The main secrets of caring for pittosporum at home
Pittosporum or resin seed is an evergreen tropical plant that combines exotic beauty and unpretentiousness. Caring for pittosporum at home does not take much time, so this plant is very popular among both beginners and experienced flower growers. Due to its exotic and at the same time classic appearance, the resin seed plant will be an ideal option for those who strive for a spectacular, original gardening at home..
The main types of pittosporum
Pittosporum is a plant from the Smolosemyannikovye family, numbering more than 150 species. It includes both evergreen trees and shrubs. The peculiarity of Pittosporum is its luxurious flowering. Due to the unusual shape of small snow-white-cream flowers, reminiscent of constellations, the plant is also called “fragrant stars”.
The most popular and common types of pittosporum include:
- Pittosporum Variegatny is a neat and compact shrub 2-4 m high. During the flowering period, from March to May, it is covered with small white star-shaped inflorescences with a pleasant citrus aroma. Leaves are pale green with white spots.
- Pittosporum ordinary or Tobira is the most common type of resin seed plant grown in Russia. Trees reach 3-7 m in height, in natural conditions – up to 9 m. Leaves are obovate, 5-12 cm long, dark green, with a glossy surface. Blooms profusely from March to April-May.
- Pittosporum Ilan – has an unusual color of turquoise leaves with white spots or stains. The plant reaches 50-70 cm in height. Grown as a houseplant.
- Pittosporum Variegated – tall shrub up to 3-4 m with pretty yellow flowers and large dark green leaves.
- Pittosporum Nigra is a small, compact plant that is most often grown as a houseplant. Leaves are oblong and small, dark purple.
Under natural conditions, resin seed can be found in China and other countries of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands..
In Russia, Pittosporum Tobira is most often grown, which is distinguished by unpretentiousness in care and the ability to quickly adapt to the Russian climate..
Tobir’s resin seed, like other varieties, can be grown in two ways – from seeds and cuttings. Seed propagation of a plant is considered more laborious, since only freshly harvested seeds give good germination, with storage they germinate much worse.
You can start sowing seeds in early spring. To do this, you need to prepare small plastic cups, containers or peat tablets. As a nutrient substrate, you can use a mixture of turf and leaf soil with sand.
- Fill the bottom of the container with a layer of drainage – fine gravel, pebbles or coarse sand.
- Fill in the prepared substrate and moisten it with a spray bottle.
- Spread the seeds on the surface of the soil without deepening them into the soil.
- Sprinkle the seeds with a thin layer of sand.
- Cover the container with crops with transparent plastic wrap or glass to create a greenhouse effect.
Place the container or glass of seeds in a warm, dry place with diffused light until germination. The optimum air temperature is from +20 to + 25 ° С. Do not forget to remove the shelter and ventilate the crops every day..
The plant has a very slow growth, so in the first year its aerial part may remain unchanged. At this time, the root system of pittosporum is actively developing..
After the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, the sprouts can be planted in separate containers.
Cuttings of pittosporum
Many growers grow the “Fragrant Stars” resin seed plant from cuttings. For cuttings, the upper parts of the stem are at least 10 cm long.It is advisable to cut them at the beginning of spring, but not from green shoots, but those that are already beginning to lignify at the bottom.
How to propagate pittosporum by cuttings:
- for rooting cuttings, use coarse sand or sand and peat mixture;
- treat the cutting in a solution of Epin or another growth stimulant;
- pour the prepared substrate into a wide container and place the cuttings in the mixture at an angle;
- cover the container with cuttings with glass or film, you can separately cover each seedling with a cut plastic bottle.
Leave the container with the cuttings in a warm, dry place, but not in direct sunlight. Lift the ventilation cover daily and spray the seedlings with a spray bottle.
Caring for pittosporum at home
When caring for pittosporum at home, it is very important to provide the plant with proper lighting, optimal temperature conditions, timely watering and feeding.
Pittosporum belongs to light-loving crops, but it should not be placed in direct sunlight. This can lead to burns on the beautiful leaves of the resin seed, which will begin to curl and fall off. It is best to place the plant pot close to the window on the west or east side. Lighting should be diffused, otherwise the bush may grow one-sided.
The optimum air temperature for growing pittosporum is from +18 to + 23 ° С, in winter from +10 to + 14 ° С. Lower temperatures are detrimental to the plant..
If the foliage of the resin seed plant can tolerate small frosts, then the root system will quickly die..
When caring for pittosporum at home, it is necessary to provide the plant with regular but moderate watering. On summer days, the resin seed should be watered every 3-4 days, in autumn and spring – no more than once a week.
In winter, the frequency of humidification should be reduced and pittosporum should be watered no more than once every 12-15 days..
In summer, watering should be abundant. It is necessary to monitor the state of the soil in the pot – its top layer should dry out a little. But you must not allow the complete drying of the earth lump..
Pittosporum leaves require sufficient moisture to maintain their decorative appeal. In summer, it is advisable to moisten them from a spray bottle, wipe them with a soft, damp sponge and from time to time arrange a warm shower for the plant..
For a long and abundant flowering, pittosporum requires a large amount of minerals, so the plant needs regular feeding. For this purpose, it is best to use complex mineral fertilizers or special formulations intended for decorative flowering crops..
In the spring and summer months, during active growth, the resin seed is fed twice a month. In winter, the amount of dressings is reduced, it is enough to apply fertilizers every 4-5 weeks.
Pittosporum is an original and spectacular plant native to the tropics, loved by many flower growers. It has found wide application in floristry and is often used as staffage to fill space when creating flower arrangements. The plant is easy to care for, so it will be an excellent choice for novice florists..