Podocarpus Macrophyllus is a coniferous plant native to Japan and China.
Podocarpus plant is quite easy to care for as the plant is very tolerant. It can easily be trained to grow as a bonsai. Keep the plant away from children and pets as various parts of the plant can be toxic if eaten.
The plant can be grown in full sun or partial shade. It does best when provided with abundant light, as essentially they are tropical plants. Lower branches can become long and elongated if the plant does not receive proper sunlight. If you observe signs of scorch on the leaves move the plant to a sheltered region.
The plant has dark green pointy leaves. It grows in a pyramidal shape and does not branch too much unless pruned however the plant still manages to look dense perhaps because the leaves are evergreen. The flowers are inconspicuous and sometimes lead to inedible red berries. The growing season is from spring to summer.
The plant becomes drought resistant once established. The plant can survive dry conditions but not bogy over-watered soil so be careful while watering. Let the top soil dry out before watering the plant again. Overwatering can lead to root rot and kill the plant.
They can be grown in a wide variety of soils including well-draining clayey soils. The pH of the soil should be towards the acidic side. Don't use highly alkaline or heavy soils as that may cause nutrient deficiencies.
It is a slow growing plant and can grow up to 15m with quite a few years and ideal conditions. As a houseplant, it'll normally grow up to 4-5ft.
Feed the plant once in two weeks in the growing season i.e. from spring to summer. Use a fertilizer suitable for acid-loving plants.
The plant is susceptible to mealybugs and scale. Spray them off by watering with a hose and follow up with an organic insecticide or neem spray.
The plant can be grown as a houseplant and act as the perfect plant for the foyer. You can use it as a hedge plant too. It is a tough, adaptable plant which can survive at a lot of sites. It looks beautiful too and is usually used as an ornamental plant.