Pittosporum hosmeri, Pittosporum amplectens, Kona Cheesewood, Hoawa

Pittosporum hosmeri, Pittosporum amplectens

Kona Cheesewood, Hoawa
Family: Pittosporaceae
Origin: Hawaii
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersFragrant plant

Pittosporum hosmeri (Kona Cheeswood) is a large shrub or small tree native to Hawaii. It can grow to 5-10 feet tall, with a spread of up to 8 feet. Its leaves are long and narrow, up to 10 inches long, and they are dark olive green. Its bark is reddish-brown and smooth.

Pittosporum hosmeri prefers full sun or semi-shade and requires regular or moderate water depending on the climate it is grown in. It does best in USDA Zone 9-11, and can be grown in colder climates in containers. In areas that experience frost and cooler temperatures, it is best to bring the container indoors before winter sets in. To help protect the plant from the cold, provide some protection such as a winter cover or grow in a sheltered area.

When given the right conditions and care, Pittosporum hosmeri can produce off-white, sweetly-fragrant flowers from late winter to early summer. The flowers appear in clusters of 9 to 12 and are arranged in an umbrella-pattern.

To encourage blooms, and keep Pittosporum hosmeri healthy, be sure to prune and groom it regularly - removing dead and damaged branches in early spring and pruning to shape in the summer. Pittosporum hosmeri is a slow-growing plant and very tolerant of pruning, so take time to carefully trim to the desired shape. Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer in spring, and give a light trim after flowering. Pittosporum hosmeri is drought tolerant, but may require supplemental water during long dry spells.

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