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How do I get my health 5 year old pittsospernum to flower for the first time?gowing wonderfully very huge low down bush now with fine glossy dark green leaves looking very health and new leaves sprouting all the time but it has never flowered yet

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It has always grown beautifully from the start and is now a huge low down bush with fine dark green glossy leaves. It is always sprouting new leaves. It is in a south facing garden in South Manchester and gets a lot of afternoon sun as wel as early morning full sun. I have fed it tomato feed during the summer only but admit feeding has not been constant. Do I need to feed it constantly summer and winter and with what? in order for it to flower. I also now have my partners as well from his garden, which is in the wirral, as he had given up waiting for the flowers. His was bought the same time as mine. It is definately the same bush as seen all over italy where the flowers give a terrific smell - stronger than the jasmin and one can smell the scent of the flowers across the street when passing, so I am very eager to see the flowers on my bushes. Does the plant only flower after 5 or more years? I wouldnt have thought, so as we saw lots of smaller plants in tubs outside shops which were in flower. I have asked several garden centres and they all say I'm doing the right thing by feeding it tomato feed, but wonder if there is some feed out there which may do the trick other than the ordinary tomato feed. Can anyone out there advise me please?



You're lucky to be able to overwinter this as far north as Manchester. Do you know which of the many pittosporum varieties you have? Mine is p. tenuifolium, the one with wrinkly leaves and black stems which flower arrangers like and it flowers itself to pieces in April every year and did so from a very young age. However, there is a disadvantage -- the scent is only detectable after dark when it smells to high heaven. People visiting wonder what they've trodden in. Presumably this is for the benefit of passing moths

1 Jul, 2009


I've had numerous Pittosporums in my various gardens (i live in the south west) and they only flower for just a few weeks in May and only in exceptionally mild areas.
Small fairly insignificant little flowers really and i've not ever noticed a fragrance from them, certainly not one as gorgeous as you're describing.

P 'dallii' is very hardy but never flowers.

There is a Pittosporum that has very fragrant flowers but it's P 'tobira' and only flowers (and indeed survives!) in exceptionally mild areas again and i'm thinking that it's this one that you've seen abroad.

1 Jul, 2009


I suspect that this is Pittosporum tobira as it is indeed used (especially along coastal promenades) in municipal plantings all around the Med., and the scent is indeed spectacular!

I think it will flower in time, it just needs to either mature or be kept slightly root restricted in a container to make it flower. You are doing the right thing by feeding but don't overdo it! Once a month is more than enough.

1 Jul, 2009


Ps My mum just came back from Cornwall exclaiming that she had managed to get a P. tobira. I took one look at it and said, no it's not! The leaves are too small and so are the flowers. No scent at all. She's not very happy as the plant was purchased in Cornwall, parents live in Northumberland! We all make mistakes I suppose.

1 Jul, 2009


Had the garden centre labelled it wrongly ? :(
That's bad. Grrrr.

1 Jul, 2009


Stop using tomato feed on Pittosporum which has encouraged your green and will take some time to flush out.

These plants don't need feeding and outside a deep drought they don't need watering!

Wind protection/tethering is what they do need when they are in full leaf during the winter months.

Remember, they grow on the only bit of land north of Antartica!!!!!

1 Jul, 2009


Except Pittosporum tobira is native to parts of China and Japan!

1 Jul, 2009


It sounds like pittosporum tom thumb to me, I have personally never seen this flower and I live in one of the mildest parts of the UK. If you would like a flowering pittosporum, then try P.Tobira. This is also known as Mexican mock orange and smells really nice, I had some flowers on mine this year, but beware, it is a giant when it reaches maturity.
Pittosporum come from all over the world and are different leaf shapes and wouldn't usually be considered to be related. They are traditionally seen as antipodean immigrants

1 Jul, 2009


Sorry, mis-read your question, definitely not tom thumb you have there, that has purple leaves which turn green. You do sound like you have a Tobira, you might be too far North to get flowers on it though

1 Jul, 2009

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