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Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’

This well known little variegated evergreen tree from New Zealand comes in many different forms. Left to its own devices it’s a multistemmed little round headed tree growing sometimes to 15ft or more. Just as often, it’s used for topiary as it clips well into lumps, bumps and mounds.

It needs plenty of light and being variegated is slightly less hardy than the non variegated one (‘the type’ as we say in horticultural circles). After very cold weather, the variegation (the white bit round the edge of the leaf) can be slightly browned. New growth will come in the spring, the old leaves will drop and all will be well. The variegation causes less chlorophyll in the leaf, less photosynthesis and less vigour so these variegated ones grow slower and never reach such a size as the type.

Any reasonably well drained soil in plenty of light. 6ft after 10 years.

Propagated by cuttings.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

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Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.