How to Prune Pittosporum Shrubs During Winter


Pittosporum is a pleasant landscape plant. It produces small, fragrant flowers framed by attractive tapered leaves that can be used in cut flower arrangements. The pittosporum is easy to grow in a warm-enough climate and can be allowed to grow wild, where it will reach around 15 feet in height and width, or pruned into a shapely hedge and planted close to create a natural wall. The best time to prune pittosporum is in late winter before spring growth begins.

Step 1

Thin the pittosporum. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears disinfected with a 10 percent alcohol solution to prune branches that no longer produce foliage or flowers, broken branches or weak branches. Prune these branches to their point of origin (back to the main branch or back to the ground).

Step 2

Shear the plant to control its size and shape. Use a sharp, disinfected pair of hedge clippers or pruning shears to cut the pittosporum shrub to a desirable size. Don't be afraid to cut a lot. Pittosporum responds well to pruning and will grow back readily.

Step 3

Cut spindly or thin pittosporum shrubs down to 6 to 12 inches in height (in which case you can skip steps 1 and 2) with a pair of sharp, disinfected lopping shears. Severe pruning will stimulate an explosion of new growth, and your pittosporum will grow back thicker and more bush-like.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Lopping shears
  • Hedge clippers
  • Alcohol


  • Clemson University: Pittosporum
  • San Marcos Growers: Pittosporum Tobira 'Wheeler's Dwarf'
  • The F.U.N. Place: Pruning Landscape Plants
Keywords: prune pittosporum, thin pittosporum, winter pittosporum

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.