Pittosporum (Tar Seeper): Home Care, Propagation

Smolosporumor Pittosporum (Pittosporum) is a genus that unites a large number of species of various plants and is directly related to the family Pittosporaceae. In nature, they are found in subtropical and tropical zones of East Asia, Oceania, Australia, as well as in several areas of Africa.

This genus includes more than 150 species of different plants. The most popular of these is Pittosporum tobira. This plant was initially grown as a garden crop, but later began to grow as a house plant as well.

Pittosporum Tobira is a rather low tree, reaching no more than 6 meters in height, it is bushy and strongly branching. The internodes on the shoots are fairly short and the crown is flat. Spirally arranged simple, leathery leaves have fairly short petioles. They reach 10 centimeters in length and 4 centimeters in width. Leaf has an elongated obovate shape, its front side is colored dark green, shiny, with a clearly visible yellow-lemon vein and petiole.

As it ages, all the leaves fall off the lower part of the shoot and only the tips remain. As a result, the bush becomes like a fluffy bouquet.

In springtime, abundant flowering is observed. The florets appear in the axils of the leaves at the top of the stems. They are colored white, have 5 petals, and reach 3 centimeters in diameter.

The flowers are gathered in small inflorescences. In place of the florets, green, ball-shaped fruits eventually appear. They produce fairly large seeds, which are covered with a resinous, very sticky substance. When the fruits are fully ripe, the dried bolls crack and open, but the seeds do not fall out, but remain inside for a long time.

This species has several varieties as well as varieties.

Variegata, a variety with variegated leaves with a whitish irregular border on the edge of the leaf plate, is also produced.

Brief description of growing

Pittosporum (tar seeper): home care, propagation

  1. Temperature. In spring and summer, when the flower is actively growing, it is kept in moderately - warm conditions - at 18 to 22 degrees Celsius. During the winter months it is better to provide a cool resting period at a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius.
  2. Lighting.

    Shade from direct sunlight only during the daytime hours - plants can sunbathe in the morning and evening. If natural light is lacking, develops well in artificial light.

  3. Pouring and humidity. Water the plants with water at room temperature so that between waterings the top layer of soil is slightly dried to a thickness of 2- 4 cm. in spring and summer.

    In the fall and winter, reduce the frequency of watering according to the temperature in the room, just trying not to dry out the ground lump. Humidity can be kept low.

  4. Special features. Pittosporum is quite unpretentious and requires little care.
  5. Ground.

    A loose, perfectly drained, nutritious substrate, Pittosporum readily adapts to most types of soil, but prefers neutral or slightly acidic substrates.

  6. Feeding. Regular feeding with mineral liquid fertilizers every 2 weeks from spring to fall. In mid-autumn, feeding is discontinued and resumed only in spring, with the first signs of new growth.
  7. Propagation.

    Pittosporum is propagated by sowing seeds in spring, more often by rooting stem cuttings in spring and summer.

Rare plants. Pittosporum

Home care for pittosporum

Pittosporum (tar seeper): home care, propagation

This plant is quite undemanding in its care, but it should be given special conditions.

Light exposure

This plant is very light loving in the wild but must be shaded from direct sunlight if it is kept at home. Choosing a place to place the tree, you should take into account that if there is not enough light, all the leaves may fall off.

And if it will be too much, the leaves will change their direction to vertical, and this will destroy the unusual flat shape of the crown.

In winter, the tree should also be fairly well lit, so for it are recommended additional light phytolamps. The light day during this period should be about 13 hours.

Temperature Regime

In the warm season, the temperature of the room where the tar tree is located should be 18 to 22 degrees. This tree reacts negatively to heat.

In winter, the plant has a dormant period and therefore it is recommended to lower the temperature to 7-10 degrees.

How to water

Pittosporum (tar seeper): home care, propagation

May not tolerate a very long drought. Watering should be moderate. Only water when the top layer of substrate has dried out to a depth of two to three centimetres. With cold winters, water less often.

Between waterings the substrate must necessarily dry out to half. To overwatering, the smolosemianka reacts extremely negatively. So, rot quickly develops on its root system and the plant dies.


In winter, when the air in the apartments is dried out by heating appliances, and also on hot summer days, it is recommended to moisten the foliage using a sprayer. To do this, use lukewarm and must be boiled water, so that the surface of the dark leaves do not appear whitish streaks.

At other times spraying is not necessary, but the plant should be given a warm shower periodically for hygienic reasons.


In springtime it is recommended that a formative pruning should always be done. Otherwise, young stems should be pruned. Formative pruning is especially necessary for the mature plant once it starts to lose leaves from the lower parts of the stems.

Also very often a special framework of wire is used to form the crown.

The branches of the tar seeper are quite flexible and can easily be given the desired direction.


Pittosporum (tar seeper): home care, propagation

Suitable soil should be slightly acidic and rich in nutrients. It should also have good air and water permeability. To create a suitable earth mixture, combine sod and leaf earth and sand taken in equal proportions. Don't forget to make a good drainage layer, which will be able to prevent liquid stagnation in the substrate, which is the cause of rot and plant death (especially in cold winters).


Fertilize the resin plant twice a month during its intensive growth. Both organic and mineral fertilizers can be used and fed alternately. You can also use a universal fertiliser designed for houseplants (the dosage recommended on the package is used).


Young plants should be transplanted once a year, changing the flower pot to a larger size. This procedure is disliked and the resin plant reacts by slowing down its growth.

As it takes a very long time for the tree to take root, it should be carefully transplanted without damaging the root ball. Mature specimens should not be transplanted as often and very large plants only need a regular replacement of the top layer of soil.

Pittosporum reproduction

Pittosporum (tar seeper): home care, propagation

Multiplication with semi-tree cuttings and seeds. For cuttings, the tops of the stems are cut off, and they should be about 10 centimeters long. Before planting in vermiculite or coarse sand, the cuttings should be treated with a special root growth stimulant.

Rooting occurs, as a rule, after 4 weeks. Such plants only start to flower in 5 or 6 years. It is much harder to propagate this plant from seed. So, with insufficient experience, you can completely ruin the seedlings. Also, in the first years, the plants hardly grow at all.

So you should only propagate this way if you wish to have many young plants.

Pittosporum Tobira from seeds

Pests and diseases

Resistant to pests. Spider mite will settle if the humidity is too low. In this case the plant should be given a warm shower and larger specimens should be treated with special insecticides.

As a rule, the tree becomes ill if not cared for properly.

In bright light, the leaves become faded and then turn yellow. If there is little light, the leaves become monochromatic and the stems become elongated. It reacts extremely negatively to overwatering.


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