Silver Queen Kohuhu Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen' (f/v)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
tawhiwhi 'Silver Queen'


Silver Queen, as commonly known, is a striking plant admired for its decorative foliage and elegant bearing. Its leaves are a particularly eye-catching element. Each leaf is edged with a creamy-white border, which contrasts beautifully with the green-gray main part of the leaf. This variegation gives the plant a shimmering effect, especially under the gentle sway of a breeze. The leaves themselves are slender and elongated, with a smooth texture that glistens in the sunlight. These leaves grow densely, creating a lush appearance which can add a sense of fullness and vibrancy to any garden space. Additionally, the Silver Queen may produce small, inconspicuous purple flowers that further enhance its ornamental value. These blooms are typically hidden within the foliage, adding a subtle hint of color without detracting from the overall variegated pattern of the leaves. Overall, the Silver Queen presents a combination of delicate beauty and hardy resilience, making it a favored choice for gardeners looking to enrich their outdoor spaces with variegated foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Kohuhu, Silver Queen Pittosporum.

    • Common names

      Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Kohuhu, the most common name for Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen', exhibits mild toxicity to humans. If ingested, the plant parts can cause vomiting and diarrhea. While not considered highly toxic, consuming kohuhu could result in these uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid ingestion of any part of this plant.

    • To pets

      Kohuhu may also be toxic to pets if ingested. The toxicity level is generally mild but can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in animals. As with humans, it is recommended to prevent pets from ingesting any part of the kohuhu plant to avoid these potential health issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10-20 feet (3-6 m)

    • Spread

      10 feet (3 m)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      New Zealand


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: 'Silver Queen' adds visual interest to gardens with its variegated leaves and attractive form.
    • Privacy Screening: Its dense growth habit makes it suitable for use as a hedge or privacy screen.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, making it ideal for those looking for an easy-to-care-for garden addition.
    • Drought Tolerance: It can survive periods of dryness once established, making it suitable for regions with water scarcity.
    • Pest Resistance: This plant is resistant to many common garden pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Adaptable to Pruning: The plant responds well to pruning and can be shaped to fit various garden designs.
    • Wind Resistance: It can withstand windy conditions, which is beneficial in coastal areas or exposed sites.
    • Shade Tolerance: 'Silver Queen' can grow in partly shaded environments, offering flexibility in garden placement.
    • Year-Round Interest: With evergreen foliage, it provides color and structure in the garden throughout the year.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen' can be used as a privacy screen due to its dense foliage, providing a natural barrier for gardens and outdoor spaces.
    • The plant’s durable wood can be used in small woodworking projects, such as crafting decorative objects or picture frames.
    • Often utilized in topiary gardens, its shape can be trained, making it a good selection for creating living sculptures.
    • Branches and leaves can be used in floral arrangements, where the variegated leaves add contrast and interest to bouquets.
    • The dense branches can be used as windbreaks in coastal areas, helping to protect more delicate plants from strong winds.
    • The plant’s quick growth makes it suitable for use as temporary filler in garden beds while waiting for perennials to mature.
    • Its evergreen nature provides a year-round habitat and nesting sites for small birds and beneficial insects.
    • Dead or pruned stems can be mulched and used on garden beds to enrich the soil as they decompose.
    • In larger properties, it can be planted as part of a mixed hedge to create texture and color contrast with other shrubs.
    • The Silver Queen's unique silver-green foliage can be used in landscape design to create a 'moonlight garden', where the leaves reflect the moonlight at night.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Kohuhu is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Kohuhu is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Growth and Vitality: Pittosporum, often known as Kohuhu, is a plant that thrives in many conditions, representing the ability to grow and adapt.
    • Protection: With its dense foliage, the Kohuhu has been used as shelter and for hedging, symbolizing protection and boundaries.
    • Peace and Harmony: The 'Silver Queen' variety of Kohuhu, with its variegated leaves, may represent tranquility and balance in life, much like the queenly attribute of maintaining a peaceful court.
    • Resilience: Able to withstand different climates and conditions, Kohuhu embodies resilience and the power to endure hardships.
    • Beauty and Elegance: The attractive appearance of the 'Silver Queen' lends a symbolic meaning of beauty and gracefulness in appearance or demeanor.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Kohuhu should be watered deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. During the growing season, typically spring through fall, water the plant approximately once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons per watering for a medium-sized shrub. In the winter, reduce watering to every two to three weeks, depending on the climate and indoor conditions if the plant is potted. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is important to ensure proper drainage. If rainfall is adequate, supplemental watering might not be necessary.

  • sunLight

    Kohuhu prefers a spot with full sun to partial shade. Best growth and foliage density will be achieved if the plant gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. If placed indoors, situating it near a south or west-facing window would provide ample light. However, it can tolerate lower light levels but may become leggy or thin out if the light is too low.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Kohuhu thrives in temperatures between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. They can tolerate a minimum temperature of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit but will suffer damage if temperatures drop below that. The plant enjoys cooler temperatures and can be sensitive to extreme heat, particularly if the humidity is also low.

  • scissorsPruning

    Kohuhu should be pruned to maintain shape, encourage bushier growth, and remove any dead or diseased branches. Light pruning can be done any time of year, but significant pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. It is not necessary to prune annually, and over-pruning should be avoided to maintain the plant's natural form.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Kohuhu 'Silver Queen' prefers well-drained soil with a high content of organic matter. A good mix for this shrub might consist of equal parts garden soil, peat, and perlite to ensure good drainage and aeration. The soil pH for 'Silver Queen' should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from about 5.5 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Kohuhu 'Silver Queen' does not need to be repotted often as it is a relatively slow grower. It is typically repotted once it has outgrown its current container, which may be every 2 to 3 years. Ensure that the new pot has adequate drainage holes.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    'Silver Queen' thrives best in moderate to high humidity levels. While it is tolerant of a range of conditions, maintaining indoor humidity between 40-60% will help promote healthy growth and glossy foliage for this attractive plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright indirect light, avoid overwatering, and maintain humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained soil, shelter from harsh wind, partial to full sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen', commonly known as 'Silver Queen Kohuhu', begins its life cycle with seed germination, which requires a warm and moist environment. After sprouting, the seedling emerges and establishes itself, gradually developing into a young plant with characteristic variegated leaves. As it matures, the 'Silver Queen' enters the vegetative stage, where it focuses on growing taller and producing a dense canopy of foliage. During this phase, regular pruning can shape the plant and encourage bushier growth. After a few years, it reaches maturity and begins the reproductive stage, producing small, fragrant flowers typically in late spring or early summer. Once pollinated, the flowers give way to seed capsules, which eventually open to release seeds, completing the life cycle and allowing for propagation.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • Propogation: The Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen', commonly known as 'Silver Queen Kohuhu', is best propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This method involves taking cuttings from the plant during the late summer or early fall. To propagate 'Silver Queen Kohuhu' by cuttings, find healthy, non-flowering stems and cut a piece around 4 to 6 inches (about 10 to 15 cm) long. The cut should be made just below a leaf node, and the bottom leaves should be removed. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone to encourage root development. Then, plant the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix, ensuring that the leaf nodes where leaves were removed are buried. Keep the soil moist and in a warm location until roots have developed, which may take several weeks. Covering the cuttings with a plastic bag can create a greenhouse effect, retaining moisture and warmth to facilitate rooting.