How To Propagate Pittosporum Cuttings

Pittosporums are popular, fast growing plants commonly used for hedges and privacy screens.

They’re low maintenance, deer resistant and can tolerate light frosts and cold temperatures.

Pittosporums are fairly easy to propagate, even for inexperienced gardeners and in this article I’ll show you how to grow pittosporum plants from cuttings.

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propagating pittosporums


Things you’ll need:

  • Pruning shears
  • Potting medium
  • Pots
  • Rooting hormone
  • Wire
  • Plastic bags
  • Spray bottle

Preparing the potting medium

Before you start taking the cuttings, prepare your potting medium.

For the best results, avoid using regular potting mix and instead use a mix of roughly 40% perlite, 40% coarse sand and 20% peat.

It’s easier for the roots to develop in a mix that doesn’t contain soil.

How to take pittosporum cuttings

The best time to take cuttings from your pittosporum plant is mid to late summer when the stem has grown thick enough.

I like to take my cuttings early in the morning while there’s still some dew on the plants and the temperature is cool.

Disinfect your pruning shears with warm soapy water before you begin to avoid infecting your cuttings with any plant diseases.

taking pittosporum cuttings

Take the cuttings about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) from the tips of healthy stems.

Tidy up the cuttings by removing the lower leaves and cut the stem at an angle just below a leaf.

Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone gel or powder to encourage healthy root growth.

You can also use honey if you prefer a natural option. I’ve written about using honey as a rooting hormone alternative in this article: How To Use Honey To Root Cuttings

Planting the cuttings

Use a pencil or your finger to make a hole about 2 inches (5 cm) deep in the potting mix and plant the cutting.

Don’t push the cutting directly in the soil without making a hole first because you’ll wipe off the rooting hormone.

Give the cuttings a thorough watering after planting.

Bend two pieces of wire to form an arch over the pot and cover with a plastic bag to make a mini greenhouse.

If you don’t have any wire you could use a few knitting needles or chopsticks to form a frame for the plastic bag to sit on.

Place the pot somewhere that receives some indirect light but is away from direct sunlight.

Caring for pittosporum cuttings

Check the cuttings every few days to make sure the soil is moist and mist the leaves with a spray bottle to keep the humidity level high.

The cuttings should begin to grow roots in 4 to 6 weeks.

You can check if the cuttings have taken root by giving them a gentle pull.

If you notice some resistance you’ll know it’s started to root.

pittosporum hedge

Hardening off the cuttings

After the cuttings have taken root you can remove the plastic bag and place the pot in a well lit spot indoors.

Harden off the plants by placing them outdoors for a week or two before planting them out in the garden.

So there are my tips for propagating pittosporums from your garden.

Growing pittosporums from cuttings is a good way to save money, especially if you need lots of plants for a privacy hedge.


Have you tried propagating pittosporum plants from cuttings? Let me know in the comments below.

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propagating pittosporum plants

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Pat

    Small pittosporums are not deer resistant. I live in Caldwell Texas and the deer love them as well as my rose bushes. They need to be protected from the deer when small.

  2. Tracer Gramm

    Yes, Pat. Even here in South GA. The deer love young pittosporum leaves.

    Human hair clippings from a local hair salon, coupled with pet shavings from our local PetSmart and a few grated Irish Spring bars all mixed together and scattered about every few months seems to have gotten rid of the deer. (Fingers crossed.)

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