Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon’

Medium sized olive green leaves with cream margins on a bushy tree. Black stems and small purple flowers add interest. Maintain size / shape and increase density by sheering.
height 8–12ft
width 6–8ft
tolerates Cool Summers, Fog, Moist Soil, Pots
Pittosporums are drought tolerant enough to live in coastal California without additional water, once established, but they need regular deep water to look full and lush and will partially defoliate if allowed to go completely dry. Additionally, some reports suggest they will also defoliate if overwatered in heavy soil during winter. Luckily they usually bounce back fairly quickly once appropriate water is reestablished. Usually this means a weekly watering for a mature plant, but it could be less if the plant is in some shade, right on the coast, or in heavy soil.
exposure Part Sun – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil, Tolerates Heavy Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Cultivar, New Zealand
9, 14–17, 19–24, H2

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

The cultivar ‘Marjorie Channon’ is an excellent choice for those needing a medium sized screen that is just overhead.
Typically larger pittosporums like this one grow into a small to medium sized tree. They have an amazing superpower: the ability to quickly grow into a screen that’s dense enough to disguise a wall or create some privacy, but still feels light and airy. Use clippers to open up your plant for a light informal screen, or sheer it to create a dense hedge that completely blocks undesirable site lines. Never let a screen grow more than six inches beyond its desired size or when you prune it back the hedge will be patchy and take time to fill back in nicely. You’ll also be beyond the flexible new shoots that hedge pruners can easily and cleanly sheer, and likely need to do a first pass with some pruners. For a mixed treelike form with a dense canopy prune up lower branches to expose the trunk and primary branches, and then sheer the canopy of the tree to maintain density and shape.

Special Interest

Flowers smell lightly of honey during the evening, when they attract nocturnal pollinators.

The sap and leaves of pittosporum contain fragrant oils, which were used by the Maori peoples to freshen their homes. They also used the plant to treat various ailments and recent studies have found that pittospourms contain antimicrobial properties.