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Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb' AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Flower

Dark Purple in Spring and Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring
Purple in Autumn, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

tawhiwhi 'Tom Thumb'

Family

Pittosporaceae


Pittosporum are evergreen shrubs or trees with simple, leathery leaves and small, often fragrant, 5-petalled flowers, followed by spherical, woody fruits splitting to reveal seeds embedded in sticky pulp

'Tom Thumb' is a dense, slow-growing small evergreen shrub of rounded habit, with deep purple, undulate leaves contrasting with light green young growth; not free-flowering

Synonym(s)

  • Pittosporum 'Tom Thumb'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • East-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Easy to grow in fertile, moist but well-drained, soil. May need protection in colder climes especially from cold, drying winds. Plant in full sun for the best leaf effect

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Hedging/Screens or Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Susceptible to powdery mildews and a leaf spot