• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Partial to full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water regularly - weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Reaches 40 to 50 ft. tall, 25 ft. wide; often pruned to maintain smaller size.
    Key Feature:
    Evergreen Shade Tree
    Conifer; prized for foliage.
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:poh-doh-KAR-pus
    Plant type:Tree
    Sunset climate zones:8, 9, 13 - 24
    Growth habit:Rounded
    Growth rate:Moderate
    Average landscape size:Reaches 40 to 50 ft. tall, 25 ft. wide; often pruned to maintain smaller size.
    Foliage color:Gray-green
    Blooms:Conifer; prized for foliage.
    Garden styleContemporary, Tropical
    Design IdeasFew trees offer such lovely color and soft cloud-like foliage. Grow as a beautiful street tree in warmer climates. Try it as a year-round screen on property lines or against poor views of industrial or commercial areas. Good single shade tree for front or backyard, but avoid planting in lawns. Most compatible as a single specimen with semitropical landscapes. Also great as contrast against the bright stucco walls of modern or postmodern architecture. Also makes a good container-grown topiary tree for formal landscaping around porches or patios and entries. Do not plant Podocarpus under the eaves of houses; they will easily outgrow the roof.
    Companion PlantsCrossvine (Bignonia); Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis); Daylily (Hemerocallis); Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus); Dwarf Crape Myrtle (Lagestroemia indica)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Thrives in average, well-drained soils. Water deeply and regularly during the first few growing seasons to establish an extensive root system. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates mild drought. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. May be pruned periodically to maintain desired stature.
    Light Needs:
    <strong>Partial Sun / Partial Shade</strong>: These two terms are often used interchangeably to mean 3-6 (or 4-6) hours of sunlight each day. However, there is a difference.
<strong>Partial shade</strong> typically means the plants will appreciate a more gentle exposure such as the weaker morning or early afternoon sun, with the emphasis on providing the minimum needed shade and sheltering from intense late afternoon sun. <strong>Partial sun</strong> typically means the plants <u>need</u> some direct sun, so the emphasis is on meeting the required minimum hours of sunlight, with filtered sunlight or shade the balance of the day.
Both are best with shelter from the harshest late afternoon sun. This shade could be provided by a structure, a wall, larger plants or  tree(s).
    Partial to full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Moderate
    Water regularly - weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers.
  • History & Lore
    This is an unusual genus of plants that is closely related to conifers but is in its own family, the Podocarpaceae. The genus was classified by French botanist Charles L'Hertier de Brutelle, 1746-1800, who named it from the Greek for foot and fruit to describe its large berries. The genus contains about 90 species confined mainly to the Southern, Hemisphere, and this species is native to tropical Africa. It was classified by the German Robert Pilger in the early 20th century. This is likely among the plants in Carl Thunberg's collected data 18th century botanical data published in Flora Capensis. This plant may actually be synonymous with P. elongata, also from South Africa because references often interchange the common name.