Pittosporum Plants: the Evergreen Garden Asset
Having a garden is a commitment which takes a lot of creativity and effort to keep it looking good. But in the end, all that effort pays off. Every garden-owner knows the feeling of pride when people stop to marvel at his meticulously designed masterpiece. But seasons change and not all plants manage to survive the harsh and cold weather. So, what might have seemed like the garden of Eden in the summer days, can turn into a bare and gray surface when winter arrives. In that time of the year, evergreens are your garden’s best friends. If you haven’t included some already, a good idea is to start with some low-maintenance plants from the genus Pittosporum.
Pittosporum is a plant group of around 200 species of shrubs and small trees. Although originating from Southeast Asia and Japan, most of the Pittosporum plants can vigorously thrive in Australia as well, and some are even native to New Zealand. They have a thick consistency of leaves and do not exceed 2-3 metres of height, even after several years of growth. This is what makes them great for preserving the privacy in a garden in the form of hedges.
Besides being used for privacy, these plants also have an ornamental character. Their luscious evergreen foliage made out of glossy, leathery leaves is renowned for its beauty. Moreover, all Pittosporum plants sport flowers emanating a pleasant citrus fragrance which is why they got the nickname mock-orange. Depending on the variety, these flowers can be white, cream, yellow, red or brown. Another characteristic of pittos are their beautiful yellow berries growing between April and May which are much loved by birds. It’s also important to mention that these plants have a non-aggressive root system which makes it safe to plant alongside flower beds and walkways or walls.
Pittosporum are very versatile plants that grow equally well in shade and in the sun. In addition to their ambivalence concerning sunshine, they also thrive in almost any type of soil if regularly watered. However, they are on their most beautiful when the soil is well drained and slightly acidic. And regarding temperature, Pittosporum can grow in many locations throughout Australia that fit in the USDA zones 2-6. Moreover, these plants are admired for their excellent salt tolerance which makes them of great importance for coastal dwellers.
Of course, like any other hedge, Pittosporums also need some grooming. However, only in small amounts. Trimming them two times a year is enough to give them a fresh shape and rejuvenated look. In order to encourage more blooms of the delightful scented flowers, remember to prune them right after flowering has finished.
As you can see, Pittosporums have many unique advantages that make them a must-have plant for garden owners. Next time you go out around your block, look at your neighbour’s gardens and see how many of them have included some kind of this plant. Chances are you are going to find a Silver Sheen, Screen Master or Golf Ball which are the most popular type of hedges around Australia.