How to Grow Pisonia - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Shrubs Category   /   2023

Pisonia, also known as bird-catcher tree, is a genus of flowering plants in the four o’clock family, Nyctaginaceae. It contains about 60 species, all of which are native to tropical or subtropical regions. The genus is named after José Mariano Pisoni, a 18th-century Spanish botanist. Pisonia is a large shrub or small tree, typically growing to 10–20 m tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, and entire, with a leathery texture. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, borne in clusters at the ends of the branches. The fruit is a small, dry capsule containing numerous seeds.

How to Grow Pisonia - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Pisonia plant? The Pisonia plant is a medium level plant to grow. It does not have many difficulties and can be grown with few problems. This plant is easy to grow and is a good plant for beginner gardeners.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Common ly found in Jamaica and the Bahamas, the Pisonia is a flowering tree that can grow up to 1 meter in height. It has long, slender leaves that are dark green in color and small, white flowers. The Pisonia is an important tree for the environment as it provides food and shelter for many animals.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? The Pisonia grows slowly, only producing a few leaves a year. It lengthens by 3-4 cm annually. This plant is native to tropical regions and typically found in coastal areas. The Pisonia has deep green, lance-shaped leaves and produces small, white flowers. This plant is especially interesting because of its unique fruit, which is a large, brown seedpod that can reach up to 30 cm in length. The seedpod is filled with black seeds that are poisonous if ingested.

Pisonia Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Shrub
Family Nyctaginaceae
Origin Australia, New Zealand, Fr. Mauritius

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Sometimes, the Pisonia tree can live for a really long time. There are records of the tree living for over 200 years!

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The plant should be grown in a warm temperature all year round. The temperature should be around 73 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is a few degrees below, the plant's growth will significantly slow down. In winter, the plant should be protected from drafts and cold air.


What about the humidity? Eventually, the leaves of Pisonia grow limp and fall off if the relative humidity is too low. It is necessary to spray plants with soft water daily, preferably in the morning and in the evening. Especially need a high humidity in winter with heating on. It is desirable to place the plant in a tray with wet claydite.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? The plant needs directional light for at least 5 hours a day, but it should be shaded pisonia from the brightest scorching rays. Under insufficient illumination the leaves fall off, in case of excess light they turn yellow.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Pisonia? So, what kind of soil is suitable for pisonia? Pisonia is a genus of flowering plants in the four o'clock family, Nyctaginaceae. The genus comprises about 60 species, all native to tropical areas. They are shrubs or small trees, growing to 3–10 m tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, entire, and mostly 5–20 cm long. The flowers are small, greenish-white, and borne in clusters. The fruit is a small, fleshy, black berry. Pisonia species are found in tropical regions throughout the world. In general, they prefer well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade. However, some species are adapted to growing in swampy areas.

Watering Time

How much I must water Pisonia? The plant should be watered abundantly once a week during the summer season. To water the plant, immerse the pot in water (after that, the water must be poured from the pan). The soil should be constantly kept slightly moist, but not wet. In winter, water the plant no more often than every 8-12 days.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. If you want your Pisonia to really thrive, give it some fertilizer from spring to autumn every 3-4 weeks. It responds well to organic fertilizer, so if that's what you're using, go ahead and give it a little extra. Your Pisonia will thank you for it!


How to reproduce Pisonia? known as the bird-catching tree, the Pisonia is a genus of flowering plants in the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae. There are about 60 species. They are native to tropical regions of the world. Pisonia typically grow as large shrubs or small trees. The leaves are evergreen, and the flowers are small and white. The fruit is a small, black drupe. Pisonia species are propagated by semi-extruded cuttings taken from the plant in spring. The cuttings should be about 8 cm long, and the soil temperature should be between 73.4 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower, the cuttings may not take root properly. Hormones, lower heating, and a film cover can help the cuttings take root. After germination, the young plants need to be nipped. Air layering is another propagation method.


Why Pisonia won't bloom? Because the Pisonia plant is dioecious, that is, there are male and female plants, the male plants will have small white flowers that will eventually turn into sticky fruits. The female plants, on the other hand, will have small pink or yellow flowers. However, both male and female plants are rare and are mostly found in greenhouses. Fruits from the Pisonia plant are also rare and are sticky when ripe.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Pisonia? So, for the first three years of a plant's life, it will need to be transplanted into a larger pot each year. After that, it can be transplanted every two to three years. This is to prevent the roots from getting too long.

Caring The Pisonia

How to care the plant? Because the plant does not like drafts, it is better not to put it on the balcony in the summer. In autumn, the lower leaves of Pisonia fall off, which is normal. In this case, you need to cut off the leaves in order to stimulate the growth of side shoots.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Pisonia plant? The plant is affected by spider mites and mealybugs. The disappearance of the white spots on the leaves, yellowing and drying of the edges may be indicative of a very bright light. The stem extends, the leaves lose mottled color, curl and decrease, the stem bends under insufficient illumination. Leaves fade and fall off when the soil dries up or when the plant is undercooled.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Pisonia poisonous? The Pisonia tree is a beautiful, flowering tree that is native to tropical climates. However, the tree is also incredibly poisonous. Every part of the tree, from the bark to the leaves to the berries, contains a toxic substance that can cause severe illness or death in humans. The tree is so poisonous that it is actually listed as one of the most dangerous plants in the world. If you are ever in the tropics, be sure to avoid this tree at all costs!