Pittosporum, sometimes referred to as silver sheen Pittosporum is an excellent hedge plant with silvery green foliage, fragrant flowers, and a dense leaf. The shrubs make a great fence and, when planted, make a great substitute for boxwood hedging that is fairly easy to care for.
To keep your plants healthy and full of growth for years, it’s essential to understand Pittosporum silver sheen issues and how to avoid them. So, what are the common Pittosporum hedge problems you can face?
Like many plants, Pittosporum problems can be through a lack of care. However, knowing how to spot the problems means the difference between maintaining a healthy plant or seeing your Pittosporum leaves turning yellow or your pittosporum hedge dying.
In our guide, you can learn more about your silver sheen plant, how to combat these issues and more. By the end, you’ll know how to care for your plants needs and how to combat insects that attack Pittosporum during the summer months. (Learn How Long Can Grass Seed Go Without Water)
Planting Silver Sheen Plant
Plant in full sun or partial shade at the side of trees, and planting in most soils in zones 8–11 that are packed with nutrients. Since Pittosporum is a long-lived shrub, plan for its garden placement.
Like other shrubs, dig a hole twice the breadth and one-half the depth of the root ball. Backfill the hole slightly and place the shrub so all its root system is covered with gently packed soil—plant in spring or fall and water regularly until established.
Add fertilizer to low-nutrient soil. Dwarf kinds are best for these conditions and grow to elegant mounts in large tubs. Although it grows quickly, its root system shouldn’t be overcrowded to avoid root-bounding. Crowded roots can lead to pittosporum leaves turning brown and branches dying. The entire plant of the Pittosporum’s dense leaves can screen or block the wind.
Common Issues with Silver Sheen
Over-watered or underwatering are the most frequent causes of silver sheen issues. These include silver sheen leaves turning brown and brown leaves caused by dehydration and root rot.
Pests may also affect the plant, including shield bugs, spider mites, root-knot nematodes, and Myoporum thrips. However, One of the most frequent reasons of death for silver sheen is phytophthora root rot, which has similar symptoms in many other plant types.
When the plant’s roots aren’t allowed to dry, fungus or bacteria can flourish. The roots rot as a result of this bacteria. The typical offenders in the silver sheen plant are Pythium or the Rhizoctonia fungus. The plant starts to rot because its roots cannot absorb adequate nutrients. (Read Can You Eat Eggplant Raw)
Root rot symptoms
Root rot will cause the wilting of your Pittosporum. The tops of the leaves usually turn first, then the leaves may turn yellow or brown, and you can see dieback as growth slows. The soil around the plant will be extremely damp if root rot is the cause. This moisture produces the right circumstances for root rot.
Root rot treatment
The key to preventing and treating root rot is using good watering techniques. During the summer, you should typically water deeply once every one to two weeks.
Ensure the plant sits in well-drained soil, as poor drainage is a killer for any plant type. Drainage should leave the top couple of inches dry, thus showing it is time to water again. Gypsum can be used to cure root rot. To help prevent the growth of Phytophthora soil rot, add 1/4 to 1/2 inch to the soil.
In addition, you can add a couple inches of mulch to help stop moisture evaporation. From the plant, prune off any dead branches. To prevent the spread of root rot, you might occasionally have to remove the contaminated silver sheen.
Lack of water will also affect the Pittosporum’s health. Root rot is a more severe issue than underwatering, which can usually be resolved by watering more frequently. The tips will result in yellow leaves that then turn brown.
Underwatering will cause the leaves to become dry and brittle while overwatering will cause them to be droopy and wilt. This is how you can tell the difference between the two. Another hint is in the soil. Underwatering is likely the cause of the soil being extremely dry.
Add more water to a dry pittosporum to bring it back to life. No more than once a week, it’s important to deeply water the plants. When adequately hydrated, your silver sheen should quickly regain its luster.
Note: Clay soil will hold water and can quickly leave you with waterlogged soil, even if you think you need to use the garden hose again. Because of this, check the moisture level rather than just assuming it’s time to water again. (Learn How Do You Know If Zucchini Is Bad)
Watering Pittosporum Correctly
Pittosporum silver sheen watering under or over-watering might cause your plant to rot. Silver sheen watering is essential. The most accurate way to water your Pittosporum is to calculate its evapotranspiration rate. Your silver sheen should include 50% of the water lost by evapotranspiration.
Water Pittosporum once a month in fall and spring. In summer, water twice a month with enough water to keep your shrub soil moist yet not wet. Deep water is essential once again, and water should reach 8 inches of soil.
What Pests Cause Pittosporum Silver Sheen Problems?
Pittosporum bugs can potentially harm or kill your plants. They include shield bugs, spider mites, root-knot nematodes, and Myoporum thrips.
Myoporum thrips may be to blame if your Pittosporum’s leaves are curled or rough. Although it frequently targets Myoporum trees, it can also harm Pittosporum.
Thrips symptoms and treatment
Sap from leaves is what the pest consumes. This slows the growth of the plants and causes the leaves to curl. The thrips will reside in the leaf’s folds. Thrips are treated using insecticides. Although thiamethoxam requires professional application, it is also effective.
An insecticide should be used twice each year to prevent re-infestation.
Stink bugs are a more common name for shield bugs. They emit a foul odor as a defense mechanism when they are threatened or crushed. These insects consume the Pittosporum’s leaves and stems.
Shield bug symptoms and treatment
Plant withering, stains, pits on the leaves, and reduced plant growth are indications of a shield bug infestation. Shield bugs can be treated in several ways. You can biologically regulate them by introducing a predatory insect. They consist of minute pirate bugs, lacewings, and ladybugs.
Shield bugs may become agitated by kaolin clay and leave the plant. Neem oil and insecticidal soap work well if applied early, although a severe infestation cannot be treated as effectively.
Parasitic nematodes are known as root-knot nematodes. They can consume a wide variety of plant species.
They cause 5% of all crop failures worldwide.
Root-knot nematode symptoms and treatment
The silver sheen’s root system develops knots or galls from root-knot nematodes. It often results in stunted growth above ground. The roots’ inability to absorb enough nutrients will also cause the leaves to droop or wilt.
You can amend the soil using neem seed meal, crab meal, or oyster shell flour. They help to prevent nematode infestations and are good for the soil.
Another pest that is drawn to the Pittosporum is the spider mite. Unfortunately, once established, spider mites can be challenging to eradicate. Via infested plant material, they often find their way onto your plants and cause wilting leaf issues.
Spider mite symptoms and treatment
Due to their small size, spider mites will appear to the human eye as tiny red, yellow spots, or black spots. Finally, you’ll see spider webs. Usually, these are wrapped around the Pittosporum’s leaves and stems. (Read Why Does Mulch Smell)
Spraying the plants with a garden hose is one of the easiest ways to eliminate spider mites. This might move the mites. Use a powerful spray and concentrate on the lower side of the leaves. Lacewings, gall-midges, and predatory mites are great ways to naturally control spider mites.