• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Pittosporum tenuifolium

New Zealand pittosporum

New Zealand pittosporum

© RHS 1999

  • Other common names New Zealand pittosporum


    see more
  • Family Pittosporaceae

  • Genus 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

  • Details P. tenuifolium is a large, broadly columnar evergreen shrub with slender, dark shoots. Leaves rounded, glossy light green, with wavy margins. Small, honey-scented deep purple flowers open in clusters in late spring and early summer

  • Plant range New Zealand


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

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

Propagation Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Wall-side Borders City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Can get glasshouse red spider mite, aphids, cushion scale and pittosporum sucker

Diseases Generally disease free

Advertise here

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now