These plants are well known under their Latin name – pittosporum, which in translation means resin seedling. It is given to plants for the resinous substance in which the seeds in the fruit are found. These are highly decorative plants with leaves spirally close at the ends of the branches, besides flowering in spring or summer with attractive inflorescences of fragrant flowers. Pittosporum greens are very much in demand by florists because they are stored for a long time in the cut.

Description of pittosporum


The genus Pittosporum includes 110 species of plants of the family Pittosporaceae, distributed in the tropics and subtropics of the eastern hemisphere – in coastal humid forests, on mountain slopes in East and Southeast Asia, Australia, Oceania, less often – in Africa.

Representatives of the genus are evergreen trees and shrubs from 2 to 30 m high. Bark with resin channels. The leaves are arranged spirally, without stipules, simple, whole-edged or weakly toothed, leathery, 10-15 cm long, green with a light edge. The flowers are small, solitary or forming umbrellas or shields on the tops of the shoots. The flowers are five-membered, with 5 sepals and 5 petals white or yellow (red in some species), often with a sweet aroma. Stamens 5, alternating with petals. The pistil is one, with a head-like stigma. The fruit is a reverse-ovate ribbed, woody or leathery capsule, opening in 2-3 leaflets, with many seeds covered with a sticky oily, resinous substance.

The flowers of resin seedlings are used to produce an extremely valuable essential oil used in perfumes and to flavor tea.

Home care of pittosporum

Resin seedling is an easy-to-care plant. It grows at an average pace, in the room, it lengthens annually by several centimeters. At the same time, the interior is quite durable.

When growing, some features of these plants should be taken into account. It prefers cool content – not hot conditions in spring and summer, coolness – in autumn and winter.

Foliage in many species lives for 2 years, after which it falls, exposing the lower parts of the branches. To restore the crown, the plant requires pruning.

The soil

The resin seed is prepared in the following proportions: 1 part peat, 1 part garden earth, and 1 part coarse sand. It should be well-drained, in terms of acidity – slightly acidic or neutral. You can use purchased universal soil for indoor plants. In general, resin seedling is not too demanding on the composition of the soil.


Young plants up to 3 years of age are transplanted every year, then – every 2-3 years. Transplantation is best done by transshipment, without destroying the earthen lump, long roots can be cut. In those years when transplantation is not performed, it is useful to change the upper 5 cm of soil to fresh.


The pittosporum should be good but necessarily diffused, without direct sunlight. The best location for it is the windows of the eastern and western exposure. Southern can be used only if the plant is shaded or placed with a ridge with a window. On the northern windowsills, the plant grows well but blooms worse. In winter, it is provided with the brightest possible lighting. The most demanding of light are variegated forms, which are sensitive to changing conditions of detention.

In summer, the plant can be taken out into the open air in the garden or on the balcony, but it must be protected from direct sun and precipitation.

A sign of too bright lighting is twisted leaves, they fade, acquire a yellow color, then dry out. When there is not enough light, the stems stretch out, the leaves become smaller, and their color lightens.


Pittosporum needs a moderately warm air temperature, about +20 ° C. In the autumn-winter period, the temperature is reduced to +10 ° C to ensure a period of rest. Only in this case, the plant develops normally and blooms in summer. The resin plant does not tolerate heat well, so it is contraindicated to be placed near heating devices. On the contrary, the plant loves fresh air, it is provided with regular ventilation but is protected in winter from the frosty air.


Water the resin colony abundantly, allowing the upper layer of soil to dry out, in the summer – about once a week. During the rest period, water moderately and infrequently, while not allowing the substrate to dry out completely between waterings (approximately every 1.5 weeks). Do not allow excessive watering, which leads to the souring of the soil, it is permissible to use only soft water. Pittosporum tolerates oversaturation better than excessive watering.


Resin seedling adapts well to the dry air of the premises, but it develops better with high humidity, with daily spraying in the spring-summer period with soft water. The leaves must be regularly wiped with a damp sponge from dust. The pot can be installed on a pallet with wet claydite or use a household humidifier.


Is made from spring to autumn, using organic and mineral fertilizer for indoor plants every 2 weeks at half the rate. During the rest period, they do not feed. When growing variegated forms, you can not give a lot of nitrogen, because this leads to a loss of variegation.

Rest period

For the resin seedling, a physiological period of rest from October to February is necessary. The temperature at this time is maintained at + 10 ° C, watered less often, not fed.


Resin seed is usually kept within 1 m. It is well cut, no wonder in warm countries it is used in the open ground for hedges. In the spring, branching can be stimulated by light pruning, which is especially advisable when exposing the lower parts of the plant (the fall of the lower leaves is a natural process). If strong pruning is required, it is better to do it after flowering.

With the help of wire, you can give the branches the desired shape, they are quite plastic and suitable for creating bonsai.


depending on the species is observed from spring to late autumn.

Pests and diseases

For the resin seed, the danger is represented by the red spider mite, mealybug, less often – false shield and thrips. Of the diseases, fusarium and leaf spotting are possible. If the rules of care are not followed, signs of non-communicable diseases appear.

Propagation of resin seedling

Possibly cuttings, seeds.

Seed propagation

The seeds are used fresh and sown soon after they ripen. Seedlings peak after the formation of the first pair of true leaves, and are later planted in small pots with a diameter of 7 cm. Plants grown from seeds usually bloom in the 3rd year.


Use semi-woody apical cuttings 8-15 cm long (you can take the material left over from pruning). Cuttings are treated with Kornevin and planted to a depth of 1-2 cm in a mixture of peat and sand. Rooting is usually carried out in summer, at a soil temperature of +22 … +25 ° C, in greenhouse conditions. Young shoots are pinched, and after the formation of side shoots, they are pinched again. Plants grown from cuttings tend to bloom a year earlier than seedlings.

Types of Pittosporum

Some species are used for landscaping light, cool rooms, greenhouses, winter gardens:

Pittosporum tobira

Common resin seed, or Tobir resin seed, odorous (Pittosporum tobira) – a native of the sea coasts of Japan and Northern Taiwan (China), where it grows up to altitudes of 1800 m above sea level.

Common resin seedling
Common resin seedling

Trees 3-9 m high, often growing bush-like and forming a dense crown. The leaves on short petioles are densely collected at the ends of the branches, biennial, reverse-ovate, 5-10 cm long, widely rounded at the apex, narrowed at the base, leathery, glossy, dark green, below – matte green, with a slightly wavy edge wrapped inwards. Flowers in dense terminal shields, small, 0.8-0.9 cm in diameter, white, with fleshy petals, with a strong pleasant aroma. The fruit is an elongated angular densely hairy multi-seeded capsule. The seeds are numerous, red, angular, about 4 mm. It blooms abundantly in March-May.

  • Pittosporum tobira var. calvescens is a form with sparsely pubescent young twigs and leaf blades. The inflorescences, bracts and sepals are hairless.
  • Miss Muffet is a small shrub 60-90 cm high, has thick shiny green foliage and fragrant white flowers.
  • Variegata is a form with white-mottled leaves.
  • Wheeleri is a dwarf form 60-90 cm high, with thick green foliage and fragrant white flowers.

Pittosporum undulatum

Pittosporum undulatum grows in humid areas on the east coast of Australia (from south-eastern Queensland to eastern Victoria).

Resinous wavy
Resinous wavy

A shrub or tree up to 25 m tall, usually dioecious. The leaves are fragrant, collected at the ends of the branches, from ovate to oblong, 6–17 cm long, 2–5 cm wide, shiny above, slightly pubescent at a young age, usually wavy along the edge. The flowers are fragrant, in apical umbrella-shaped inflorescences. The petals are oblong, creamy white, curved to the apex. Male flowers with a corolla 12–18 mm long, narrower than that of female flowers, anthers emerge from the pharynx, the threads are thick, white, the stigma is slightly bumpy.

Female flowers are 12–14 mm long, with staminodes; the stigma is chubby, head-shaped, lobed. The box is rounded to inversely ovate, 8–13 mm long, 10–15 mm in diameter, orange to yellowish-brown, and hairless. The fruits are preserved on the plant for several months. The seeds are numerous, 3–4.5 mm long, brownish-red. It blooms abundantly and for a long time in May – July. Highly decorative fast-growing species, cultivated in cold greenhouses, in winter gardens and rooms.

Pittosporum eugenioides

Pittosporum eugenioides is a plant of the forests of the lower belt of Australia.

Pittosporum eugenioides
Pittosporum eugenioides

The tree is 7-13 m high with a loose rounded crown and light gray furrowed bark. The leaves are predominantly collected in tufts at the ends of the branches, elliptical, 5-10 cm long and 2-3 cm wide, sharp at the apex, wavy along the edge, light green, shiny, on the kink with a lemon eugenol smell. The flowers are small, 0.5 cm in diameter, greenish-yellow, fragrant, in the final thick panicles. The box is 0.6 mm long, elongated-elliptical, pointed at both ends, longitudinally ribbed, woody, bivalve, with small seeds.

  • Variegatum is a small tree up to 5 m tall and 2 m wide, with white-bordered leaves.

Pittosporum heterophyllum

Multi-leaved resin (Pittosporum heterophyllum) – grows in Western China in forests, valleys, on the slopes and banks of streams, up to altitudes of 800-3000 (4000) m above sea level.

Multi-leaved resin (Pittosporum heterophyllum)
Multi-leaved resin (Pittosporum heterophyllum)

It is a shrub about 2.5 m tall. Young twigs are grey-brown, glabrous. The leaves are collected on the tops of the twigs, biennial; petiole 3–4 mm or absent; the leaf blade is pale green below, glabrous, green and shiny above, lanceolate, narrowly lanceolate or linear, 4–8 cm long and 0.3–2 cm wide, thinly leathery, wedge-shaped at the base, flat at the margin, on the apex insular. The inflorescences are apical, umbrella-shaped, 1–5-flowered. The petals are white or yellowish, fused, lanceolate, about 6 mm, rounded at the apex. The box is almost spherical, slightly compressed, about 6 mm in diameter, opening with two flaps. Seeds 5-8, after drying black, about 2.5 mm. Blooms in March-May.

  • Pittosporum heterophyllum var. ledoides are shaped with leaves on very short petioles, strap-shaped, about 5 cm long and 0.3–0.4 cm wide.

Pittosporum crassifolium

Tar seed (Pittosporum crassifolium) is endemic to New Zealand, grows on the sea coasts.

Pittosporum crassifolium
Pittosporum crassifolium

Shrubs or small trees 1-10 m tall. The branches are erect, dark gray-black or brown, the young are densely covered with gray-white or white pubescence, which later turns black. The leaves are alternate, usually densely crowded to the tops of the branches, on short gray-pubescent petioles, 3-10 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, reverse-ovate or oblong, at the apex from blunt to acute, narrowed at the base, whole-edged, white, gray-white or brown, densely pubescent at a young age, soon naked above, but tightly covered with dirty white or gray-white felt below, very leathery, thickened along the edge. The flowers are unisexual, in apical 1-10-flowered inflorescences, small, dark red, purple, yellow, pink or white. Boxes 1-3 cm, woody, triangular. The seeds are numerous, 3–5 mm long, blackish. It blooms abundantly in June-August.

  • Nana is a compact form with rounded, pubescent, gray-green leaves, when blooming with brighter yellow-green, and burgundy flowers.
  • Variegatum – with an uneven white-cream border of the leaves.

Pittosporum tenuifolium

Small-leaved resin (Pittosporum tenuifolium) – grows in New Zealand on the sea coasts, in mountain forests up to an altitude of 900 m above sea level.

Pittosporum tenuifolium
Pittosporum tenuifolium

A shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall. The leaves are alternate, oblong to ovate, 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm wide, shiny, medium to dark green above, lighter below, slightly pubescent in youth, usually wavy along the edge. The flowers are fragrant, bisexual, axillary, solitary or in small tassels, from dark burgundy to almost black. The box is almost spherical, 12 mm, dark brown or black in mature condition, naked, inside with small grooves, bright yellow. The seeds are numerous, 4–5 mm long, blackish. It blooms in spring, in April-May.

A highly decorative species, popular in gardening. It has many varieties, including variegated and purple:

  • Pittosporum tenuifolium subsp. colensoi – A small tree with many flat, green leathery oval leaves, lighter at the bottom. The leaves are 4–10 cm long and 2–5 cm wide. The fruit is 12 mm wide, divided into three parts, showing black seeds in sticky contents.
  • Irene Paterson – with creamy young leaves that later turn dark green with white-marbled edges, and in winter – bright pink.
  • Golf Ball is a compact shrub 60-90 cm high and wide, with beautiful green foliage on black stems, flowers with a honey aroma.
  • Marjorie Channon is 2.5-3.5 m tall, with dark brown-black shoots and small oval leaves with a white border, with purple star-shaped flowers.
  • Silver Magic – 2.5-3.5 m high, with dark brown-black stems and oval-shaped leaves with a creamy pink edge, blooming in spring clusters of dark purple flowers.
  • Silver Queen – has leaves with a cream border and black and red flowers.
  • Tom Thumb is a dense shrub measuring 90-150 cm, with dark purple leaves with wavy edges on young dark stems, blooming in clusters of tiny fragrant black-red flowers.
  • Shorty is a dwarf compact rounded shrub 60-90 cm tall, with silvery-gray foliage.

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