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Pittosporum Tobira Japanese Mock Orange - a very attractive foliage plant with lustrous green leaves and clusters of sweetly scented bell shaped flowers from May to June. It grows to a height of 2 metres with a width of about 1 metre. Its attractive green leaves that are darker on the top and lighter on the bottom with a leathery texture. Each leaf measures up to 12 centimeters in length and 2.5 centimeters in width. The leaves grow in a whorl-like a pattern around the shrub’s stem which gives it a dense appearance. From May to June, the Japanese Mock Orange produces clusters of white flowers that smell similar to the blooms produced by orange trees. When the flowers first unfurl they appear bright white but as they age they take on a more creamy colouration.
Pittosporum Tobira is native to Japan and China. However, it has become a popular ornamental around the world because of its hardiness and its ability to thrive with very little care. It’s an excellent evergreen screening or privacy hedging choice. It can also be sheared or clipped into topiary shapes.
The Japanese Mock Orange grows well in full sun, partial shade or shady locations. It thrives in a wide variety of soil types but prefers a planting site that is well-draining. After planting, keep the soil moist but not overly saturated to encourage the shrub to develop a strong root system. Once established, it can withstand periods of drought well. It grows in seaside locations where other shrubs often fail to thrive and sustains salt spray without suffering any adverse damage. Although the Pittosporum tobira does not require pruning to maintain its good looks, it will tolerate shearing to maintain its size. Dead or diseased branches should be pruned away and discarded. If desired, the lower limbs of the Japanese Mock Orange can be trimmed up to give it a bonsai appearance.
The relatively compact size of the Japanese Mock Orange makes it a favoured choice for container growth. Place the tree next to patios or other locations where the sweet fragrance of the shrub’s blossoms can be appreciated. A hardy shrub that requires very little maintenance, Pittosporum tobira was awarded the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.