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How to Prune Pittosporum Shrubs During Winter

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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).

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.

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 Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Lopping shears
  • Hedge clippers
  • Alcohol

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.