Pitosforo is not a shrub difficult to cultivate, especially some species; for this reason it is widespread in Europe, where it is used to form large fast-growing hedges. It is a rustic plant, which as an adult tends to be satisfied with the rains. In spring and summer, however, it is advisable to avoid leaving the soil dry for long periods of time, which could cause an unlit appearance of the entire foliage. It is therefore watered regularly, but avoiding excessively soaking the soil. There is no need to water every day, rather it is advisable to provide watering only when the growing soil is very dry. In the case of potted specimens it is good to water more often, especially during the hottest days of the summer.
Pitosforo is a plant that adapts quite well to the classic conditions found in Italian gardens. However, it requires a fairly well-drained soil, which allows the water to run off without stagnating excessively. However, to avoid that the roots unravel it is possible to mulch the soil, using dry leaves or volcanic lapillus. This also prevents weeds, particularly harmful, from developing at the foot of the bush. Pitosforo is a versatile shrub, which can be used to produce hedges of different sizes, or which can also be left in a single position, taking advantage of its rounded habit. For hedges, in general, Pittosporum tobira is used, which has a very rapid development and should be pruned regularly every year. As a single specimen, or in the mixed border, it is generally used Pittosporum tenuifolium, in variegated varieties; this species is less rustic, but has a more decorative and delicate appearance.
Pitosforo has a fairly fast development, especially for the more rustic species. For this reason it is advisable to fertilize at least a couple of times a year. It is generally preferred to provide a slow release granular fertilizer, which should be spread at the foot of the plant, or of the hedge, at the end of winter and at the beginning of autumn. Rains and waterings will think about dissolving the correct amount of fertilizer just when it is most needed, keeping the soil always rich and fertile. Plants grown in pots periodically need to be transferred to a larger container, or the roots may not find nourishment to sustain the plant. In these cases it is better to replace all the soil in the container, choosing a rich and very well drained type.
Pitosforo: Pests and diseases
The most widespread species of Pitosforo love to live in full sun or even in partial shade; It is essential that they receive at least a few hours of direct sunlight every day, which promotes foliage development and flowering. Pittosporum tenuifolium is suitable for living in partial shade, away from the hot summer sun. Pitosforo plants are quite resistant to animal and fungal parasites, although they may occasionally suffer from their attack. The main problem concerns heavy soils, where the water does not flow away, leaving the roots moist for a long time; in these situations, root rot easily develops, which can compromise the entire shrub. If the leaves wither instead it is a scarce irrigation, a problem which should be quickly remedied. Occasionally aphids can nestle among the leaves of the plant, something that happens especially in spring, in the presence of tender shoots. The problem is solved with special insecticides.