The genus Pittosporum contains many different trees and shrubs, including cheesewood, lemonwood, matipo and channon, among many others. Most Pittosporum varieties have dark green leaves, with some dwarf varieties having red leaves. No matter which variety you prefer, you can grow them all from seed with very little difficulty. Unlike other plant seeds, those of the Pittosporum do not require any pretreatment or stratification before germination occurs.
Things You'll Need
- Seed tray or shallow rectangular container
- Knife (optional)
- Drill (optional)
- 1/4-inch drill bit (optional)
- Tray (optional)
- Gallon-size plant pots
- Potting soil
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Wait until the late summer to early fall until you see small brown seed capsules develop on the Pittosporum, which follow the dropping of the flowers. When the seeds are ripe, the hulls spit open to reveal an inner red or orange seed. Collect the seeds from the tree when you see the colorful inner seeds.
Place a seed tray or other shallow rectangular container on a flat surface. Examine the bottom of the container. If no drainage holes are present, create four or five with a knife or a drill and a 1/4-inch drill bit.
Fill a bucket with a mixture of one part coarse sand and one part compost. Mix the materials up well until you can no longer see a difference between them. Pour the soil mix into the bottom of the container until it is at least 2 inches deep. Level the top of the soil with your fingers until it is smooth.
Place the Pittosporum seeds on top of the soil, spacing them at least 1 to 2 inches apart.
Sprinkle a 1/4- to 1/2-inch layer of compost on top of the seeds, just until you can no longer see the red or orange coloring.
Water the container until all of the soil mix is damp and the moisture begins to drain out of the bottom. Set the container in a sink or another shallow tray to catch the runoff.
Place the tray in a windowsill and water as needed to keep the top of it constantly damp. In eight to 12 weeks, the seeds will germinate.
Wait until each Pittosporum seedling has two leaves, and then transplant each one into an individual gallon-size plant pot filled with potting soil. If desired, you may also transplant the seedlings outdoors if it is spring or summer.