Variegated Pittosporum leaf and James Stirling Pittosporum

Pittosporum – Lots of Variety

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Pittosporum would have to be the most confusing of species for the DIY hedge builder/planter/grower. Some Pittosporum species are native to Australia, occurring mainly up and down the sub-tropical east coast. There are so many varieties that one page almost doesn’t do it justice.

Pittosporum come in everything from variegated, large leaf varieties to the most common “Stirling” varieties. The small leaf of the “Stirling” make them ideal as a really dense hedge IF you get it right. More often than not we find Pittosporum hedges that have been allowed to grow too tall before trying to turn them into a dense hedge, creating a row of plants at the right height for a hedge, with more gaps than the Federal Budget. The mantra “prune early, prune often” is one to live by with this hedge plant.

Biggest Positive: Small, usually silvery, foliage of the Stirling varieties can make for a dense and beautiful screen

Biggest Negative: “Prune early, prune often” applies more to this plant than, perhaps, any other. Get it wrong from the start and you will have a row of plants at similar height rather than a hedge.

NamePittosporum TenuifoliumJames Stirling, Silver Stirling etc
LeafNewGreen, Silvery-green, variegated
OldGreen, Silvery-green, variegated
SizeUsually small
FlowerColourSome varieties yes, but not ones we're looking at.
Time of Year
SizeHeight1 - 3m
Width2m but keep it tighter
RateMedium - Fast
Hot Tip

“Fertiliser for Natives” is not a gimmicky way to sell you more fertiliser. Don’t feed your Lilly Pilly hedge with general purpose fertiliser – they won’t like the phosphorus.

Pittosporum Gallery