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Care of the plant Pittosporum crassifolium or Karo.

Care of the shrub Pittosporum crassifolium or Karo

The genus Pittosporum, family Pittosporaceae, includes 200 species of trees and shrubs native to Oceania, Asia and Africa. Some species are: Pittosporum crassifolium, Pittosporum tenuifolium, Pittosporum truncatum, Pittosporum coriaceum, Pittosporum x pourtetianum, Pittosporum heterophyllum, Pittosporum angustifolium, Pittosporum tobira.

Common names: Karo, Stiffleaf cheesewood. This species is native to New Zealand.

They are fast-growing evergreen shrubs with a rounded bearing that reach 5 meters (16.4 feet) in height. The leaves are oval and grayish green on the upper side; on the underside they have white hairs. The maroon colored flowers produce more scent at night. They bloom from spring to early summer.

They are used to form hedges, as isolated specimens and in bushy groups. They are ideal for coastal gardens due to their resistance to wind and salinity.

Pittosporum crassifolium grows in full sun and semi-shade exposures. They resist frost down to -7 ºC (19.4 ºF).

The soil can be normal, well-drained garden soil with coarse sand and containing organic matter. Cover the base of the plant with pine bark.

Water regularly, waiting for the substrate to dry completely; they resist drought well. Young plants need more watering until they are established.

Fertilize at the end of winter with humus or compost.

Prune young plants vigorously in late spring if grown as a hedge. They tolerate light pruning in late winter to maintain a compact appearance.

They are quite resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases that can be attacked by some insects.

They propagate from seeds sown in spring and by cuttings in summer. 

Images of the shrub Pittosporum crassifolium or Karo

Pittosporum crassifolium
Pittosporum crassifolium
Pittosporum crassifolium