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Pittosporum tenuifolium

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Question from Lelsey McAllister


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This plant was well established and planted in Nov 2009. It has just developed white spots on the wood and appears to be dying from the top down

Pittosporum tenuifolium

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  • Views: 1421
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Tue. 6th April 2010 15:02

Powdery mildew?

Reply from Katy Elton

Hi Lesley,

This looks as though it could be powdery mildew, which is a fungus that favours crowded planting conditions with low light levels and air circulation.

To tackle this you should firstly prune out the affected parts of the plant, being aware that the spores of the fungus are easily knocked off and taking care to minimise any contact with healthy parts of the plant. Ideally you should put the infected branches straight into a metal container where you can then burn them.

Once you've done this I would carry out some significant thinning of surrounding plants to improve air circulation to your pittosporum. With any luck this will solve the problem! One thing to note is that you shouldn't feed the plant until the problem is gone, as powdery mildew favours young, succulent growth.

If the problem persists there are a number of fungicides available that you could try, simply ask at your local garden centre.

Hope this helps!
Let us know how you get on.


  • Posted: Wed. 7th April 2010 10:28

Disease problem?


Dear Lesley

It looks like powdery mildew, however it is hard to tell from the photograph. If you wish me to have a closer look send a sample to me at 'The Fertile Earth Consultancy' free of charge (see details under 'professionals/consultants) and I will identify the problem.

When a plant shows signs of disease, this is an indication the plant is under stress from poor nutrition, therefore I would suggest a soil test too.

from 'The Fertile Earth Consultancy'

  • Posted: Sun. 11th April 2010 20:33

Hi Lesley

Reply from simon sira

I was wondering whether you managed to get your Pittosporum sorted out. I have exactly the same problem and would really appreciate if you could advise on the matter,

  • Posted: Fri. 14th May 2010 12:24