How to Plant Podocarpus

The podocarpus, or yew pine, is a shrub or small tree with dark green needle-like leaves. This plant makes a good hedge or screen, and can grow either indoors or outdoors.

You can plant podocarpus from seeds or from cuttings. While hardwood cuttings take root easily, podocarpus seeds can take up to six months to germinate. Soaking the seeds in saturated salt water for two days before planting them will improve the germination rate [source: World Agroforestry Centre].


Here's what you need to know about planting a podocarpus.

  • Plant your podocarpus in fertile, well-drained soil. If your podocarpus' needles turn grey, it's a sign that it is being over watered [source: Miami Tropical Bonsai].
  • Plant your podocarpus in a sunny, or partially sunny spot. If this isn't possible, the yew pine can also tolerate shade [source: Gilman and Watson]. The yew pine is a hardy plant. You can even plant it in coastal areas, because it's tolerant of salt spray from the ocean.
  • Choose an area that's large enough to accommodate a full-grown podocarpus. They can grow to be 50 feet (15.2 meters) tall with a spread of up to 25 feet (7.6 meters).
  • Plant your podocarpus in a moderate climate. The podocarpus plant prefers temperatures between 61 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (16.1 and 20 degrees Celsius) and should not be grown anywhere where the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius) [source: Miami Tropical Bonsai]. If outdoor temperatures aren't conducive to growing podocarpus, you can grow it in a well-lit spot indoors instead.

The yew pine is resistant to most pests and diseases [source: Gilman and Watson]. Although the yew pine's attractive fruit is edible, it is mildly toxic.