Pittosporum 'Garnettii'

Common Name: pittosporum 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Pittosporaceae
Zone: 9 to 10
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zone 9-10 where it is best grown in average, slightly acidic, moderately fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Established plants have some drought tolerance.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pittosporum is a genus of about 200 evergreen trees and shrubs from Australia, South Africa, South and East Asia and the Pacific Islands. They are grown for their glossy, evergreen foliage.

Genus name comes from the Greek words pitta meaning pitch and spora meaning seed in reference to the sticky resinous coating on the seed.

'Garnettii' is a dense, upright, bushy, evergreen shrub which grows to 10-15' tall and features gray-green leaves variegated with creamy white margins and bell-shaped purple flowers which bloom in late spring/early summer. It was discovered growing in a nursery in Christchurch, New Zealand in the early 1950s by Arthur Garnett (hence the cultivar name). It is reportedly the result of a cross between Pittosporum tenufolium and Pittospourm ralphii. Elliptic-ovate, evergreen, gray-green leaves (each to 2” long) have creamy white margins which often acquire pink tinting in winter. Small solitary bell-shaped purple flowers (to 1/2"long) bloom from the leaf axils in late spring to early summer. Flowers give way to (3-valved) spherical woody fruits in brown capsules which mature in fall.

Genus name comes from pitto meaning pitch and spor meaning seed in reference to the resinous coating on the seed.


No serious insect or disease problems. Aphids, scale, mealybugs and root-knot nematodes and whiteflies may occur. Watch for leaf spot, bacterial blight and crown/root rot.


Where winter hardy, grow as a specimen or in small groups in foundations, borders, or other sunny areas of the landscape. Grows well as a screen or hedge. This plant may be trimmed and trained as a small tree. Where not winter hardy, plants may be grown in containers that are overwintered in greenhouses or sunrooms.