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Pittosporums not growing or getting bushy.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:53 pm
by rattle
Hi everyone.
I have had 8 Pittosporums growing in 2 raised beds for almost 3 years now and they just don't seem to be growing much and are very scraggly in appearance and the foliage doesn't seen to be thickening up.

I have attached a picture that shows a couple of them and any tips would be appreciated.

Re: Pittosporums not growing or getting bushy.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:12 pm
by Tini
Hi Rattle, don't get discouraged, it is hard starting from scratch. Can you give us more information on where you are, what kind of soil you have, how often you water and fertilize. This will help with the other questions you have posted too. Can I also ask, how big were the holes you dug to plant these shrubs and how big they were when you put them in?

Re: Pittosporums not growing or getting bushy.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:35 pm
by rattle
Hello. :)
I'm north of Melbourne and the ground here is clay. The raised beds I made were from dirt (clean fill) I had dropped off from a township nearby and that is a loose kind of dirt with some bits of clay.
The holes I made were quite big, as I do with all planting as I'm under the impression that it give room for the roots to grow and establish.
The holes were filled with an organic soil mix that comes in bags from Bunnings for about $9.00 per 35lt bag.
As for watering, I'd say once a week on average, less if it rains and I usually stick my finger in to see how damp/dry it is underneath before watering.
I put dynamic lifter on them a couple of times a year and once is with a slurry of dynamic lifter mushed up after sitting in water for a few days.
As for size, I'd say that they were about 2 thirds of the current size when I planted them.

Phew.... I hope that's everything. :)

Thanks very much for your prompt reply.

Re: Pittosporums not growing or getting bushy.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:14 pm
by Tini
Well personally, I don't think you have done anything wrong. :D They should be growing wonderfully. The only things I can think off that may have happened are 1. the plants were pot bound when you put them in, when you took them out of the pots did they have lots of roots going around the outside? 2. have they been trimmed as they grow, to make them bushier? 3. They are not getting enough protection from the elements? I can't say I have seen one growing well out in the open as yours are seem to be. 4. have you seen any bugs on them?
Just when you thought you'd answered all the questions.... :D

Re: Pittosporums not growing or getting bushy.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:41 pm
by rattle
Hi and thanks for all your help so far. :)
No signs of bugs from what I can tell and I really can't remember what the roots were like back then as it was so long ago now.
I did have a go at trimming them once, but after one died and that's maybe because I didn't know what I was doing, I haven't done it since.
Sounds like I should look up some info on trimming them again. :)

I was out looking at them today and the leaves on some of them have really brown edges on them now.

Re: Pittosporums not growing or getting bushy.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:18 pm
by Tini
When you trim them all you need to do is take the tips off, don't cut too far into the tree. The browning of the leaves could be from underwatering, overwatering or even sunburn. Best thing to do is dig down with your hand and feel how wet the soil is before you water next. One thing I have learned about gardening on an acreage is that you need to start with bombproof plants and form some shelter before you start planting the more delicate plants, it may be that they are struggling because they are so exposed.