Podocarpus makes an excellent privacy screen, hedge, windbreak, or natural evergreen barrier. Space the Podocarpus (Japanese yew pine) shrubs approximately 2 feet (60 cm) apart and trim them frequently to make a hedgerow.
The Podocarpus shrubs grow into a lovely formal soft hedge with thick, dense growth with regular trimming.
This evergreen hardy shrub makes an excellent landscape garden shrub because of its long leathery leaves, dense foliage, and adaptability. You’ll discover how to make Podocarpus grow thicker in this article.
Podocarpus macrophyllus is a resilient shrub-like tree that grows slowly. Moreover, it has an erect, pyramidal growth habit and can reach a height of 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 metres).
You can keep it at a feasible height of 8 – 10 ft or 2.4 – 3 m by pruning it. Podocarpus hedges thrive in full sun to moderate shade and are suitable for growing in zones 7-10.
Winters are too harsh for yew pines to survive. If you live in a colder climate, you can also grow the bushes in containers and place them inside during the winter.
Podocarpus macrophyllus flourish in rich and mildly acidic soil with good drainage. They require little water and are drought-resistant, which makes them a low-maintenance evergreen bushy shrub.
Podocarpus Maki is an upright-growing evergreen shrub. The tiny bushy plant has a columnar structure and grows between 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 metres).
The evergreen shrub makes an excellent hedge shrub which resembles a hybrid between a pine tree and yew in appearance. The dense foliage responds nicely to rigorous pruning, and its growth can be shaped.
Podocarpus bushes are excellent container plants in cooler climates. Plant the shrub of Podocarpus Maki in fertile and mildly acidic soil to grow it.
This compact shrub loves not only the full sun but also partial shade in the garden. On the other hand, the evergreen hedge can thrive in full shade. The most important component of shrub maintenance is to keep the roots out of damp soil.
7 Methods on How To Make Podocarpus Grow Thicker
Allow the ground to dry out between watering sessions and water it properly. Use Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) to prevent a magnesium deficit in the sandy soils, use Epsom salt (also known as magnesium sulphate).
To maintain a clean shape, trim the foliage of the Podocarpus hedge in the summer. Here’s some more information on caring for Podocarpus plants to grow thicker.
1. Provide Proper Light
- Podocarpus bushes grow well in a wide range of conditions, from partial shade to full sun.
- It prefers 6 hours of sunlight per day.
- On the other hand, these versatile tree-like shrubs thrive in the shade as well.
- If there isn’t enough sunlight, the plant’s growth may be slowed.
- When you plant a Podocarpus in full sun, it becomes bushier.
- When it grows in bright sunlight, you’ll notice that the thin needle-like soft leaves appear lighter.
- The plant’s foliage might be sparse when cultivated in the shadow, and the leaves are dark green.
2. Use good quality soil
- Podocarpus plants thrive in fertile, somewhat acidic, well-draining soil.
- You don’t have to be picky about where you plant Podocarpus, though.
- The drought-resistant shrubs may grow in both neutral and acidic soils.
- Because the bushes are moderately salt tolerant, they can be planted along the coast.
Podocarpus have a few special requirements when choosing the correct kind of soil. Some types of soil that can influence the growth of a Podocarpus hedge include:
Loamy or Sandy Soils
- Sandy soils are usually deficient in magnesium, which is required to grow Podocarpus hedges.
- Supplement the hedge’s development with magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) if necessary.
- In excessively alkaline soils, Podocarpus plants can have yellow foliage.
- To brighten the colour of a yellowing Podocarpus, add peat moss to the garden soil.
- Podocarpus do not thrive in wet, muddy soil.
- Podocarpus shrubs thrive in well-draining damp sandy soil.
3. Provide Proper Moisture
- The water requirements of Podocarpus hedges are medium.
- To thrive, this robust, drought-tolerant plant requires moist, but not wet, soil.
- Watering must be done regularly until the plants mature.
- On the other hand, Matured Podocarpus hedges do not require much water so moisten these as per the requirement for keeping the soil moist.
- Water the earth, not the leaves, while watering Podocarpus bushes.
- Pouring water from above can create leaf mould or mildew, wreaking havoc on the hedge’s appearance.
- Morning is the optimum time for watering. The roots will be properly hydrated, and fungal diseases will be less of an issue.
4. Provide Proper Temperature
- The growing zones for yew plants differ depending on the species.
- Plants, in general, do not withstand prolonged exposure to severe temperatures, whether hot or cold.
- They also want a location that is protected from harsh winter winds.
- Outdoor temperatures for Podocarpus fern pines should be between 61°F-75°F or (16°C – 23°C).
- Because these are not cold hardy, they should not be used as hedges in areas having a temperature less than 55°F or (12°C).
- Podocarpus hedges thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11.
5. Provide Proper Humidity Levels
- Podocarpus prefers a medium level of humidity.
- As a result, regions like Florida’s warm, humid climates are ideal for growing Japanese yew hedges.
- Podocarpus is a good choice if you reside in a cooler area.
- Podocarpus trees make for beautiful container plants.
- Place the pots in a sunny location shaded from direct sunlight.
- Just add enough water to the potting mix for keeping the soil moist.
6. Provide Proper Fertilizers
- Podocarpus hedge shrubs aren’t heavy feeders, so fertilization isn’t always necessary.
- Feed them thrice-yearly: summer, spring, and fall.
- Podocarpus bushes and hedges should be fertilized with a well-balanced 6-6-6 all-purpose fertilizer.
- This plant food provides the correct amounts of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.
- Besides the nutrients required for good hedge growth, iron and sulphur are supplied to Podocarpus hedges.
- These added nutrients aid in the maintenance of healthy, green foliage.
- A Podocarpus privacy screen may suffer magnesium deficiency if your garden soil is mostly sandy or loamy.
- To increase magnesium levels in the soil, apply an Epsom salt solution 2-3 times a year.
7. Do Pruning
- Podocarpus trees should be pruned twice yearly, in the fall to enable fresh spring growth and in the summer to stimulate secondary growth.
- Pruning Podocarpus plants and shrubs can result in elegant and properly shaped landscape trees.
- Podocarpus tree foliage can be pruned into spherical shapes, columns, and cones.
- Podocarpus hedges require minimal trimming during the summer.
- Trim the hedgerow’s foliage from the front, top, and back, and let the side grow together.
- You may produce a soft, casual hedge or a compact, magnificent formal evergreen hedge with the appropriate care and trimming procedures.
- The Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’ can be pruned into an upright columnar and compact tree despite being a shrub.
Podocarpus are frequently used as foundation plantings around homes. They’re also frequent in topiaries and hedges.
Because you need the extra height for screening, privacy hedges are often much taller than wide. On the other hand, low-growing, spreading yews are better for foundation plantings or small decorative hedges.
Growing yews requires good soil drainage. Soggy soil conditions make these plants prone to fungal infestations. However, the plants are low-maintenance in general.
In general, you should water your plants once in a while, fertilize them once a year, and prune them once a year.