Podocarpus Plant: How to Grow for Podocarpus Hedge or Podocarpus Tree (Podocarpus Macrophyllus)

Podocarpus plants are bushy low-maintenance hedges that are coniferous shrubs with thick evergreen leaves. Fern pine, yew plum pine, and Buddhist pine are all names for the same species Podocarpus macrophyllus. The Podocarpus plant is not a genuine member of the Taxaceae family, which includes yews, despite being known as the Japanese yew.

Trees and bushy shrubs belong to the Podocarpaceae family of conifers. The Podocarpus tree, for example, is a medium-sized tropical tree that grows in the Afrocarpus gracilior / Podocarpus gracilior combination. Alternatively, for formal hedges, dwarf Podocarpus (Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Pringles’) is an low-growing shrub.

You’ll learn how to cultivate and maintain a Podocarpus hedge in this article. This hardy evergreen shrub is an excellent garden landscape shrub because of its long leathery leaves, thick foliage, and adaptability.

About Podocarpus Plant

Podocarpus macrophyllus shrubs may be pruned to maintain their height and build a privacy hedge. Upright, pyramidal growth and a height of 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 meters) characterize the Japanese yew pine. The yew plum pine can be maintained at a height of 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters) with trimming.

Podocarpus bushes are excellent shrubs for zones 7 to 10, and they flourish in full sun to partial shade. During cold winters, the yew pines perish. You may also grow the shrubs in containers and bring them indoors during the winter if you reside in colder climates. Rich, slightly acidic soil with excellent drainage is ideal for Podocarpus macrophyllus plants. Pine yews are an easy-care evergreen bushy shrub that doesn’t need much watering and is drought-resistant.

Growing a Podocarpus Hedge

Privacy screens, hedges, windbreaks, and natural evergreen barriers can all be created using Podocarpus macrophyllus. To create a hedgerow, plant Podocarpus (Japanese yew pine) shrubs 2 feet (60 cm) apart and trim them frequently. The Podocarpus shrubs develop into a stunning formal soft barrier with substantial, dense development with regular trimming.

What Is Podocarpus Maki (Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’)

The Podocarpus Maki is an upright evergreen shrub that has thick annual growth. The columnar shape of the small bushy pine yew, which grows between 6 and 8 feet (1.8 and 2.4 m). A yew tree and a pine tree blend together to create the evergreen shrub. The ideal hedge shrub is Podocarpus Maki.

The thick foliage allows for heavy trimming, and it grows readily when shaped. These yew bushes may be used to create an evergreen barrier with lovely fragrant leaves when planted together. These Podocarpus shrubs are especially suited for container planting in colder areas.

Plant a Podocarpus Maki shrub into rich, slightly acidic soil to grow it. The small hedge shrub favors full sun or partial shade in the garden. The evergreen hedge, on the other hand, thrives in full sun. The roots of the shrub should not sit in damp soil, which is the most important aspect. As a result, growing compact Maki Podocarpus shrubs requires well-draining soil.

Growing a Podocarpus Tree (Podocarpus gracilior)

Podocarpus trees are medium-sized evergreen conifers with a pyramidal shape, and they can be used as a hedge. The tree has velvety, dense evergreen foliage and is also known as weeping Podocarpus trees or African fern trees. The shade tree can reach a height of 40 feet (12 meters). zones 9 – 11 are ideal for Podocarpus weeping trees.

If you want to form the decorative tree and foster greater development, prune the tips of Podocarpus leaves in the summer.

Dwarf Podocarpus (Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Pringles’)

For attractive garden landscaping, grow the dwarf Podocarpus evergreen plant. For low-growing hedges and specimen plants, the small bushy plant has a natural mounded form. In zones 9 and 10, the short Podocarpus shrub has delicate needlelike leaves that thrive.

Full sun to partial shade is ideal for Dwarf Podocarpus plants. This small-growing shrub doesn’t need much trimming because of its height. You can also shape the plant by cutting off the foliage and creating a low formal hedge. Plant the dwarf Podocarpus shrubs 2 feet (60 cm) apart to create a low hedge.

How to Plant Podocarpus Hedge

Plant the Podocarpus shrubs close together to create Podocarpus hedges and lush privacy screens. The needle-like leaves are trimming friendly and have a dark green color. Make sure the soil is rich and drains well before planting Japanese yew hedges in the sun or shade. When it comes to planting a Podocarpus hedge, here’s what you need to know:

  • In rich, well-drained soil, lay a Podocarpus seedling. It is a indication of overwatering if the needles of the Podocarpus shrub lose their color.
  • Plant Podocarpus shrubs 2 feet (60 cm) apart to create a dense evergreen hedge. Clip or trim the Japanese yew’s leaves once it has grown to form a solid barrier.
  • Don’t shear the sides of a Podocarpus shrub when trimming it for a hedge. It needs to grow together. The top of the Podocarpus pine yew should always be a bit smaller than the base.
  • In full sun or with partial shade, Grow Podocarpus shrubs. However, since this is also a shade-tolerant plant, don’t be concerned if the Japanese yew is in the shade.
  • Make sure there is enough room for a Podocarpus hedge to grow. With a broad spread, pine yew hedges may grow up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall.
  • In zones 9 through 11, plant Podocarpus macrophyllus as a hedge plant. Remember that pine yews cannot tolerate frost and perish during it.
  • The vital watering aspect when planting a Podocarpus hedge is to be sure. Only water the soil adequately when you replace a Podocarpus hedge shrub.
  • The growth of Podocarpus plants is seldom affected by pests or diseases.

How to Plant Podocarpus for Landscaping

In a landscaped garden, podocarpus trees and shrubs may provide a vertical focal point. Hedgerows, towering hedges, privacy screens, shade trees, and patio container plants all benefit from these easy-care decorative plants. In the yard, little Podocarpus trees and shrubs create lovely decorative plants.

They are ideal specimen trees because of their upright, columnar, or pyramidal growth. Trim Podocarpus trees to make a ball of foliage on a bare stem, prune the branches for spiral foliage, or create other creative forms.

Podocarpus Plant Care

In garden landscapes, podocarpus shrubs are low-maintenance plants that require little maintenance. Between watering, ensure that the plant has enough water. To avoid a magnesium deficiency, apply Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to sandy soils. In the summer, prune the hedge’s leaves to keep it neat. For more information on how to care for Japanese yew bushes,

Light Requirements for Growing Podocarpus Hedge

In full sun to partial shade, Podocarpus bushes grow well. The pine yew hedge thrives in partial sunlight for up to six hours a day. These tree-like plants, on the other hand, can grow in the shade because they are adaptable. If there isn’t enough sunlight, the plant’s development may come to a halt. In full sun, a Podocarpus Japanese yew planted will grow bushier.

As the pine yew thrives in bright light, you may also notice that the delicate, thin needle leaves have a lighter look. The plant’s leaves might be sparse and the leaf color dark green, but it grows in the shade.

The Best Soil for Podocarpus Plant Care

Podocarpus plants thrive in rich, slightly acidic soil that is well-drained. They thrive in such soil. Nevertheless, when you plant a pine yew bush, be sure to choose a spot that’s not too shabby. The shrubs tolerate acidic and neutral soils, making them hardy and drought tolerant. The shrubs tolerate a bit of salt and can be planted along the coast. When it comes to the correct type of soil, Podocarpus hedge plants have a few special requirements. The following are examples of soil types that may impact Podocarpus hedge development:

Sandy or loamy soils—Magnesium is required for Podocarpus hedges to thrive, and sandy soil may lack it. To help promote the hedge’s development, you may use magnesium sulfate or Epsom salt if required.

Alkaline soil—In excessively alkaline soils, Podocarpus shrubs may produce yellow leaves. To boost the leaf color on a yellowing Podocarpus, try Amend your garden soil with peat moss.

Wet soil—In wet, boggy soil, yew pines struggle to thrive. In moist, but well-draining sandy soil, the ornamental Podocarpus shrubs perform better.

Watering Podocarpus Hedges

The water requirements of Podocarpus yew hedges are average. To thrive, these hardy, drought-tolerant pine yews need moist but not wet soil. Regular watering is required before the plants can be established. Established Podocarpus hedges, on the other hand, hardly need any water.

Just keep the ground moist by watering the Japanese yew frequently. Watering the soil, not the leaves, is best for watering Podocarpus shrubs. Leaf mold or mildew may develop if water is applied from above, ruining the hedge’s look.

Watering your lush hedge in the morning is the best time. As a result, there are less problems with fungal diseases and the roots get appropriate hydration.

Temperature and Humidity for Growing Podocarpus Shrubs

Outdoor temperatures between 61°F and 75°F (16°C and 23°C) are ideal for Podocarpus fern pines. You shouldn’t cultivate Japanese yews as hedges if the temperature drops below 55°F (12°C) because they aren’t cold hardy. USDA growing zones 9 to 11 are ideal for Podocarpus heaths. Plants in the Podocarpus genus prefer moderate humidity levels. As a result, states like Florida have warm, humid conditions that are ideal for growing Japanese yew hedges.

Dwarf Podocarpus, Japanese yews, and bonsai Podocarpus trees are outstanding container plants if you live in colder areas. Place the plant pots in a warm and sunny location, but away from direct sun. Just enough water to keep the soil slightly moisten the potting mix.

When to Prune Podocarpus Tree

In the summer, encourage secondary growth by trimming Trim Podocarpus trees, and then in the fall, encourage new spring growth. You may produce ornaments and shapely landscape trees by pruning Podocarpus trees and shrubs. Podocarpus tree leaves may be cut into circular, cone-shaped, or columnar shapes. Light trimming in the summer is all that Podocarpus hedges need. Trim the hedgerow’s top, front, and back foliage lightly to encourage growth along the side.

You may build a soft informal hedge or a compact, stunning formal evergreen hedge with the right care and trimming methods. You can trim the Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’ into a compact, upright columnar tree, despite the fact that it’s a shrub. Ornamental designs such as cloud pruning may be created from fully developed Podocarpus macrophyllus trees.

Fertilizer Needs for Podocarpus Hedges

Not heavy feeders, podocarpus hedge shrubs don’t need additional fertilizer all the time. Every year, in the spring, summer, and fall, fertilize the fern pine hedge. For Podocarpus shrubs and hedges, apply a balanced 6-6-6 fertilizer. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are all present in this ‘plant food. Podocarpus hedges benefit from extra iron and sulfur in addition to the necessary nutrients for healthy hedge growth. The foliage stays healthy and green thanks to these extra nutrients.

A Podocarpus privacy screen may be magnesium deficient if your garden has mostly sandy or loamy soil. Using an Epsom salt solution for plants two or three times a year may help you boost magnesium levels in the soil.

Propagating Podocarpus Shrubs

To propagate new plants, use Podocarpus cuttings to softenwood cuttings. Cut off fresh soft growth from a healthy plant to help the plant spread. Until roots develop, keep the stem end of the cutting moist. After that, you may add to your hedge by planting a rooted cutting in the garden.

Propagating a Podocarpus shrub is as follows:

  1. Take a 5″ (15 cm) stem cut from the tip of a healthy Podocarpus tree in the summer.
  2. Save a few leaves near the pine yew’s stem tip when removing all others from the stem.
  3. Place a rooting hormone on the end of the Japanese yew.
  4. In a well-draining, light potting mixture of one part peat and one part perlite, plant the Podocarpus cutting in a container.
  5. When the plant is taking root, keep the potting soil moist.

It is probably easier to buy small Podocarpus shrubs from your local plant nursery since rooted cuttings from evergreen shrubs can be difficult.

Pests Affecting Podocarpus Plant Growth

Aphids and scale insects are the most common plant pests that affect Podocarpus hedges. New plant growth can be destroyed by podocarpus aphids, which also cause significant leaf damage. Pine yew sap is sucked by scale insects, which may severely stunt the hedge’s development. Using insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol, you can get rid of these insects.

Little insects that can be blue-purple, yellow, red, or orange in color are known as aphids on Podocarpus Japanese yews. Curling new leaves, honeydew, and black sooty mold are all symptoms of aphid infestation on fern yews. Every seven days, you may spray the aphid-infested hedge plants with an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

Little plate-like growths on the plant’s stems resemble scale insects on pine yew shrubs. Growth of the plant can be influenced by scale. Nevertheless, significant hedgerow damage can only be caused by a massive scale insect infection. Prune and then destroy scale-infested branches to get rid of them the easiest way possible.

Diseases Affecting Podocarpus Plant Growth

Hardy, sun-loving bushes that are resistant to disease, Podocarpus macrophyllus plants are ideal for the garden. Waterlogged, soggy soil is the most prevalent issue that these shrubby conifers face. Inappropriate root fungus can harm a plant’s development if wet soil is present. The hedges will flourish with minimal care for many years if you treat your Podocarpus shrubs well.

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