Growing a pittosporum hedge is an excellent way to block out your neighbors and create privacy in your yard.
Pittosporums are fast growing and low maintenance plants that are suited to most climates.
In this article I’ll give you my best tips for growing a beautiful green pittosporum hedge in your yard.
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Pittosporum plants have evergreen foliage that can be light green to silvery gray in color depending on the variety.
There are about 200 different varieties of pittosporum and most species are native to Southeast Asia and Japan.
Some of the most popular varieties include:
Pittosporum tenuifolium Silver Sheen – a fast growing, hardy variety with silvery green foliage.
Pittosporum tenuifolium Screen Master – grows up to 3 feet (1 metre) a year and a great option for a dense hedge.
Pittosporum eugenioides Variegatum – has variegated foliage and small cream flowers during spring and summer.
HOW TO GROW PITTOSPORUM PLANTS
Pittosporums grow well in most areas and will tolerate a wide range of temperatures. They’re also frost hardy.
Pittosporum plants grow best in full sun to partial shade.
Pittosporums will tolerate most soil types including clay soil, but they grow best in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
Before planting dig some broken down manure or compost into the soil.
Pittosporums can grow up to 13 feet (4 metres) tall, but regular pruning will keep them to a manageable height.
Most pittosporum varieties can grow up to 6 feet (2 metres) wide, so space the plants at least 3 feet (around 1 metre) apart for a dense privacy hedge.
Pittosporums are fairly low maintenance and only require watering when the young plants are becoming established and during the summer months if the weather is hot and dry.
Pittosporums can be grown as shrubs, small trees or privacy hedges.
If you’re skilled with pruners you can also shape them into cones, spheres or other shapes.
It’s best to prune the plants regularly to help create a thick dense hedge.
In the picture below you can see the result of over pruning a pittosporum hedge.
This is what happens when you let an inexperienced gardener loose with a hedge trimmer.
There’s very little foliage left so the bare branches will be visible for a few months until the new growth fills out the hedge.
Pests & Diseases
Pittosporum plants are fairly easy to care for but they can be affected by aphids, mealybugs, black spot and powdery mildew. 
It’s a good idea to check the foliage regularly for pests and you can blast them off with the hose or use an insecticidal soap to get rid of them.
If you notice any leaves affected by fungal diseases you’ll need to remove any affected branches and treat the plant with a fungicide.
Pittosporums can be propagated by taking cuttings from the current season’s growth.
Take a few cuttings that are about 4 to 6 inches (10 – 15 cm) in length and remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
Dip the cutting into rooting hormone powder or gel and plant them in a container filled with starting mix.
Place the cuttings in a well lit spot that is out of direct sunlight and keep the soil moist.
After a few months you can move the cuttings to a bigger pot or plant them out in the garden.
Are pittosporums frost tolerant?
Pittosporums are frost resistant so they’re ideal for areas with cold winter temperatures.
My pittosporum hedge tolerates regular frosts, occasional snow and overnight winter temperatures of 23 °F (-5 °C) without any damage to the leaves.
How fast do pittosporums grow?
Pittosporums can easily grow up to 3 feet (about a metre) each year depending on the conditions.
Can pittosporums be planted in containers?
Yes, pittosporums can be grown in large pots that have plenty of room for the roots to spread out.
Potted pittosporums are ideal for balconies, decks, courtyards or small backyards.
So there are my tips for growing a beautiful pittosporum hedge for backyard privacy.