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Plant Care Guide >> Indoor Plants >> Podocarpus macrophyllus
Podocarpus is a very tolerant plant, easy to care for, and survives a wide range of care. It is a versatile plant which can thrive in tubs or as a topiary. The plant can be used to make a bonsai as well. This is a plant which grows very big when planted in the ground but remains a shrub or a small tree when grown in a tub or pot.
Common name: Buddhist pine, Chinese yew, Shrubbery Yew Podocarpus
Botanical Name: Podocarpus macrophyllus
Family: Podocarpaceae
Foliage:

The plant has upright, dense evergreen has pointed, leathery, dark green leaves arranged on stiff, symmetrical branches. The crown forms a somewhat pyramidal to oval outline. Compact branching habit and very dark green foliage make this a dense tree in full sun, more open but surprisingly dense in shade.

Flowers:

Flowers are inconspicuous and have little ornamental value.

Light:

The plant can be grown in shade as well as in the sun. Too little light will result in large, elongated needles. It does best in bright light filtered through a translucent blind or curtain.

Watering:

The plant requires moist soil. However, good drainage is required for the plant. Browning of the leaf tips (grey needles) occurs due to over watering.

Pest and Problems:

Podocarpus is susceptible to root rot on soils with poor drainage. It is prone to attack by scale, mealybugs, and sooty mold.

Growth habit:

Podocarpus plants have a tendency to grow straight up, with no side branching. It is able to reach 15ft-20ft in height, 6-8ft in width, if planted in the ground. It is slow growing indoors and fast growing when planted in the sun.

Fertilizing:

Podocarpus likes slightly acid soil, so a dose of Miracid several times a year is helpful. These plants need additional iron and magnesium; iron is partially supplied by the Miracid. In addition, apply a dose of chelated iron twice yearly. To prevent magnesium deficiency, use 2-3 applications of Epsom Salts.

Pruning:

Pruning is necessary to get the side branches to grow. Pinch back new growth as necessary, and remove oversized needles. If a plant with bushier appearance is required, cut back all side branches by half. New growth will readily develop.

Propagation:

It is best grown from soft wood cuttings. It can also be grown from seeds but the seeds are difficult to get.

Special Care:

Some form of light staking is advisable for the main stems of a potted plant.

Landscaping Use:

Podocarpus can be grown to screen off and area, or as a hedge. It can also be used as an accent plant.

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