Yellow Brown Leaves On Dwarf Pittosporum

Filed Under: Shrubs · Keywords: Leaves, Turning, Yellow, Brown, Dwarf, Pittosporum, Folding, Curling · 4241 Views
Why are the leaves on my Dwarf Pittosporum turning yellow-brown in color and folding?


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3 Answers

Answer #1 · Brent Wilson's Answer · Hi Kevin,

If your dwarf pittosporum has or had dark green leaves the variety is probably "Wheeler's Dwarf." If so, it could be a number of things causing the leaves to turn yellow-brown in color on your plants.

Our nursery here in zone 8a of mid-Georgia quit selling Wheelers Dwarf many years ago because of a tendency for the plant to develop chlorosis (a yellowing of foliage) and overall poor performance. The Variegated Pittosporum does great...but not the Wheelers Dwarf. Our clay soil is typically acid, which should help to keep the foliage green on dwarf pittosporum, but the foliage still turns yellow. This usually happens during winter so I assume it has something to do with cold temperatures and/or too much soil moisture. Zone 8a is right on the margin of where Wheelers Dwarf Pittosporum is winter hardy and, during winter, clay soil holds a lot of moisture. Pittosporum prefers well-drained soil. Consistently wet or soggy soil will cause problems with the roots that will show up on the foliage as leaf spots, or yellow or brown leaves that eventually drop from the plant. If drainage is not improved the plants eventually die. So, I think it's a combination of cold temps and soggy soil that the dwarf pittosporum can't tolerate.

If not cold temps and soil moisture, the yellow-brown leaves on your pittosporum could be caused from a number of diseases known to attack some varieties of pittosporum in certain areas of the U.S.. If you can upload a closeup picture of the foliage perhaps I or others could determine whether or not your plants are suffering from a disease. To upload a picture, click on the 'Upload A Picture' link to the right of where your name appears above...next to the 'Edit your question' link.

But, if your in Zone 8a in the Southeast, I'd say it's just that the plant does not do very well in this region.

Hope this was helpful and let me know if you have any further questions.

Brent)



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Answer #3 · Rs Snow's Answer · Pittosporum - Getting yellow leaves too. After a couple months of the plant being situated in a partial sun area the leaves began to yellow and appear dry but the plant had gotten ample water. Tried the magnesium treatment with good new growth of leaves looking very healthy 2 weeks after. I appreciate Brent's input about this plant. The leaves are so fabulous and cartoon like, at least we are enjoying them for the summer here in zone 6!)


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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the pittosporum are doing good! Keep us posted as to how they do long term in zone 6. Do you know which variety they are? Variegated (bicolor) or green leaves? I planted some Mojo Variegated Dwarf Pittosporum this past winter and they didn't look so good until they put out new leaves in spring. Now they look awesome.

1 year ago ·
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Rs Snow

Rs Snow · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
It is Pittosporum tobira and just beginning to have new leaf buds this month - June.

1 year ago ·
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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Pittosporum tobira is a species of Pittosporum. Then there are various cultivars such as Pittosporum tobira 'Mojo' (dwarf with variegated green and cream-yellow variegated leaves), Pittosporum tobira 'Wheelers Dwarf' (dwarf with dark green leaves), and Pittosporum tobira 'Variegata' (non-dwarf with white and grey green variegated leaves). See if there is a tag still on the plant.

1 year ago ·
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Rs Snow

Rs Snow · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Hi Brent, the plant is indeed a Pittosporum tobira Wheelers Dwarf. So far, looking good in a spot with a couple hours of shade in the morning, the medium and overall dark green leaves are coming in nicely and looks like a great turn around from poor site planning however, the winter in zone 6 is not as nice as your zone 8. Waiting to see if a Wheeler can make it through the winter. Has anyone tried to use this as an indoor plant or potted plant to move into the garage for the winter?

1 year ago ·
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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
It'll be interesting to see if a Wheelers Dwarf pittosporum will survive the winter outdoors in zone 6...a really cold winter. Keep us posted. I haven't heard of anyone trying to grow a pittosporum as an indoor houseplant. However, because of its smaller size, Wheelers Dwarf is one that probably would be suitable for doing so.

1 year ago ·
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Answer #2 · Brooks Wilson's Answer · Hi Kevin,

Insects might be the problem. Check the under side of the leaves to see if aphids are present. Curling leaves are sometimes the sign of aphid infestation. If you find the aphids, little greenish insects, you will want to spray with Neem Oil or Malathion. Neem Oil is organic and very safe to use, and is highly effective.

Another insect that is known to cause problems with Pittosporum is spider mites. Spider mites are hard to see without doing the white paper test. Take a white piece of paper and hold it under the leaves. Tap the plant to knock the mites off and on to the paper. Spider mites are tiny and red/orange in color. If you see them moving around on the paper you will know that is your problem. Malathion or Neem Oil can be used on mites as well.

Brooks Wilson))



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