How should I shape my pittosporum

lennyboylennyboy Posts: 28

Hi 

I have this pittosporum in my front garden however it's grown 3 x its original size in as many years. It works as a good 'screen' to distract passers by from looking into the house however I'm thinking it's stating to get a little too big and now feel the need to 'tidy' it a bit. 

My question is should I be looking to acheive a particular shape or what would you recommend I do to tidy / cut it back a little. And when please? 

Thank you all.

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Posts

  • diggingdorisdiggingdoris Posts: 502

    I've got a couple of those that are suddenly getting a bit large and was wondering today what I could do. I did think I might take off some of the lower stems so that I can plant under it a bit, but I'm not sure what to do about shaping the top as I don't want it to look beheaded!

  • there is an article on eHow on pruning pittosporum. i have cut and pasted the address - best I could manage with my present IT knowledge!

     

    http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_8653884_prune-overgrown-pittosporum.html

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,183

    Pittosporum, shorten any straggles in Spring.Trim established bushes in early spring (April-May) to maintain a shape.
    In other words keep nibbling at it reducing some of the growth a little at a time until you have tamed it.

    Frank.

  • diggingdorisdiggingdoris Posts: 502

    Thanks Frank and Gardening Grandma. 2 very useful bits of information

  • Dont prune it in the autumn as a hard winter will get into the cut ends and will result in dieback and possible death of the bush.  Trim back lightly in april and allow for bush to heal over and to produce a small amount of new growth which will harden off by the start of winter.  Never hard prune pittosporum as they do not respond well. 

  • lennyboylennyboy Posts: 28

    Wow, thank you all so much for your expert advice it's really appreciated. 

    So i'm presuming a light trim now (July) is not advised? Also, I was wondering if I took out the bottom branches of the tree it would look neater and I could plant something underneath. And if so, what could I plant there as it's dry underneath and also clay soil.

    Thanks again 

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,183

    Lennyboy, now would be a good time to very lightly trim your bush, you may lose some of the winter blossom but it will keep it tidy.
    There so many plants that will go under although I use Cranes-bill, Geranium Grandiflorum, it is low growing and if you dig some compost into the ground on planting it will thrive and come year after year. Once it has flowered you can cut it right back, the foliage will regrow and you get a second flowering, you can vary the colours so it will flower at differing times.
    Hope this helps

    Frank.

  • lennyboylennyboy Posts: 28
    Thank you Frank that's brilliant, I'll give the geranium a go as it will really tidy it up and make the most of the space.



    Thanks again
  • lennyboylennyboy Posts: 28
    Frank, I just looked up the geraniums you mentioned but wasn't sure which one you'd most recommend I.e Jonsons blue etc. or will they all work well? Also I'm conscious that under the pittosporum it will get no sun, do they not require sun, and dry clay is ok? Fab if this is the case.



    Thanks again
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,183

    Apart from a full north facing wall the sun will reach part of the garden at some time in the day. Directly under the bush at high noon there may be a dark time.
    Take a look say on an hourly basis some day if ever we get any sun and see just what it gets. Have you thought about trying a fern of the woodland variety, or you could put a shade lover in and see how it goes.
    All gardening is experimental as no two gardens are the same so play it by ear try a few things, I do it all the time, often just to prove the experts wrong.

    Frank.

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