Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb'

2 litre pot £21.99
in stock (shipped within 3-5 working days)
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb' kohehu: Small, rounded shrub with purple leaves.

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Hardiness: frost hardy (needs winter protection in cold areas)

    When grown in full sun, this compact, evergreen shrub has small, wavy, dark purple leaves and striking, dark grey or black young stems. With its distinctive rounded shape, and pretty leaves, which will turn green in shadier conditions, it will give all-year foliage interest in a sunny, well-drained mixed border. Try it as a punctuation point in a gravel garden, or with strappy phormiums for formal contrast. While it sometimes produces honey-scented, dark purple flowers in late spring and early summer, it's not a reliable flowerer. Protect from cold, drying winds.

  • Garden care: Requires minimal pruning. To thin or reduce growth prune mid-spring and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.

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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
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I have bought many of these 'Tom Thumbs' for my garden, and as gifts for other people. The shape and duo colour of the leaves is very striking once established (approx 1m high), especially if you have two or more in the garden. It is very hardy in the winter and in spring the new leaves start off as a vibrant green, slowly turning to a deep aubergine colour. Last year there were tiny chocolate coloured flowers on the top of one of the bushes, a wonderful surprise as I didn't think they could flower. I have even trimmed these bushes into round shapes

Xmas Monkey

Hampton, Middlesex


Strong beautiful specimen


Have bought two of these over a couple of years. So strong and healthy, absolutely thriving, have at least doubled in size. Very happy.




Good service


The Pittosporum was very well packed and arrived in very good condition. Unfortunately the crocus sativa was unavailable so I cannot comment further on that.




Gorgeous, well behaved little shrub


I have 3 of these wonderful shrubs, which give structure and evergreen colour to a smallish bed next to the patio. I love the bright green new growth emerging from the deep purple established growth. It naturally forms a compact, dense ball, just needing some light pruning. Mine look fantastic planted with purple sedums (purple emperor) and purple sage but I think they'd look great with all sorts of plant combinations. In winter, they help to cover the lower half of a rather unattractive fence. I've had mine for 3 or 4 years and they are very healthy. This summer's drought and our clay soil doesn't seem to bother them at all. They're quite slow growing but this may be partly our soil (very stony as well as clay, not a friendly combination!). I can't recommend these enough - I'm planning to buy another for a large pot, I'm going to try out a combination with some grasses and maybe some aliums.




A really useful healthy plant -


Had to find smaller shrub for a tiny garden, which was safe for my dog as she chews. This fits the bill!




A valuable structural plant with striking foliage


I've planted a number of 'Tom Thumbs' throughout my modern cottage garden borders. They provide a wonderful domed shape and need very little pruning. In the spring, their new foliage provides a perfect foil for emerging bulbs. In the summer, as their leaves darken, they provide a striking contrast to the hot late summer plants. Come winter, they help to maintain the structure of the garden as the herbaceous plants die back. In Devon, they have survived hard frosts and snow, showing no damage in the last six years of winter.


East Devon



5.0 6


Hello, can I grow Pittosporum tenuifolium Tom Thumb in clay soil? It would be in full sun, a block of around 50 plants. How close together can they be planted? Thanks. Ahortie1


Hello, Provided the soil does not remain waterlogged for any length of time they should be fine. They have an eventual spread of around 60cm, so spacing will depend on the effect you are trying to create...and how impatient you are.

Is my Pittsporum OK? I have recently repotted and changed the location of two Pittsporums. They have not taken kindly to the move. The leaves are dropping and are now very small. Some are going brown. Will they pick up once they get used to the new location or is it that they just don't like being moved. Cheers Martin

Martin Finch

Hello Martin, Pittosporum don't particularly dislike being moved as long as their rootball is not damaged. Ideally though, this should be done while they are dormant. It sounds as though they may either have suffered from root disturbance, or they have been allowed to dry out at some stage. I'm afraid it is impossible to know if they will pick up as it really depends on how much damage has been done. Keep them well watered (but not waterelogged) and hopefully they will recover. I will keep my fingers crossed for you! I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant Doctor

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