Pittosporum tobira 'Wheeler's Dwarf'

Pittosporum tobira (Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum)

Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum

Wheeleri Pittosporum, also known as 'Wheeler's Dwarf' Pittosporum, is a 3- to 4-foot-tall, evergreen shrub that is rounded in form. This shrub will form a low, compact mound of dark green foliage, but with age it can also be pruned to form a picturesque, miniature tree in a container. The thick, leathery leaves of this plant are about 4 inches long. These glossy, dark green leaves have revolute margins and very short, nearly inconspicuous petioles. The flowers of Pittosporum are not noticeable, and this plant produces no fruit. This plant is considered mostly allergy free and causes little or no allergy problems in most people.

This plant is wonderful for the front of shrub borders, and it is ideal for patios and terraces. It should not be planted next the or along a foundation because it does not tolerate poor drainage. Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum lends itself well to raised planters and containers and will provide a lovely background for annual beds. It makes a suitable tall ground cover planted on 4-foot-centers. I have observed healthy plants most frequently along the coast where the wind helps keep the foliage and soils dry. Inland plantings of this cultivar in humid climates do not appear to last very long. Any dry climate with irrigation supports this plant well.

This cultivar is not as cold hardy as the species and will be severely damaged at 10°F. Pittosporum tobira `Wheeleri' should be planted in an area in which the topsoil has been prepared. The soil should be kept adequately moist, and the plant should be fertilized 2 to 3 times each year. Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum needs to be placed in that area of the landscape which receives full to partial sun. Pruning or shearing is not needed to maintain a neat, uniform shape. This cultivar is less tolerant to adverse growing conditions than the species. It can even be considered picky. Only plant if the soil drainage is excellent and a regular maintenance program can be provided including irrigation and fertilization.

Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum is commonly propagated by semi-hardwood or hardwood cuttings.

Pittosporum is highly salt-tolerant and grows well on a variety of soils in full sun to partial shade. Growth rate is rapid on well-drained, acid soil of average fertility, although Pittosporum can tolerate occasional drought. It does not tolerate poorly drained or wet soil since root rot quickly infects and kills the root system. This often occurs along foundations where drainage is poor or rain water accumulates from the roof or gutters. Plants grow best along the coast where salt and wind and dry soils keep diseases at bay. Only plants in full sun and moist to dry soil perform well away from the coast. This cultivar stays small like a tall ground cover. Plants make good low hedges. Micronutrient deficiencies become obvious on soils with a high pH.

2-4 Feet


3-6 Feet


USDA Hardiness Zone 8B to 11

Characteristics & Attributes

Partial Sun/Shade
Growth Rate
Soil Moisture Needs
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