Pisonia is an evergreen tropical tree distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region. It is also known as the Bird Tree. A characteristic feature of this plant is very sticky fruits that spread, sticking to the covers of birds and other animals. Sometimes small birds die, unable to free themselves from the mass of sticky fruits on the tree. But we are more interested in the decorative qualities of this plant.

Description of pisonia


Pisonia has a beautiful crown and large leaves resembling ficus leaves. They are arranged oppositely, and at the ends of the shoots – dense spectacular whorls. In-room conditions, two species are grown – pisonia umbrella and pisonia brunoniana, more precisely – they’re variegated forms of Variegata, which have creamy-white spots on the leaf. Under the name Pisonia Brunoniana Variegata is often sold pisonia umbrella Variegata – it is distinguished by a pinkish shade of young leaves.

Despite the fact that in nature the umbrella pisonia, for example, reaches a height of 10-20 meters, and individual specimens are much larger (up to 28 m), in-room conditions it does not grow above 1 m. It develops very slowly, giving only a few new leaves per year on each shoot and lengthening only by 3-4 cm.

Pisonia can be kept first on the windowsill, over time – as a floor or tub plant. It is formed in the form of a tree with a wide, up to 1 m in diameter, spreading crown, requiring a spacious place. Suitable for halls and offices, but more – for winter gardens and greenhouses, where it can demonstrate its rather modest flowering, and most importantly – interesting fruits for which it is so famous.

Home care of pisonia

The soil

should be fertile, moisture- and breathable. A universal soil for indoor plants containing perlite is quite suitable. For self-preparation of the earth mixture, it is necessary to take the following components: turf earth: leafy earth: sand (2: 2: 1). The reaction of the soil is necessary slightly acidic or neutral.


Young specimens of pisonia quickly build up a root system, so up to 3 years of age, they are transplanted annually. The new pot should be 2 sizes larger than the previous one, drainage is necessary at the bottom. The longest roots are shortened by 1/3 or 1/2 of the length when transplanted. Adult specimens that have reached 4-5 years of age are transplanted rarely, every 2-3 years. In those years when transplantation is not performed, the top layer of soil is replaced with a fresh one. This is especially true for adult tub specimens.

  • Soils and soil mixtures for indoor plants
  • Transplantation of houseplants


Pisonia needs heat all year round, it is kept at a normal room temperature of + 23 … + 25 °C. At a temperature of several degrees below, the growth of pisonia slows down significantly. In winter, the plant should be protected from drafts and cold air, in summer it can not be taken out into the open air, since the plant is very sensitive to temperature changes.


This plant needs bright lighting and is not afraid of direct sunlight. It is best suited to the south window. Direct sunlight should illuminate the plant for at least 5 hours a day, but it still needs to be shaded from the scorching midday sun. In insufficient light, the leaves fall off, with excessive – turn yellow.


Pisonia is a moisture-loving plant, does not tolerate overdrying. The root ball should always remain slightly moist, but not waterlogged. Watering is best done 1 time per week by immersing the pot with the plant in water, then draining the excess from the pallet. In winter, water less often, at about 1.5 weeks.

The humidity

of the air should not be lower than 60%, the plant requires frequent spraying with soft water at room temperature.


During the period of active growth, the plant is fed 1 time per month with a complex organo-mineral fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants. In the autumn-winter period, fertilizing is stopped.

The dormant period

In tropical pisonia is not pronounced, it is kept both in summer and in winter at the same room temperature. From October to February, due to reduced natural light, the plant is not fed and watered less often.


Pisonia blooms with little ornamental, small white flowers collected in small panicles at the ends of the shoots. On old plants, flowering is rare, only in the greenhouse, occasionally fruits can be tied.


Pisonia is characterized by the fall of the lower leaves – this is a normal process, but the decorativeness of the crown decreases. To restore it, the plant is pruned in the spring to enhance branching. Despite the fact that pisonia branches well on its own, it is recommended to pinch the tops of the shoots to stimulate the growth of new shoots.


It is affected by spider mites and mealybugs.

Propagation of pisonia

Pisonia Brunoniana Variegata

Pisonia is propagated by cuttings and air diversions.

Cuttings are carried out in the spring. Green and semi-woody cuttings about 8 cm long are powdered with Kornevin and rooted in a greenhouse at a temperature of + 23 … + 25 °C and good lighting. At lower temperatures, cuttings take root worse. Young plants obtained from cuttings are pinched.

Pisonia is not cutting well, giving a small percentage of rooting, so propagation by aerial vents may be more reliable.

Possible problems in the cultivation of pisonia

  • Yellowing and drying of the edges of the leaves, the disappearance of variegation – occurs in too bright lighting.
  • Variegated leaves turn green, twist and shrink, the stem bends – in insufficient light.
  • Leaves fade and fall off – when the root ball is overdried or when hypothermia.
  • Leaves fall off – in low light, sharp fluctuations in air and soil temperature. The fall of some lower leaves in adult plants is the norm.
  • Exposure of the trunk in the process of growth is a normal phenomenon, which does not reduce the ornamental of the plant and does not indicate a discrepancy in the conditions of detention.

Types of pisonia

In indoor and greenhouse culture, 2 species are used, or rather their variegated forms:

Pisonia umbellifera

Grows throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region in moist thickets, sparse forests, from low to medium altitudes.

A tree with a spreading crown 4-20 (-28) m high, branches without thorns. The leaves on the petioles are 1–2.5 cm long, elliptical, oblong or ovate-lanceolate, 10–20 cm long and 4.5–8 cm wide, papery, glabrous, with 8–10 pairs of lateral veins, broadly wedge-shaped at the base, pointed or slightly blunt at the apex. The inflorescence is apical, paniculate, 5–12 cm long. The flowers are polygamous, with 1-3 bracts at the base, white, bell-shaped, 5-7 mm, with brown hairs, with a 5-lobed bend. The fruit is almost cylindrical, slightly curved, 2.5-4 cm long and 6-7 mm wide, with 5 ribs, smooth, sticky, with a perianth preserved at the apex. It blooms in autumn.

Pisonia umbellifera Variegata
Pisonia umbellifera Variegata

Pisonia umbellifera
Pisonia umbellifera

Pisonia umbellifera
Pisonia umbellifera


is a variegated form of the plant. A shrub or tree up to 3.5 m tall, with dark green leaves with a creamy uneven edge, which in the youngest leaves has a pink tint.

Pisonia brunoniana

Grows in the coastal forests of New Zealand, on the islands of Norfolk and Lord Howe and in Hawaii.

It is named after Robert Brown, a nineteenth-century Scottish botanist.

A small spreading, usually multi-trunked tree up to 8 m in height, with softwood and fragile branches, at first erect, later spreading. The bark is gray-brown or greenish-brown in color. The leaves are opposite or in whorls, on petioles up to 4 cm long, large, 10-60 cm long and 5-20 cm wide, simple, oblong-ovate, at the edge whole, notched or lobed, at the top blunt or rounded, glabrous, glossy, yellow-green or dark green.

The inflorescence is paniculate, multi-flowered, with leaf-shaped bracts. The flowers are usually monoecious, funnel-shaped, 1 cm in diameter, with 5 blades of bend, greenish-white or white. The fruits are narrowly ellipsoidal, 2.5-4 cm long, with 5 ribs, green, black when ripe, very sticky.

Pisonia Brunoniana Aurea
Pisonia Brunoniana Aurea

Pisonia Brunoniana Variegata
Pisonia Brunoniana Variegata


is a variegated form with gray-green leaves, in the center covered with yellow-green spots.


is a variegated form with leaves covered with white and creamy yellow spots. Under this name, a similar form of umbrella pisonia is often sold, which is distinguished by a pink tint of young leaves.


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