How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Podocarpus

Podocarpus is a coniferous shrub that makes a superb accent in a big border. Unfussy and dense, they’re additionally excellent hedging vegetation!

This genus of enticing evergreen shrubs and timber likes heat climate and sunshine. Whereas low-maintenance, these vegetation are sluggish to reasonable growers. Select from dwarf varieties round three ft tall all the way in which as much as 40 foot timber!

Try these care suggestions for rising stunning Podocarpus in your panorama.

Podocarpus Plant Overview

Plant Kind

Woody Evergreen

Native Space

South America, Asia, Africa


Full Solar to partial shade


Wealthy, Sandy, Acidic, Effectively-Draining


Aphids, Spider Mites, Scale


Leaf Spot, Root Rot, Fusarium Wilt

About Podocarpus

Lush green podocarpus plant leaves exhibit a glossy texture and elongated shape, reflecting their evergreen nature. The background gently blurs, revealing a lush grouping of podocarpus plants, creating a serene backdrop for the exquisite foliage in focus.
Podocarpus is a slow-growing evergreen shrub/tree ideally suited for hedges and privateness screens, with simple shaping and low upkeep.

Podocarpus won’t be the only option if you’re in a rush. In case you have the time to attend for them, these vegetation will reward you with an excellent noise filter or privateness display with their dense, sturdy foliage and limbs.

They’re a big group of vegetation, so the full-sized species don’t make low hedge, however there are dwarf varieties for this goal. Podocarpus takes simply to shaping, so whereas they’re sometimes grown as massive hedges, they will also be inspired into the type of a tree, and as such, some species can develop fairly massive.

This isn’t a showy plant and received’t be the principle focus of many landscapes. Nevertheless, it’s simple to develop, requires little upkeep, and makes a really good backdrop for different backyard vegetation.


A vibrant Podocarpus tree stands tall with its lush green leaves. With its spiky leaves and abundant foliage, the Podocarpus tree showcases nature's intricate beauty in a striking and captivating way.
Podocarpus, a conifer genus within the Podocarpaceae household, contains numerous species native to the Southern Hemisphere.

Podocarpus is a genus of conifers that could be a member of the household Podocarpaceae. The household contains 19 genera of conifers, primarily native to the Southern Hemisphere. This household’s species of vegetation are native to Australia, New Zealand, South America, Africa, and Asia, with Podocarpus being the furthest north-reaching genus. 

A few of the extra frequent names for the plant embody Yellowwood and varied mixtures of the phrase pine. They’re woody evergreens, and predominantly timber, though some varieties are smaller and shrubbier and make glorious hedges. They’re primarily dioecious, with the male vegetation possessing pollen cones and the feminine vegetation creating seed cones.


Lush green Podocarpus plant leaves cascade gracefully over a sleek black planter wall, creating a vibrant botanical display. The leaves boast an elongated, lance-like shape, tapering gently to a point.
Podocarpus has dense, spiral foliage resembling Yew vegetation, displaying shade variation primarily based on gentle publicity.

They’ve enticing foliage with traits frequent to coniferous vegetation and are most much like Yew vegetation. The foliage is kind of dense, with leaves organized in a spiral alongside branches. The leaves are flat and lanceolate with easy edges. 

The leaves are leathery, and whereas they seem as if they is perhaps very stiff, they’re really fairly delicate and straightforward to shear, so it’s common to see this plant trimmed right into a neat hedge. The foliage might be a deeper shade if the plant is positioned in partial shade and a lighter shade of inexperienced when it receives full solar. 


Podocarpus will be grown from seeds or cuttings, with cuttings being the most typical and fascinating technique for time functions. 


A close-up of a podocarpus seedling and a single seed hanging from it. The intricate details of the seed's texture are highlighted, standing out against the dark, moist soil that nurtures their growth.
Propagating podocarpus from seeds is difficult as a result of prolonged germination time of as much as 6 months.

Propagating Podocarpus from seeds will be arduous, though it’s sometimes profitable. The best impediment is the germination time of the seeds.  It might probably take as much as 6 months for seeds to germinate. Soaking the seeds in salt water for 2 days can drastically shorten germination. 

Seeds want decrease temperatures to germinate, and the vary of fifty°F is right, so germinating them within the fridge is often sufficient. After soaking, wrap the seeds in moist sphagnum and place them in a sealed plastic bag within the fridge. Your seed ought to have sprouted roots by this time and will be transplanted right into a small container.

Plant seedlings in a well-draining potting combine and mist them usually to maintain them moist. The soil mustn’t dry out whereas the seedlings are establishing roots. Place your seedlings in vibrant however oblique daylight. The seedlings must be not less than 6” tall earlier than transplanting them.


Amidst the blurred backdrop of luxuriant foliage, the podocarpus leaves and stems stand out. Their leaves feature their leathery texture and pointed tips.
Podocarpus is usually propagated by cuttings, which is faster than rising from seeds.

Podocarpus is simply propagated by cuttings. Consequently, that is the most typical technique to propagate these vegetation. The method may be very easy and doesn’t take almost so long as rising them from seeds.

Take a chopping from delicate, new wooden. 3”-4” is all you want to perform this course of. Take away leaves from the underside inch of your chopping, dip the tip in rooting hormone, and place the lower finish down right into a small pot with soil that can stay moist, however the container ought to drain freely.

Preserve moisture within the soil, however don’t hold it soggy. In about 4 months, your chopping ought to have roots and will be transplanted.


Short Podocarpus trees, the foliage resembling triangles, add a touch of elegance to the landscape. The triangular leaves of the Podocarpus trees create a distinct visual appeal, forming a natural masterpiece that contrasts beautifully against the backdrop of other trees.
Correct planting for Podocarpus includes a gap 2-3 instances root ball measurement, wider for quicker rooting.

When choosing a spot to your Podocarpus, account for its mature measurement. Some varieties are smaller and can be utilized as low hedges, however for essentially the most half, these vegetation want area to develop. It’s best to plant in spring or fall, as this plant wants moisture to determine earlier than the summer season warmth or dry winter climate units in. 

When planting your Podocarpus, you need to dig a gap two to a few instances the dimensions of the foundation ball and never a lot deeper. The broader the opening, the higher probability your plant has of rooting and establishing shortly. Relying in your soil sort, it could be useful to amend your soil earlier than backfilling.

When putting your plant within the gap, loosen some feeder roots that may get cramped within the nursery pot. Maintain the foundation ball at or simply barely above the encircling floor. This can make allowance for settling. Backfill together with your amended soil and construct a berm across the trunk at about 3” tall, this can assist direct water downward.

Water deeply after planting. You need the water to soak by to the foundation ball. For higher rooting, you may water your plant with water blended with a little bit of rooting hormone to encourage rooting. As a result of Podocarpus likes moisture, it’s a good suggestion to cowl the encircling earth with a beneficiant layer of mulch.

Find out how to Develop Podocarpus

Lush and vibrant, the green Podocarpus leaves exhibit a glossy sheen under the sunlight, their waxy texture reflecting nature's craftsmanship. Adorning the podocarpus branches, brilliant blue berries provide a delightful contrast against the verdant foliage.
Podocarpus is a flexible, low-maintenance plant for landscaping.

It is a pleasantly low-maintenance shrub that has many makes use of within the panorama. If given the appropriate circumstances, your Podocarpus will, in its sluggish and regular method, turn into a valued a part of your panorama.

Plant Podocarpus vegetation 3’-6’’ aside when you need a proper hedge. If planting a sole specimen, give it sufficient area to unfold primarily based on the range. On the whole, the unfold of a mature shrub is 6’-15’ huge.


Dwarf Podocarpus plants with vibrant green foliage, elegantly thrive in white pots filled with nourishing soil. Their neighboring pots house a variety of complementary plants.
Dwarf Podocarpus are ideally suited container vegetation for colder climates above zone 8.

Dwarf forms of Podocarpus make very good container vegetation. Should you stay in any cooler zone than zone 8, that is the one technique to develop one in all these shrubs, because it must come indoors within the winter. A big container or root bag is an effective way to maintain Podocarpus as a container plant in cooler climates.

A very powerful consider selecting a container is that it should have excellent drainage. Whereas Podocarpus likes constant moisture, it doesn’t tolerate soggy roots, which may create a vulnerability to sure sorts of soil-dwelling fungi that trigger root rot. Make sure that your container has correct drainage and is barely bigger than the foundation ball of your plant.


Sunlit podocarpus leaves showcase their vibrant green hues, basking in the warm sunlight. The leaves of the podocarpus plant are elongated and lance-shaped, tapering to a point at the tip and featuring a smooth, glossy texture.
Podocarpus can thrive in varied gentle circumstances, impacting development and foliage shade.

Podocarpus will not be specific about gentle. It might probably develop completely superb in full solar or almost full shade. It should have completely different development habits relying on the quantity of solar, so take into account solar publicity when deciding in your plant’s location. 

Podocarpus received’t undergo within the shade however will develop extra slowly. As well as, the foliage might be a deeper shade of inexperienced relying on the quantity of shade.

Podocarpus grows quickest in full solar, however this can even end in lighter-colored foliage. A stability of solar and shade could also be fascinating for individuals who want to keep among the deep inexperienced shade of the leaves and see extra vital development.


A podocarpus plant with green leaves thrives in a spacious brown pot, its roots nestled comfortably in the rich soil. The blurred background reveals a diverse collection of plants, each thriving in its own unique pot.
Podocarpus thrives in moist, well-draining sandy or loamy soil however avoids overly soggy or clay-heavy circumstances.

Soil is one other space the place Podocarpus is versatile and unfussy. The perfect soil sort for this shrub is sandy or loamy soil that holds moisture but additionally has glorious drainage. Podocarpus doesn’t prefer to dry out fully however doesn’t tolerate soggy roots. Very clay-heavy soil could must be amended with looser, natural materials reminiscent of worm castings.

Wealthy and barely acidic are two qualities that this plant will admire. Mulching with seasoned pine or bark will hold this plant very pleased. Over time, the mulch breaks down, acidifying and including vitamins to the soil.


A close-up of the leaves of a podocarpus plant, showcasing  shades of green. Sparkling water droplets delicately rest on the surface of the podocarpus leaves, glistening like nature's jewels.
Podocarpus requires frequent watering within the first yr for institution, ideally throughout spring or fall.

For the primary yr, Podocarpus might be barely extra excessive upkeep the place watering is worried. The roots want moisture whereas the plant is getting established, so planting in spring or fall will give your plant the very best begin.

Through the first yr, you need to anticipate to water your Podocarpus as soon as each two weeks. Be certain that to water deeply. Watering deeply encourages the roots to develop deeper, anchors the plant firmly, and helps it tolerate drought sooner or later. After the plant is established, you’re unlikely to want to water it besides in excessive drought.

Local weather and Temperature

Lush Podocarpus leaves stretch gracefully towards the expansive sky, their vibrant green hues a testament to nature's vitality. Delicate brown stems provide a sturdy foundation for the upward-reaching Podocarpus leaves, a harmonious blend of strength and elegance.
Podocarpus vegetation thrive indoors, preferring temperatures of 61-68°F and ample daylight.

Podocarpus vegetation love delicate climates, which makes them good houseplants. Their measurement must be managed indoors, however this plant is happiest at temperatures between 61-68°, and who can blame it? That’s what I choose as effectively! If stored inside, this plant wants an area with loads of daylight. They don’t require a very humid setting.

Some species have higher chilly tolerance than others, however Podocarpus vegetation typically survive temperatures within the low 20s or excessive teenagers. They’re very tolerant of warmth and salt, making an ideal coastal hedge.


A hand holds blue of fertilizer granules, gently releasing them  over the awaiting earth. The brown soil below cradles a young, tender seedling, poised to soak up the nutrients for its growth journey.
Podocarpus vegetation thrive with minimal fertilization, preferring barely acidic soil.

These vegetation are fairly good at using the vitamins within the soil. So long as the pH of the soil is barely acidic, there isn’t a lot purpose to fertilize Podocarpus. That mentioned, a few of us simply have to fertilize issues. I like , wholesome development yr in my yard. If you wish to fertilize your Podocarpus, accomplish that calmly and within the spring. 

In case your soil is wealthy sufficient, this once-yearly fertilizing ought to suffice. In case you have notably sandy or poor soil, be at liberty to offer a second utility in the course of the summer season. Fertilizing within the fall will not be advisable. 

Upkeep and Care

A vibrant Prodocarpus shrub with glossy leaves contrasting beautifully against a sturdy metal fence. Their relationship blurs the boundaries between nature and human-made structures, showcasing the harmony between the two elements.
Prune Podocarpus to your desired form and keep away from late-year pruning in freezing climates.

In its first yr, there’s a sturdy chance that your plant could develop straight upwards, which is nice if you’d like a tree, however most gardeners love Podocarpus for what an ideal shrub it makes. Pruning your plant again arduous on the finish of the primary summer season will encourage again budding, which ends up in branching. Be certain that to not prune inside two months of the primary anticipated frost. 

Podocarpus may be very tolerant of shaping and arduous pruning. It’s best to not prune late within the yr in case your local weather experiences freezing climate. In any other case, pruning is okay year-round. An extended-reach pruner might be essential as a result of this plant can develop fairly massive.

There are a variety of various varieties you may develop, relying in your native microclimate. Let’s check out among the hottest.

Buddhist Pine

A close-up of elegant green Buddhist pine leaves, showcasing their intricate beauty. Each slender leaf exudes a sense of grace and tranquility, embodying the essence of nature's serenity.
The Buddhist Pine is a sought-after feng shui plant in Hong Kong, prized for its bonsai potential.
botanical identify

Podocarpus macrophyllus
solar necessities

Partial shade

as much as 40’
hardiness zones


Buddhist Pine, additionally known as Japanese Yew, is well-known for its use as a feng shui plant in Hong Kong. It’s native to Japan and China, the place it’s a in style plant and ceaselessly boasts a hefty price ticket.

This selection is a standard bonsai tree with a fantastic development behavior and construction for indoor and out of doors use.

County Park Fireplace

A dense bush of the country park fire stands prominently, its branches laden with intricate brown foliage. The plant's earthy brown coloration blends harmoniously with its surroundings, offering a soothing visual contrast to the vibrant greens of the neighboring flora.
This award-winning hybrid cultivar has color-changing foliage.
botanical identify

Podocarpus x ‘County Park Fireplace’
solar necessities

Full solar to partial shade

hardiness zones


‘County Park Fireplace’ is an fascinating cultivar prized for its great color-changing foliage. This hybrid is small however mighty, given the Royal Botanic Backyard’s Award of Backyard Benefit. 

The brand new development in spring is a coral shade, which lasts into the summer season. As fall approaches and the climate cools, the foliage takes on a bronze hue and deepens additional in winter to a darkish pink.

Plum Pine

Leaves and green fruit on the plum pine tree, glistening in the sunlight. The interplay of fresh, verdant leaves and developing green fruit evokes the cycle of growth and the anticipation of sweetness to come.
Plum pine is a coneless conifer with edible seeds loved by birds and people for making jam.
botanical identify

Podocarpus elatus
solar necessities

Full solar to partial shade

hardiness zones

11th of September

This Australian native is a conifer, but it surely doesn’t produce cones. Quite, it produces edible seeds beloved by birds. People could make jam with them, too!

It is a slow-growing species initially, however the development picks up after a number of years. ‘Plum Pine’s’ final peak can attain as much as 40’ or taller. Of their native habitat, they develop over 100’ tall!

Weeping Podocarpus

Against the backdrop of a brown brick wall, the weeping podocarpus tree stands as a striking contrast. Its vibrant greenery draws attention and creates a serene yet vibrant scene in this urban setting.
The weeping Podocarpus resembles a fluffy inexperienced cloud, transitioning from shrub to tree with drooping foliage.
botanical identify

Podocarpus gracilor
solar necessities

Full solar to partial shade

hardiness zones

11th of September

This pretty species appears to be like like a fluffy, inexperienced cloud when it matures. The calmly drooping branches of finely textured foliage make it an exquisite panorama specimen.

Weeping Podocarpus grows as a shrub with low floor clearance however is definitely educated into the form of a tree. It’s a pleasant mid-sized tree that gives ample shade to your out of doors dwelling area.

Pests and Illnesses

Sadly, there are some pests and ailments that have an effect on Podocarpus shrubs. Most of them are manageable and shouldn’t end result within the dying of the plant. 

Podocarpus Aphids

A close-up of black podocarpus aphids densely clustered along the stem of a podocarpus plant. The aphids appear as tiny, dark specks against the plant's bark.
The Podocarpus aphid infestation causes leaf curling, stunted development, and sooty mildew development attributable to honeydew secretion.

Probably the most regarding pest that impacts Podocarpus is the one named for its host, the Podocarpus aphid. These small, pale purple bugs will stay out their complete lifecycle on the identical plant and completely feed on coniferous vegetation. A big infestation will end in curling leaves and stunted development. 

Along with depleting the plant of vitamins, these bugs depart behind a sticky excrement known as honeydew. This creates the right setting for sooty mildew to develop, which may intrude with photosynthesis.

Deal with with insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils provided that the aphid infestation is inflicting injury to the plant. A lightweight infestation sometimes received’t have an effect on the well being of the plant and is greatest managed by useful predators.

Spider Mites

Red spider mites clustered on a plant, displaying their tiny bodies and vivid color. These pests, barely visible to the naked eye, congregate on a plant's surface, potentially causing substantial harm.
These sap-sucking bugs hurt Podocarpus with webs and broken leaves.

Spider mites are one other group of sap-sucking bugs which will reside in your Podocarpus plant. These tiny mites are tough to see, so search for the superb webs they weave on the underside of leaves. 

To eradicate spider mites, deal with them equally to aphids. They like sizzling, dry climate and can usually present up the place their pure predators have been destroyed with pesticides.


Podocarpus plants with a  presence of large white scale insects. These insects, known as pests, feed on plant sap by piercing the leaves. The blurred background features grasses that provide a soft, natural setting.
Scales injury timber by piercing leaves, feeding on sap, and leaving sticky excrement.

Scale bugs are much like aphids in the kind of injury that they inflict. These small, armored bugs pierce the leaves and feed on the tree’s candy sap, leaving their sicky excrement behind. Scale has a tough, waxy coating that horticultural oil is greatest for breaking down.

Leaf Spot

Elongated podocarpus leaves display scattered brown leaf spots. Infected leaves lose their functionality, hampering photosynthesis and nutrient distribution.
Leaf spot infections, brought on by fungal pathogens, end in brown or yellow leaf recognizing.

A number of fungal pathogens may cause leaf spot infections. This may increasingly seem as brown or yellow recognizing on leaves.

Deal with them by eradicating affected foliage and utilizing a fungicide indicated for leaf spot ailments. Usually, copper or sulfur-based fungicides are the most typical.

Root Rot

A podocarpus' intricate network of roots is exposed, their vulnerability telling a tale of root rot's impact. In the background, various plants create a blurred tapestry of nature.
Forestall root rot by avoiding overwatering and making certain good drainage for Podocarpus vegetation.

A fungal an infection causes root rot, and its growth is almost all the time the results of overwatering or poor drainage. Podocarpus want rare watering and good drainage.

In case your Podocarpus develops root rot attributable to poor drainage, you may amend the soil or transfer it to a brand new spot with higher drainage. If overwatering is the wrongdoer, revise your watering schedule and permit the soil to almost dry out between waterings.

Fusarium Wilt

Vibrant green leaves of a Podocarpus plant exhibit a distressing yellow hue, likely caused by an infestation of Fusarium wilt. The Podocarpus plant showcases an array of berries in captivating shades – from regal purple and passionate red to pristine white.
Fusarium wilt damages plant roots, resulting in nutrient uptake points, yellowing, wilting, and unfold by water.

This fungal illness assaults the plant’s roots and impacts nutrient uptake. This causes leaves to show yellow and brown and in addition causes wilting and die-off.

Management of your water schedule is crucial to cut back the fungal unfold. As soon as this illness has unfold, it’s greatest to take away and eliminate the plant away from different vegetation, then keep away from planting vulnerable species in the identical spot for a number of years.


Elongated green leaves of podocarpus, once vibrant, have transformed into a brown hue, a result of the botrytis infection. In the backdrop, a resilient tree thrives, its untouched leaves a symbol of vitality amidst the narrative of fading foliage.
Botrytis blight is a fungal illness that results in wilting, decay, and brown leaves.

One other fungal illness, Botrytis blight, sometimes impacts the leaves and causes wilting, decay, and brown leaves. The perfect plan of action is to take away all affected foliage and skinny out branches to permit for higher air circulation to the plant’s inside. 

Remaining Ideas

Podocarpus will not be a flashy plant. Whereas it received’t make anybody cease and stare, it may well serve some necessary functions. To be used as a noise barrier or privateness display, Podocarpus is almost unmatched. The straightforward-to-maintain, dense foliage creates an efficient barrier between properties or camouflage for unpleasant areas.

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