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Pittosporum tobira (Japanese Mock Orange)

Pittosporum tobira’s tough leathery leaves and remarkable drought resistance makes it particularly well suited to coastal regions. Suitable for sun or shade. As with most drought resistant plants, its drought resistance is due to its ability to find water rather than exist without it, therefore, if grown in a pot keep it well watered, it’s completely dependant on you. The beautifully scented flowers last from around mid May to mid June and the hotter and sunnier the position, the more it will flower. Not bad as a pot plant as long as it’s kept the same size by clipping. Clipping (or pinching out in the case of the variety ‘nana’) is best done following flowering – around late June. In mild London or coastal gardens it can be clipped into an excellent hedge.

As with so many plants, in shade, the leaves will be larger, darker green and glossier than when grown in the sun. On the other hand, they will flower less in the shade. Try partial shade!

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.