How to make podocarpus grow thicker – My tutorial

So you’re looking at growing your Podocarpus or “Japanese Yew” thicker. This makes sense, I’ve grown it multiple times in yards over the years and it’s a great way to create an aesthetic barrier between your garden and your neighbors. The plant really is a delectable shrub to behold when it’s grown correctly! So let’s find out how to grow it thicker and faster:

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How to make podocarpus grow thicker

To make your podocarpus plant grow thicker you need to focus on three things – trimming, pruning and watering. Podocarpus love to be trimmed and pruned, if you leave them for too long they will start to resemble a weeping willow. Using a pair of scissors or hedge trimmers, prune and trim back the growth on the outer edges. You’ll also need to water them frequently to prevent the leaves from becoming dehydrated and shrivelled.

podocarpus yew pine

How to make podocarpus grow faster

Podocarpus is a shrub that is commonly grown because of its aesthetic appeal. It can be grown thicker and faster by following some simple tips:

Light and Shade

Podocarpus grows best in an area that receives full sun. It is important to know that if the plant is grown in too much shade, it will become leggy (long and thin) and won’t grow as dense. Although it generally loves direct sun, you need to be mindful that if it gets too much, the leaves will scorch and turn brown. The ideal location would be an area where the plant receives 6 hours of sunlight per day.


Fertilizing your Podocarpus is important to help it grow faster. You can use a granular fertilizer that is designed for shrubs and bushes. I would recommend you use a 6-6-6 fertilizer. You’ll need 2-3 pounds of fertilizer (or 4-6 level coffee cups). You should apply the fertilizer to the soil around the base of the plant. It’s best to fertilize your Podocarpus in early spring once a year.

Watering and soil

It’s important to water your Podocarpus once per week, especially when it’s first getting established. Once it’s established, you can back off on the watering. Podocarpus is a drought-tolerant shrub so it doesn’t need a lot of water. After the shrub has fully developed, you will only need to lightly water it every 9 days.

soil moist for planting

How tall and wide do Podocarpus grow?

Podocarpus shrub can grow to be 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. It’s a fast-growing shrub, so if you’re looking for something that will fill in quickly, this is a good option.

To ensure that your shrub grows to an adequate height, you will need to fertilize it and maintain the pH levels of the soil. The ideal pH level for this type of plant is 4.5 to 7.5; however, other trees may require different conditions. In addition, podocarpus trees and other similar plants grow in the direction of sunlight. If possible, try placing your tree in a spot where it can get direct sunlight as this will also help it appear taller and straighter.

How do I make my Podocarpus thicker in more detail

Podocarpus is a beautiful shrub that looks amazing when it’s well-groomed and shaped. It can be grown thicker by following this advice:

Trimming and pruning

The easiest approach to make your podocarpus thicker and branch out is to trim it on a regular basis. Keep in mind that trimming and pruning are two distinct things, especially when it comes to the Japanese Yew Pine.

Trimming your podocarpus should only be carried out every few weeks so that you can give your shrub time to recover and flourish. If you were to trim your shrub on a more regular basis you run the risk of damaging it where it will be more likely to develop disease or fungal infection.

Pruning a podocarpus is usually done to shape it and remove dead leaves and branches, while trimming is often done to make the plant bushier.


Podocarpus are drought-tolerant plants; however, they will still need to be watered on a regular basis – especially when they are first getting established. Once the plant is more mature, you can cut back on watering to every 9 days.

Ideally, you need the soil of the plant to be moist but not waterlogged. I’ve found in my experience that you can actually get away with watering it every few days only if the shrub has been planted in loose and well-draining soil. If your podocarpus has been newly planted you will need to water it more frequently in comparison to a shrub or tree that is already established.

Water your podocarpus from the base rather than from overhead to avoid leaf mildew.

Start again

Another approach to making your podocarpus thicker is by starting again with a new plant. This may seem like more work than trimming and pruning, but it will give you a fuller and more bushier plant in the end.

podocarpus tree foliage

Pests and Diseases

Podocarpus are generally healthy shrubs that don’t suffer from too many pests and diseases. However, there are a few things that you should be on the lookout for and that are the podocarpus aphid and the scale insect.

Podocarpus aphids, which are blue in color are small, soft-bodied insects that cluster on the new growth of the plant and feed on the sap. These aphids can cause the leaves to distort and turn yellow. It can result in stunting and curling of new growth, as well as honeydew accumulation and sooty mold development on the plant.

Another pest that you may find on your podocarpus is the scale insect. These pests are small, round, and hard-shelled. They attach themselves to the plant and feed on the sap which can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease. If you notice any scales on your podocarpus, you can remove them by hand or with an insecticide.

Benefits Of Growing A Podocarpus

There are many benefits of growing a podocarpus in your garden. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider adding this plant to your landscape:

It’s an evergreen – One of the main benefits of growing a podocarpus is that it’s an evergreen, meaning that it will provide year-round interest in your garden. This is especially beneficial if you live in an area with cold winters as the plant will keep its leaves even when there’s snow on the ground.

It’s drought-tolerant – Another great benefit of podocarpus is that it’s quite tolerant to drought conditions. This is perfect if you live in an area with little rainfall as you won’t have to worry about watering your plant on a regular basis.

It doesn’t require much maintenance – Podocarpus is a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require a lot of care. Once it’s established, you can basically leave it to its own devices and it will still thrive.

It attracts wildlife – Podocarpus is a great plant to grow if you want to attract wildlife to your garden. The berries that the plant produces are eaten by birds and other animals, which can add an extra element of interest to your landscape.

It provides privacy – If you’re looking for a plant that will provide you with some privacy, then podocarpus is a great choice. These shrubs can grow up to 20 feet tall, so they’re perfect for creating a natural screen or hedge.

It’s low-cost – Another benefit of podocarpus is that it’s relatively low-cost. You can find these plants at most garden centers or online for a reasonable price, making them an affordable option for adding to your landscape.

podocarpus plants


If you’re looking for a plant that is low-maintenance, drought-tolerant and provides year-round interest, a podocarpus is a great option to consider. Let’s summarise what we’ve learnt about growing podocarpus thicker:

  • Trimming, pruning and watering adequately help your podocarpus grow thicker
  • Podocarpus does best in full sun for 6 hours or less
  • Use 6-6-6 fertilizer once per year in early spring
  • Podocarpus do best in loose, moist soil
  • They can grow to 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide
  • The ideal pH level for this sort of plant is 4.5 to 7.5
  • The podocarpus aphid and scale insects are the two main pests that can cause damage to your plant
pruning podocarpus trees

People Also Ask

Does Podocarpus like sun or shade?

While podocarpus can tolerate shady conditions, it grows best in full sun for 6 hours or less. If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to plant your shrub in a location that receives afternoon shade to protect it from the warmer temperatures.

Is a Podocarpus a hedge or a tree?

The Podocarpus species is an evergreen woody plant that often takes the form of a tree, but may also be found as a shrub. At their tallest, these trees can reach 40 meters in height.

Are Podocarpus roots invasive?

No, the roots of a podocarpus are not considered to be invasive. This plant has a shallow root system that is mostly found near the surface of the soil.

What plants go well with Podocarpus?

Some plants that go well with podocarpus include camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, and ferns. These plants share a similar preference for acidic soil and shady conditions, making them ideal companions for your podocarpus.

Is Podocarpus good around pool?

Yes, podocarpus is a good plant to have around your pool. This evergreen shrub is drought-tolerant and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, making it the perfect plant to spruce up your pool area.

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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