Golf Ball Pittosporum- Bigger than Advertised?

chrissystarrAugust 21, 2010

Has anyone else had a Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf Ball' get way bigger than Monrovia advertises? When I bought it, the tag said 24" x 24". Now the tags say 3-4' tall and wide. Mine grew to at least 5' tall and 6' wide. I never pruned it because of it's advertised size- I always thought it would stop growing. I bought it BECAUSE I wouldn't need to prune it!

The plant is really a gorgeous shrub. but it's way too big for its spot in the garden. Same thing with Nandina 'Plum Passion'. I rarely water- they get 3 or 4 good soaks in the summer- that's it. Is it the California climate, or am I getting mutant plants?

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

I don't know about Golf Ball but I have the same thing with Nandina 'Plum Passion.' Wanted 4-footers, have 7- to 8- footers!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 2:42PM
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Yeah, I've experienced this issue with dwarf shrubs and with this excellent cultivar in particular. Sunset and other good publishers are often mistaken when they list what the grower or the patent-holder reports. But we love our new and fashionable plants, don't we? Golf Ball is at least easier to prune than its cousin, Pittoporum crassifolium 'Compactum'. I've not seen Golf Ball get quite 5' x 6', however, so thanks for the report!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 4:58PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I think Monrovia's size estimates are really for "at X number of years". I know their Metrosideros excelsa 'Gala' says 10 feet, but I've seen one that was 40!.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Thanks- I'm glad I'm not the only one. Yes Scott, we have to buy it when it's new and $50 for a five gallon!

I just gave it a pruning and I'm going to try to transplant it to my backyard in October. I'm thinking it is not going to work, but I'll try; it's a great shrub.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 10:28PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

We planted 3 Golf Ball Pittosporums in Spring of 2006, 1 gal. size. I also assumed that they would only require a little shaping, perhaps once a year. Not true.

I have to prune them twice a year to keep them about 2' wide and 18" tall. The good thing is that they respond very well to the shearings and leaf out quickly.

Here is a photo. They are the three lighter green "balls" in the foreground.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 6:15PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Babka, it's always such a treat to see your garden. I love your fence, too- it is an addition rather than something you try to cover up. Wonderful.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:23PM
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Babka,nice garden.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 5:42PM
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