Even if you want a low-growing hedge that have a dense evergreen foliage, you can choose a dwarf pittosporum as a shrub border. 
Whichever variety of pittosporum you opt for, ensure you fork lightly over it in order to loosen the soil. Peat-free John Innes compost is the ideal fertiliser to add to the soil around your plant.

Commonly available Pittosporum in UK nurseries

Where to buy Pittosporum in the UK?


Conditions For Growing Pittosporum

Which soil type for pittosporum: The soil used for planting pittosporum should be well-draining so that it does not retain water. Loamy or sandy soil is ideal and it should be slightly acidic too. 

Which water type for pittosporum: Although, pittosporum can is a hardy plant that can endure drought better than constant irrigation, keep in mind that it still requires moisture for good growth. Water the plant well in spring and summer but make sure the topsoil dries between watering periods. Reduce watering in winter since it can survive without it.

How much light for pittosporum: pittosporum is not selective when it comes to lighting supply. It can fair well in both full sun and partial shade.

What temperature is needed for pittosporum: The temperature tolerance of pittosporum is different depending on the species but most of the species can endure temperatures as low as-5 degrees celsius. It is a hardy plant that will not be killed by frost, but frost can damage its foliage.

How to do you prune a pittosporum Most types of pittosporum grow round or a mound so they do not require regular pruning. However, if you want the desired shape you will need to prune the tree regularly to maintain the shape and you can also prune your plant to form a pittosporum hedge. Also, pruning should be done after its blooming period so that it won't affect its growth in the next season. 

What types of pittosporum are there?

There are several types of pittosporun and the most common species are pittosporum silver queen, pittosporum tobira nana, pittosporum elizabeth, pittosporum irene patterson, pittosporum silver ball, pittosporum silver sheen, pittosporum tenuifolium tom thumb, pittosporum tenuifolium variegatum.

What is the best pittosporum for my garden?

Any species of pittosporum is great for your garden, it only depends on your preference. You can choose from any of these options: pittosporum silver ball, pittosporum silver sheen, pittosporum tenuifolium tom thumb, pittosporum tenuifolium variegatum.

Can I use pittosporum for a hedge?

Pittosporum plants make beautiful hedges for your garden. They can be pruned to a hedge without hurting the plant.

How quickly does pittosporum grow?

Pittosporum is a fast-growing tree and can grow up to 3 metres annually depending on the species and the growing conditions.

How big does pittosporum get?

The natural form of a pittosporum tree is dense and rounded and at the peak of its growth, it can reach 8 – 12 feet in length with a diameter of 12 -18 feet. 

Is pittosporum a tree or a shrub?

Pittosporum is made up of both trees and shrubs. 

Can pittosporum grow in shade?

Pittosporum is not a selective species when it comes to light. They thrive equally well in sunlight and shade.

How do I care for pittosporum?

It is a hardy plant but still needs care. Take note of the soil type and water requirements. 

What Is Variegated Pittosporum? 

Variegated Pittosporum is commonly referred to as variegated Japanese mock orange. It is a compact evergreen shrub that posses variegated foliage. This plant produces small, white flowers with orange-blossom fragrance during spring.

Variegated Pittosporum are excellent shrubs that you can plant as a hedge, privacy screens, and mass plantings. The leaves of this plant as well as its unique variegated foliage are some of the amazing features of this variety. 

In gardens or yards that it is cultivated, a wonderful fragrance fills the air, adding to the beauty it provides. Its leaves are evergreen. That means you do not have to worry about the leaves falling off. 

How Do You Treat Variegated Pittosporum?

Variegated Pittosporum just like every other plant is susceptible to certain disease conditions. Below are some tips that will help you treat your variegated Pittosporum plant. 

Root Rot

If you notice the plane have root rot issues, the best approach is not to cultivate the plant too deeply into the ground. Providing a good drainage system that would help channel water away from the plant is also a good suggestion. 

Leaf Spot

Variegated Pittosporums are susceptible to leaf spot when there is humid conditions with poor circulation of air. You can prevent this situation by watering only the plant’s roots in order to avoid watering the foliage. However, fungicides are effective in treating leaf rot disease if the plant have already been affected. 

You should also employ cultural practices to prevent and curtail the spread of the disease to other plants in the garden. It is also important that you read the label of the fungicide carefully before use because some of them are capable of injuring or killing variegated Pittosporum. 

Southern Blight Infections

Th best way to treat this disease is to remove the infected plant and fumigate the soil with a broad-spectrum fumigant. Without the use of fumigants, southern blight infection-causing organisms can remain in the soil for many years. This can put new plants in danger. 

Bacterial And Fungal Infections

These infections are best treated via pruning the injured branches or twigs. It is advisable that the cutting should be 6-8 inches below the infected part of the stem. Ensure you clean the pruning equipment or tool with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol when pruning Pittosporum for treatment purposes. In the absence of that chemical, you can use 10 percent bleach solution. 

How To Care For Variegated Pittosporum

  • Ensure you water the plant weekly and more often during periods of extreme heat until the plant(s) is well established. Variegated Pittosporums are able to handle long periods without rainfall once they are established. 
  • Apply fertiliser before the appearance of new growth in spring.
  • Pruning to shape should be done during late winter.

To Wrap It Up

You do not have to worry if you have pets in your garden or yard because this particular variety is pet friendly. It is also able to tolerate urban pollution if you want to plant it in an industrial area. 

There are some plants you can cultivate alongside variegated Pittosporum in order to give your garden a unique appearance. They include: Heavenly bamboo, Blue oat grass, Agapanthus, Bottlebrush (Callistemon), and Loropetalum