A little bit about pittosporum

Need to block out your neighbours? Got an unsightly space that needs covering up? Thanks to its hardiness and fast, bushy growth, pittosporum is a winner. There are about 20 varieties which are perfectly suited for Sydney gardens and depending on which you choose, you can create hedging, screening, borders, or simply embrace it as an ornamental shrub or tree. Its evergreen foliage comes in a wide palette of greens, from deep shades to silver. Some varieties feature small, five-petalled flowers that will fill your garden with a sweet, jasmine-like scent on spring evenings.


Botanical name: Pittosporum

Potential height: One to four metres, depending on the variety. Width: up to two metres, depending on the variety

Ideal position: Most varieties grow well in sun or part-shade, in fertile, well-drained soil. Pittosporums also do well in coastal areas.

Where to grow pittosporum: It can be grown in the ground or in a container.

When do they bloom? In spring and early summer, clusters of small fragrant flowers appear on certain varieties, and are followed by small orange berries in autumn, which last for several months.


Caring tips

How to prepare for planting

Pittosporums like well-drained soil. Add gypsum to your soil before planting if you have clay soil. If planting in summer, keep the plant moist (but not too wet) until it’s established.


Fertilise twice a year with a slow-release general purpose plant food.


Pittosporums benefit from pruning twice a year. They can be clipped for a formal look and to keep foliage dense. If you want to create a hedge, prune early and often.


In August, look out for cup moth larvae, which can skeletonise leaves. In January, protect your pittosporum from white wax scale by spraying with white oil. Also, look out for curl grub: a telltale sign is if your pittosporum looks like it needs watering but the ground is moist. Use Amgrow Professor Mac 3 in 1 to combat these root-dwelling critters.


Keep your pittosporum moist over summer to keep foliage looking good.


Need advice on hedging and privacy? You might like to check out our Formal vs Informal Hedging and Narrow Trees and Privacy articles.