Podocarpus macrophyllus Shrubs in the Landscape

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Podocarpus macrophyllus is a beautiful evergreen tree that is most often grown as a landscape shrub or hedge. Its common names include: Japanese yew, Buddhist pine, Chinese yew, Southern yew and yew pine.

Japanese Yew Hedge

Narrow hedge of Podocarpus macrophyllus.

Notice how narrow this Podocarpus hedge is.

This ability to fit into small spaces is one of the reasons this plant is such a desirable landscaping hedge.

Left to grow naturally, a Podocarpus tree will slowly achieve a height of 30 or more feet. Its growth habit is upright, narrow and dense.

The plant's evergreen, narrow leaves range from dark to bright green and resemble Taxus foliage.

The Buddhist pine is beautiful when grown as a tree, but today's smaller landscapes cannot always accommodate its mature size.


Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Maki'

Here, the upright Japanese yew 'Maki' has been sheared into tall, boxy colums growing against the wall.

Before them, a low hedge of variegated Schefflera runs the length of the planting.

A multi-trunked Pygmy date adds its feathery foliage to the mix of textures in this front yard landscape design.

Podocarpus 'Maki', the shrubby yew pine, is a smaller selection (to 10 feet) which is more often planted than the species. It grows more slowly and features more narrow leaves.

It is extremely adaptable, growing well on a variety of soils and in climates from zone 7-11. It performs equally well in dry Arizona and damp Florida.

Site it in full or part day sun and give it regular water. Plants so treated can be expected to put on 6 inches of top growth per year.


Using the Japanese Yew in the Landscape

Podocarpus macrophyllus, Loropetalum and azalea used together in a landscape design.

Once again, the Japanese yew (on the right) has been pruned into a box. The pictures on this page demonstrate how well P. macrophyllus lends itself to square shapes.

This is its best use, but not its only one as the following images will reveal.

The other shrubs in this side yard landscape include a red-leaved Loropetalum and azaleas which have been sheared into a hedge.

The tree is a Pindo or jelly palm with ferns flourishing in its boots.

The Pindo's fronds pick up the color of the roof nicely.


Podocarpus Plants as Topiary Bushes

A "poodled" Podocarpus occupies a brick planter outside a Deland, Florida restaurant.


While Buddhist pine makes a fine topiary shrub, poodles and balls may not be the easiest shapes to sculpt from it.

Use it to make square, architectural shapes and use Buxus for the lollipops.

A low hedge of Podocarpus macrophyllus surrounds a vegetable garden.

It is commonly believed that Podocarpus macrophyllus can only be used for tall hedges, but this photo demonstrates that this is false.

It has been trimmed into a low hedge here, where it is being used to edge the vegetable garden at Pinewood Estate in Lake Wales, Fl.





More Great Landscaping Shrubs:

Plant Knock Out Roses for Nearly Non-Stop Color

Plant Rugosa Roses for their Tasty Hips

How Spruce Trees can Enhance Your Landscape

Florida Coontie, a Tough and Unusual Shrub for Warm Climates

Rose of Sharon, a Fast-growing Flowering Shrub

The Best Shrubs to Use for Hedges

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