Common Names Japanese Yew, Yew Podocarpus
Common Use Hedge, tree, topiary
Scientific Name Podocarpus macrophyllus
Cold Hardiness Very cold hardy
Light Needs Full sun to partial shade tolerated
Flower No flower
Water Needs Drought Tolerant
Leaves Green
Evergreen/Deciduous Evergreen
Mature Height Up to 35-40 feet, or ass trimmed
Growth Rate Fast
Salt Tolerance High
Podocarpus Hedge
Podocarpus Hedge – Enlarge Picture

Podocarpus is one of the most popular hedging plants in the Orlando area, and for good reason. Also known as a Japanese yew or Buddhist pine, Podocarpus is a fast-growing evergreen that provides beautiful color and shade year-round. Although these plants can reach heights of as much as 30 to 40 feet, they are easily kept in check with regular trimming.

Podocarpus has abundant, bright green, flat and sword-shaped leaves. The flowers are yellow, unobtrusive, and followed by round red fruits that are attractive to birds but don’t cause litter problems and won’t stain concrete. Podocarpus is incredibly versatile. Left alone it will grow into a tall, cone-shaped tree. Although it can be espaliered or trimmed into topiaries, Podocarpus is most often used as a green screen or formal hedge.

Podocarpus hedges are ideal for bright, sunny backyards, gardens and pool enclosures. Podocarpus can tolerate some shade, but grows faster and is more colorful in direct sun. Podocarpus will thrive in almost any well-drained soil, but it doesn’t like wet feet, so avoid boggy areas. Podocarpus is disease, pest, drought and salt resistant. It may grow slowly for the first year or two, but once established it is a fast and steady grower. Podocarpus can take heavy pruning and usually looks best when shaped by hand.