We have a lot of Pittosporum all over our yard. Some of it is not doing well. The local nursery said the plants have mealybugs and spider mites. They want me to buy some very expensive insecticide to get rid of them. Is there another way to rid a lot of plants of these pest?
Give neem oil a try. It is very effective against these pests and many others. It is also safe for people and the environment. As a bonus, neem oil is a great fungicide too. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm
What causes scale bugs? I seem to have them a lot on my dwarf pittosporum. I have it in a flower bed with an automatic watering system.
Scale will attack any plant, but they are more attracted to plants that are weakened. I would check the plant to see if it might be under stress from something (under-watering, lack of nutrients, etc.) and correct this while also treating the scale infestation.
I've just returned from USA, having been away since early March, to find, with horror, that my Pittosporum tree (about ten feet tall) has an awful lot of dead leaves on it. The top half is all dead, while the bottom half has some branches with lovely green leaves, whilst the other branches have dead, brown leaves. I am so, so disappointed, as it's one of my favourite trees! Could this be the earlier cold weather, or could it be lack of moisture while I've been away? And more importantly, do you have any ideas what I should do to help it? Many thanks.
It is likely the cold caused the damage, as it would affect the tree in this way (the closer to the ground, the more ground heat would have kept the frost off). But just to be on the safe side, I would treat the tree with neem oil. This will treat the tree for both any possible fungus or pests that may be attacking the tree.
I live in zone 8 or 9, 1 1/2 hours north of Houston. I usually prune my variegated Pittosporums in late Jan. or by Feb. 14th, but they grow too well and I'd like to start pruning them in late summer or fall, as well as in Feb. Any problem with this?
If you prune just after flowering, you should be able to get more flowers the next year. This article has more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/pittosporum/growing-japanese-pittosporum.htm
I have a wall which I am trying to cover but it is in total shade.
Japanese Pittosporum grows well in the shade.
For more information about Japanese Pittosporum, please visit the following link:
My pittosporums were quite large, 8-9 feet, so I cut them way back to around 2-1/2 feet. This was right before a heat wave that entered our area in mid June. The remaining leaves have all turned brown, and I have not seen any new growth (it has been 3 weeks). I have cut them back in a similar way in the past and they responded well. I am afraid I may have killed them this time. Is it a bad idea to cut pitts back so far?
Pittosporums generally do well with heavy pruning. The combined heat and pruning may have stressed the plant. A stressed plant can become vulnerable to insects or disease. Look for any signs of other issues on the plant and treat if you need to. Neem Oil is a good treatment.
I would wait and see.
Here are a few links for you.
I have some large pittosporum (about 5 ft. across) that are developing some dead patches. It seems that whole limbs are dying while areas next to them are unaffected. Any ideas? I have about 10 of these in my landscape, and about half of them are having this problem.
How is the soil (i.e. drainage, moisture level, etc.)? Have you watered frequently or had a lot of rain? Pittosporum are well known for having issues with root rots, most commonly attributed to Phytophthora. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/what-is-phytophthora.htm