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How to Make Podocarpus Grow Faster [8 Efficient Ways]

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

It can be frustrating for a plant lover to see her little conifer not growing. Your podocarpus has received all the love, light, and water. But it’s still not growing fast. 

What to do?  You can figure out the general reasons behind it and ways to resolve this.

How to make Podocarpus grow faster?

Podocarpus isn’t high maintenance but you have to look out for some common factors. Proper grooming, optimum soil hydration, and fertilization can help your plant grow faster. Making sure your Podocarpus receives enough sunlight and warmth is a must too.

These are just the highlights. There are other factors too. I’ll go through each of these more in-depth in the next sections.

Let’s get right at it!

Factors That Affect Podocarpus Growth Rate

Podocarpus is both an indoor and outdoor plant. It can grow quite large growing outdoors reaching up to 20 meters. It can reach up to six feet tall when they’re grown indoors. 

Indoor gardeners must understand interior environment effects on plant growth. And they also need to know about cultivation differentiation from outdoor gardening

Here, we look at some of the reasons why your plant isn’t growing fast enough.

Factor 1: Poor Drainage 

Soils with poor drainage become waterlogged and saturated, affecting plant growth. Saturated soils reduce oxygen availability and pathogen resistance for roots. In that case, unclog the drain.

Factor 2: Soil Too Waterlogged or Dry

Waterlogging causes root function to reduce or even die off. Thus, hampers the overall equilibrium hindering plants growth. Balancing the soil texture here is important.

Factor 3: A Prolonged Period of Cold Weather

The problem arise specially related to the leaves. Frost or extremely cold weather causes leaves to shed. As a result the growth of Podocarpus gets hampered.

Factor 4: Suffer From Brown Patches

Brown leaves on Podocarpus indicate brown patches. It will eventually kill the shrub. It can happen if you keep watering the plants for more than a week.

Watering too little or too much can even cause a plant’s demise. So, properly plant and water the Podocarpus following the right way.

Factor 5: Insufficient Light

Without enough sunshine, The shrub’s growth may slow down. Sufficient sunlight will result in bushier growth. Because lack of sunlight means lack of nutrients.

Factor 6: Wrong Choice of Fertilizers

Wrong fertilization can stunt development and make plants susceptible to pests and illnesses. Also, the chemical of the fertilizer might be incompatible or too toxic for the Podocarpus

Factor 7: Lack of Proper Spacing

Overcrowded Podocarpus grow poorly. It has specific spacing requirements for optimum growth. So while planting them ensure the proper spacing of the bushes from each other.

Factor 8: Pest infestation

Your ignorance can lead your shrub to get infected by insects. Their interference limits Podocarpus from reaching their genetic potential.

A slower rate indicates a lot of things. Poor drainage soil is a warning to plant in a raised bed or mound or choose more tolerant plants.

Methods to Make Podocarpus Grow Faster

To keep your garden evergreen there are different types of planting care solutions available. Using them you can bring back the rose bush life. Again grow the Podocarpus faster than ever.

Here’s some legit information on growing Podocarpus plants quickly.

Method 1: Plant Spacing 

On average, Podpcarpus should be spaced one-third to one-half their maturing speed apart.

Place these shrubs 3 feet apart to create a hedge. Along a walk or driveway, space should be 4 to 5 feet to allow for mature size.

Hedges are planted better by digging a trench than holes. Podocarpus will grow in a large container as well.

Method 2: Pruning And Trimming

New stem growth should be pruned back to foster side branches and a bushier plant.

Podocarpus trees require biannual pruning. In the fall to ensure fresh spring growth and in summer to restore secondary growth.

Young plants can look sparse and brittle, so prune them back in the spring. Trim the foliage as required to enhance the growth.

Method 3: Proper Watering and Feeding

As long as the plant isn’t allowed to dry out, it’s fine. It’s also necessary to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. You must allow the top 2 inches to dry out before watering again. 

In winter, reduce the frequency of watering and avoid fertilizing. Feed them with half the recommended strength of acid-loving plant food like Miracid.

Method 4: Providing Sunlight and Shade

Most important aspect of Podocarpus growth rate is how much sunlight and warmth it’s receiving.

It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive.

Their bushes grow larger when they’re planted in full sun. Even if they can grow in full sun, these shrubs may also live in the shade. In hot summer, make sure there’s enough shade for the plants.

Method 5: Maintaining Temperature And Humidity

Podocarpus prefer 61°F – 73°F outdoor temperatures. They won’t grow as hedges below 12°C. Their hedges thrive in USDA zones 9–11.

These shrubs can’t endure extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. They prefer a medium level of humidity. They also want a location that is refrained from harsh winter winds. 

But in case of extreme temperature, a humidistat could work for indoor Podocarpus plants wonderfully.

Method 6: Providing Fertile Soil

Podocarpus mostly prefers fertile, slightly acidic, well-draining soil. It can be planted almost anywhere though it thrives in acidic and neutral soils. The shrub can be planted near water too as it has salt tolerance. 

This shrub grows the best in sandy/loamy soil. Sandy soil lacks magnesium which is good for plant’s growth. Supplement the roots with Epsom salt to get optimum results.

Method 7: Fertilizing Properly

In Ground: During spring feed them with the slow-release shrub. Also ensure tree food containing iron and sulfur for deep greening. Feeding with natural organic plant food is also an option.

In Containers: Feed them with a slow-release granular plant fertilizer. You can also opt for water-soluble liquid plant food specified for plants in containers. 

The user’s main challenge is selecting the right fertilizer from the market’s vast selection. So to help you, we’ve tried mentioning some all-rounder fertilizers! 

Product 1
Product 2

We guarantee you, these fertilizers will help your Podocarpus grow faster and keep them disease-free.

Method 8: Pest Advisory

Fungal problems in the roots can be created by Wet/damp soil that hinder the plant’s growth. 

So, it’s recommended to prune overgrown plants, plant in sunny places, and avoid over-fertilizing

Most common approach to regulate pests is to use pesticides and insecticides to kill off pests. Crop protection includes 3 things. It’s the use of products, methods, and practices to protect crops from pests and diseases.


Question: When should you reduce pruning Podocarpus trees?

Answer: Avoid pruning in the fall, when the first frost is approaching. Late season pruning will produce new growth which is more susceptible to damage by cold weather.

Question: Is Podocarpus drought tolerant?

Answer:  Yes, it is drought tolerant. It’s best to water regularly, allowing the plant to dry out between waterings.

Question: Can Podocarpus grow in pots?

Answer: Podocarpus in pots prefers moist but well-drained soil. Choose a container that will accommodate the growth of 2 to 3 years before upgrading.

Final Words

Hope you found this guide on how to make Podocarpus grow faster. You can certainly make your shrubby conifer grow faster with the right maintenance and care. The soil pH is quite important for better growth as well.

That’s all for now. Happy gardening!