Podocarpus leaves
podocarpusdry fern pine
Podocarpus gracilior

The fern pine is one of the back bone plants of modern landscaping. You can see this shrub in many commercial landscape applications because of its reliable habit and hardiness. This graceful shrub can be trained into a formal hedge, tree form or left to its natural soft columnar form.

Podocarpus is very low maintenance once established. Practically pest free and can take light shade or direct light conditions. Lovely light green foliage brightens dark corners and mixes well with many types of plantings. Great background shrub for height in mixed beds. Great combo with tropical type plantings.

Although podocarpus can be very drought tolerant when sited well, these shrubs generally look better when they get some dry season water. See bottom photo - this fern pine needs some water!


Maximum height
10-20 feet tall
6-12 feet wide
can get much taller over time

Life Span
60 + years

Criteria for Ranking

1 (low) - 5 (high)

Drought Tolerance after first year establishment 4
Wind Tolerance 3*
Frost Tolerance 5
Surface Roots/Sidewalk Lifting 5
Power Lines Proximity

5 (good choice)
Cost/Maintenance 5
Disease Resistance/Hardiness 5*
*note asterisk denote species will be shaped by a prevailing wind. Single trunk trained trees need more protection than shrub to grow straight. Podocarpus in the wind will show tip burn in salty prevailing wind. Better in protected location.
*note asterisk denote species can be prone to sooty mold when planted in deep shade.

Location Where aren't there Podocarpus planted? Most commercial buildings include plantings with Podocarpus. There are some fine natural (not hedged) specimens on Bostick that are as tall as the 2 story homes they grow next to.