6 Best Fertilizers for Podocarpus – 2021 Reviews and Guide

Picking the best fertilizer for Podocarpus is easy if we know the nutritional requirements of the plant.

Podocarpus is an evergreen, easy-to-grow tree plant that could be a great addition to your outdoors with its unique features. It is quite fussy in terms of growth in low lighting situations but it can grow faster if it is applied with the proper sunlight. 

Its special and unique characteristics include its vast uses in the outdoors as it can be a barrier for many things to your property as well its long conical leaves adding beauty to your livings.

Podocarpus originally is a yew pine shrubby plant that can be trained as a topiary by shaping. The reason behind its popularity among the community is its evergreen nature and tolerance to air pollution, poor drainage, and compact soil having drought problems.

podocarpus shrubs and trees

The evergreen feature of this shrubby tree maintains its leaves throughout the year even when all other plants have lost their leaves. In these times this tree plant will keep its lush green beauty.

The growth of this shrubby plant is totally dependent on the water and fertilizer timely applied. The timely applied fertilizer will help the plant to grow faster otherwise it will take years to become a full tree.

These plants mainly grow up to the height of 8 to 10 feet with the upright and pyramidal form with evergreen leaves that are resistant to deer damage. But you can maintain the height as per your need by pruning the plant at the right time.

Pruning is the most crucial time for this tree as pruning is the main thing that will help to maintain the plant without converting it to some forest plant.

Buying Guide: Best fertilizer for Podocarpus

Feeding the podocarpus is the most important step in its whole growth cycle as the growing speed of the plant is totally dependent on the fertilizer you applied.

Podocarpus plants used the fertilizers fully in the months of June and September so these two months are considered to be best for fertilizing.

In the whole growing season, the podocarpus macrophyllus is fertilized three times. The recommended NPK ratio for feeding the podocarpus is 6-6-6 which openly shows that these plants need all the major nutrients in an equal amount to maintain their growth. 

The amount of fertilizer a plant need is dependent on the trunk size of the plant as usually the 2-3 lbs of food is enough for the plants with a truck size of fewer than 6 inches.

Any fertilizer having all the NPK ratio numbers equal can be applied to these plants but we built this guide with the best available fertilizers so that you don’t have to 

Knowing the right proportion of nutrients is not enough as the main difficulty the user’s face is during choosing the right fertilizer as a sea of products is available in the market. 

Reviews: Podocarpus fertilizers

1. J R Peters 52024 Jacks Classic No.1.5 20-20-20 – Best all-purpose Podocarpus Fertilizer

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J R Peters 52024 Jacks Classic No.1.5 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer
  • All indoor and outdoor plants, tree, vegetables and surf
  • It feeds both through the roots and the leaves. This formula of...
  • Indoors it is especially effective on foliage plants, keeping leaves...

J R Peters is a well-known producer of fertilizers. This is an all-purpose fertilizer that can be applied to any plant species to help it thrive. I love this product and use it on all my Podocarpus plantings.

The NPK proportion of this fertilizer shows an equal amount of all the major nutrients as 20-20-20 that resembles the requirements of podocarpus. 

The best thing about this product is that it has many micronutrients along with NPK that are basic requirements for the plant for healthy growth.

This fertilizer will show 100% results if applied as directed as it is made from the finest raw materials. 

The water solubility of this plant food makes it an easily available solution for plants to meet the fertilizer requirements. It can be applied both through the leaves and roots.

This food helps the fast green-up and expansion of plants by formulating the roots and shoots development.

Provides Micronutrients: Jack’s classic no 1.5 is well known for providing micronutrients to the podocarpus plants. The presence of micronutrients along with NPK helps the plants to thrive and grow stronger.

Best for boosting plant expansion: The all-purpose J R plant food for fertilizing podocarpus provides all of the essential nutrients to boost the growth mechanisms and faster green-up.

Performance on my plants: A friend of mine is a professional grower of flowers and ornamental plants. He personally advised me to give a try to Jack’s Classic food to my Podocarpus plants and I was really amazed by observing the results that my plants really show a boost in green leaves.

This Classic plant food is the complete nutrient food for a wide range of plants including podocarpus. The presence of chelated formulas showed wonderful results to the shoot and root growth.

Pros

  • Chelated formulas for improved performance
  • Fast green-up and expansion
  • Formulated for root and shoot growth
  • Can be applied both by leaves and roots due to water-soluble nature
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoor plants

Cons

  • Not any cons

2. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Flowering Trees and Shrubs Plant Food – Best organic fertilizer for soil microbes

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Miracle-Gro 680g 20-20-20 Plant Food
  • An all-purpose formula that grows bigger, more beautiful plants,...
  • Promotes root and shoot growth, as well as greener foliage thanks to a...
  • Apply with a watering can or enjoy the convenience of the Miracle-Gro...
  • Perfect format for small, urban gardens
  • 680 g

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N feed plant food is a vital product for feeding the trees and shrubs. This food is formulated with natural ingredients that help to nourish the above and below the soil.

This plant food is formulated with feather meal, bone meal, kelp, and earthworms in a better proportion that helps the nourishment of microbes in the soil to improve the soil health.

These microbes will help the breakdown of the organic matter to support the growth of roots and to increase the water efficacy.

It is a specially designed formula for feeding trees, shrubs, and other acid-loving plants. It will work better for feeding the podocarpus even if they are growing in containers or in-ground.

This food keeps supporting the plant growth for 3 months by a single application.

Beneficial for microbial growth: This plant food by Miracle-Gro is the cumulative food supplement for nourishing the microbial growth in soil that ultimately supports the root growth and improves the soil health.

Prolonged Nutrients availability: The great thing about this plant food is the longer availability of nutrients in the region of the root. If you are really looking for organic plant food for your podocarpus plants, Miracle feed and shake food is the premium product I ever used for my garden plants.

Usage experience: I have personally used this Miracle shake and feed plant food for vast types of my garden plants and observed a great build-up of soil structure with microbial growth. If you love to apply organic fertilizers, then you should go for this product. You will observe the improvement in soil health after few weeks of application.

The organic build-up of soil structure and microbes in the soil will support the plant’s growth in the future too.

Pros

  • Can be used for both in-ground and container plants
  • Provides continuous feeding for 3 months
  • Best food product for trees like podocarpus
  • Contains the natural ingredients to feed soil microbes
  • Helps to maintain the lush green foliage

Cons

  • No good results if not used as directed

3. Bio-Advanced 701615 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed Concentrate – Best podocarpus fertilizer for single application

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BIOADVANCED 701615A Gal Tree and Shrub Control, 1 gallon, Concentrate
  • 12 MONTH PROTECTION: With just one application, kills listed insects...
  • INSECT & PEST KILLER: Kills Japanese Beetles, Emerald Ash Borers,...
  • SLOW-RELEASE FERTILIZER: Plant food and fertilizer improves the health...
  • SYSTEMIC PROTECTION: Protects your potted and outdoor trees and shrubs...
  • RESTRICTIONS: Not for sale in NY, CT, MD & VT

Bio-Advanced feed concentrate is a nutrient-rich formula that works for plants in two ways as by feeding as well as protecting from pest attacks.

This one-time investment formula will work great for the podocarpus by enhancing the growth of the plant and keeping them safe from diseases. 

The best thing about this food is that it feeds the plants for 12 months with a single application and protects them from insects like Japanese Beetles.

This slow reading formula helps to improve soil and plant health with time. 

It works as an insecticide due to the presence of the active ingredient of Imidacloprid it which will kill the pests and secure the plant for the next growing season.

Always follow the directions on the package to get better results. You just need to pour the food as required and mix it well and apply it to plants.

Longer nutrients availability: The Bio advanced feed concentrate is a nutrient-rich formula for providing the essential nutrients to the plants for longer times. A one-time application of this plant food is enough to feed the plants for the whole season.

If you have a busy routine and don’t have the time to feed your plants on weekly basis during the active growth season, then you should go for this plant food.

Controls pests on plants: The premium feature of this plant food is that it comes in duo purpose as fertilizer as well as pesticide. The presence of imidacloprid in the fertilizer constituents kills the pests present on the trees and plants. I have personally used this feed and kill food for podocarpus in the earlier days of my gardening career when my plants came under the attack of pests and insects.

Using this feed and kill plant food will relieve you from applying separate insect killers and pesticides.

Case study: I used this plant food in the earlier days of my gardening career when I had less knowledge to prevent insects and pests in gardens. A one-time application of the Bio-Advanced feed and kill food provided me the marvelous results and gave me big relief from the pests and insects near the plants.

Moreover, the product claims that the product feeds the plant for the whole year. So, I gave it a try and I was amazed by getting the lush green growth for the whole year.

Pros

  • Helps to control the pests attack with a single formula
  • Works as both fertilizer and pesticide
  • Contains active ingredient of imidacloprid to kill pests
  • Helps to nourish the plant’s growth

Cons

  • It could damage the plant if overdose applied

4. Scotts 200910 Evergreen Flowering Tree & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food – Best wide use fertilizer for all shrubs

Scotts Evergreen Flowering Tree & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food
  • Excellent for evergreens, dogwoods, hydrangeas, magnolias and many...
  • Encourages vigorous root growth and lush foliage
  • Feeds for up to 2 months
  • Easy to use—simply apply directly to soil
  • Safe—won't burn your plants when used as directed Based on...

Scotts continuous release plant food is a formulation having all the essential nutrients in a good proportion for the trees and shrubs. 

It encourages lush foliage and root growth to increase water efficacy. You just need to apply this food to the plants directly as directed by the producer.

This plant food is the best supplement food to enhance the growth of many evergreens including podocarpus, hydrangeas, dogwood, and magnolias and for many shrubs like camellias, rhododendrons.

The best thing about this product is that it is very easy to use, all you need is to apply the directed amount to the plant and water them. 

Specially formulated for trees: Scotts continuous release plant food is specially formulated for feeding the trees and shrubs. It constitutes all the essential nutrients needed by a plant to carry on normal growth. It is not like the other NPK fertilizers having an equal proportion of NPK. However, you will notice the great results in podocarpus growth.

Easy to use: Scott’s continuous plant food comes in granules and is easy to use on plants. All you need to do is simply applying the directed amount of plant food to the trees and shrubs as directed by the manufacturer. I personally apply this plant food for my magnolias, boxwoods, and podocarpus every two months.

Used for many plants: I always try to recommend the product having wide use in gardening because managing the multiple fertilizers is a great hassle. That’s why I love to use this plant food for my shrubs and trees including magnolias, podocarpus, and boxwoods and I wouldn’t need to buy separate products.

Personal experience: Whenever I visited my Grandparents, I always observed the lush green foliage all around and it puts me think that why my plant doesn’t look like them while I am watering them properly. Then I asked my parent who told me to use this Scott’s plant food that is really a miracle plant food for shrubs and trees.

From that day, I decided to always use the Scotts continuous plant food for my shrubs and trees.

Pros

  • Enhances the lush foliage
  • Improves the growth of the roots
  • Complete blend for podocarpus, hydrangeas
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Can cause burning if not applied as directed

5. Golden Tree: All-In-One Concentrated Organic Additive – Best high concentrated organic fertilizer

Humboldts Secret Golden Tree: Best Plant Food for Plants & Trees - All-in-One Concentrated Organic...
  • NOT FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA. For any Plant: Our Golden Tree formula is...
  • GROW METHOD COMPATIBLE: No matter what grow method you’re using,...
  • ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS: Golden Tree can help provide essential nutrients...
  • SMALL & STRONG: Our 64-ounce solution makes up to 896 gallons of an...

Golden Tree plant food works also as gold for plants and trees. This is a highly concentrated organic plant food that helps to promote plant growth parameters. 

If your plants or trees are dying off due to low nutrients supply then this food will work as a miracle for dying plants. It supports the photosynthetic activity of plants by providing additives and fertilizer to the plants at the same time.

This food does support plant growth if applied 1 to 3 times a week. 

This is a professional-quality fertilizer that can help you to transform your outdoors into lush green gardens.

High concentrated formula: It is a highly concentrated formula having all the nutrients additives for nourishing the shrubs and trees like podocarpus and magnolias. The more concentrated nutrients promote plant growth and improve the lush green foliage over the plants.

Best for dying plants: The high concentrated nutrients are a great alternative to boost up the growth of the dying plants due to the shortage of nutrients in the soil. The concentrated formula nourishes the plant roots with a huge load of nutrients to regain life and boost the plant growth regulators.

Usage experience: During last year, a friend of mine had a long visit to his parents and did not has any backup for its plants. When he came back, he gets under great stress by observing the dying plants by a shortage of nutrients. Then he consulted a gardening consultancy and they recommend he to use this Golden tree plant food 1 to 3 times a week. At last, after one week the continuous use of this concentrate gave a new life to its podocarpus plants.

Pros

  • Compatible for any plant type
  • Increase the yield quantity and quality
  • Provides all the essential nutrients and additives to the plants
  • Decrease vegetation time by 50%

Cons

  • The proportion of nitrogen is not defined by the company

6. Grow More 5010 All Purpose Fertilizer 20-20-20

Grow More 5010 All Purpose Fertilizer 20-20-20, 25-Pound , white
  • General purpose water soluble fertilizer for plants grown in soil.
  • Can be used in both soil and foliar applications.
  • Multiple sources of Nitrogen for staggered release.
  • 1 pound in 100 gallons of water will supply approximately 237 ppm...
  • General Dosage: 1 tablespoon / gallon.

This water-soluble plant food by Grow More is a highly analyzed and all-purpose formula that can provide all the nutrients to the growing plants. 

The water solubility nature of this food makes it easily available to the plants on dissolving after watering. It is a balanced formula for the plants growing in the soil.

The best thing about this plant food is that it has the multi-sources of nitrogen release which helps the lush green foliage and nitrogen availability to the plants.

Due to its water-soluble nature, it can be applied both through the foliar application and soil.

The application is very simple with sprayers by dissolving the 1 tablespoon of food per gallon of water.

Water-soluble fertilizer: Grow more all-purpose fertilizer is a highly analyzed formula for fertilizing shrubs and trees. I personally recommend this plant food to my colleagues that love to use a water-soluble fertilizer. Not just the ease of application, moreover, it also has a complete blend of nutrients for evergreen plants like podocarpus.

Both for soil and foliar application: The great feature of Grow More fertilizer that makes the users fall in love with this product is its wide application modes. You can use it either as a foliar application by mixing in water and apply with any garden sprayer over the leaves to give instant nutrients to the plant.

Additionally, you can either apply this concentrate near the trunk of trees and mix it into the soil with help of hands and water the plants. I tried this concentrate once to test the results and it succeeded in managing the nutrients need for plants.

Pros

  • The balanced and high analyzed formula for evergreen plants
  • Can be used in both soil and foliar
  • Promotes the lush green foliage
  • Complete blend for evergreen plants

Cons

  • Does not supply the P and K

Landscape uses for podocarpus macrophyllus

  • Screen
  • Hedge
  • Camouflage plant
  • Specimen
  • Houseplant
  • Topiary
  • The backdrop for small plants
  • For shade along porch or paths
  • The lining of walk or driveways

Types of Podocarpus

types of podocarpus

The below-mentioned species are the best podocarpus types that grow well in Northern and Southern America, Central America, and Bolivia.

  • Podocarpus brasiliensis
  • Podocarpus celatus
  • Podocarpus guatemalensis
  • Podocarpus magnifolius
  • Podocarpus purdieanus
  • Podocarpus trinitensis

How To Fertilize Podocarpus

These are some useful tips to know before fertilizing podocarpus to get maximum growth of plants. 

  • The fertilization process starts before and during the active growing cycle. You need to start fertilizing just prior to new growth and end 3 to 4 weeks before first frosting.
  • The frequency of fertilization depends on the type of fertilizer. Slow releasing fertilizers require less frequent fertilization while the liquid and granular fertilizers need more frequent application.
  • If you are using the granular fertilizer, spread the granules a little away from the trunk of the tree to avoid the burning.
  • While if you are using a water-soluble fertilizer, apply it thoroughly after drenching the leaves and soil.
  • Water the soil after applying any fertilizer.
  • Always follow the direction on the package.

How To Prune Podocarpus

By following these steps you can get your Podocarpus in better shape.

  • Prune the bigger sized plants to encourage the beauty of the flowers and growth
  • While doing the pruning of a plant, make angled cuts just above the bud
  • The removal of old leaves or branches will help to reduce the disease and pests attack. This act will also increase the flow of fresh air through the tree canopy.
  • Cut down the dead stems to live in the woods.
  • Prune the branches that could get the damage to any person or power lines by falling by any winds.
  • For pruning or shaping the plants, use the proper tools like pole pruners, pruning saws, shear, and hand pruners.
  • Always keep in mind to fertilize after the pruning to speed up the growth.

How to grow podocarpus from cuttings

While you are going to grow the podocarpus from cuttings then you will need to follow some useful steps that ensure the maximum output of your work.

You should propagate the podocarpus by taking a softwood cutting from the new growth ad keep it moist until the new roots grow from it.

Step 1

  • You have to wait till June or July to take the cutting from the podocarpus. You should select a healthy parent plant.

Step 2

  • You should take a cutting in the morning as stems will be moist and firm at that time. Trace the tip of the branch to the point where it is no more flexible and cut the stem from that place from where the woody stem is starting and about the three to five inches form the tip.

Step 3

  • By keeping the above two leaves, remove all the other leaves from the cutting and shave off a small sliver of wood near the cut end of stem by a knife.

Step 4

  • Now fill the cup with tap water ad place the cut ends of cutting in the water. Keep the cutting in the water until they develop roots and keep changing the water every two to three days.

Podocarpus Plant/Tree care

For proper growth of podocarpus, care needs to be taken from the very first day till maturity.

Add the organic peat moss and cow manure compost to the hole before planting the plant.

Trimming is the second most important thing to be taken care of after fertilization, as by trimming is done frequently depending on the look you want. At a younger age, the plant could look spindly and sparse, so the trimming of these plants is done in the spring season.

If the plants are at a younger stage, then hand pruners can be used to get a better shape by leaving enough foliage after trimming. But the mature plant can be trimmed by hedge trimmers if you want to get a better look.

Though this plant is drought tolerant, regular watering will help to grow the plant faster by keeping a little dry out of the time between watering.

Podocarpus are fertilized with granular fertilizer three times a year in spring, summer, and autumn.

Podocarpus Problems

Many problems arose in the growing of podocarpus in the whole life cycle – that could be soil-borne or plants borne. 

Magnesium deficiency could be seen in the podocarpus growing in sandy soils, which can be cured by magnesium sulfate. It could get under the attack of mites and scale.

The infestations of tiny pests can be cured by using horticultural oils and keep the plants well-watered.

Mold or mildew could be also seen if the watering is done from the above side of plants. To overcome this problem use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for irrigation of the plants. 

The podocarpus is a well-known plant having tolerance to many problems so if ignored for some time it will not harm the podocarpus.

FAQs

How do you make Podocarpus grow faster?

How do you make Podocarpus grow faster?

The Podocarpus growth rate totally depends on light availability. Podocarpus grows faster in the bright sunlight so growing these plants at the spot where there is much reach of light will help to grow taller and faster.

Like other green-leaved plants, they also need regular watering though they can grow even with low watering. 

How often should I water Podocarpus?

How often should I water Podocarpus?

Podocarpus needs moist soil but not very soggy – but allowing the upper two inches of soil to dry out before every watering. 

Before watering keep an eye to plant conditions as the brown leaf tips or grey needles are the indication of overwatering. 

You need to water your podocarpus every two weeks in the spring and summer during the active growth season.

Maintain the mulch layer of 2 to 3” to keep the soil moist for more time.

How far apart should you plant Podocarpus?

How far apart should you plant Podocarpus?

Podocarpus spacing is recommended 3 feet apart. If you are growing them away from the house then the spacing is kept 2-½ feet but in case of walk or driveway, this spacing is kept 4 to 5 feet for gaining mature-sized plants.

fertilizer-for-podocarpus

Conclusion

Fertilizing podocarpus is the main thing to be taken care of while growing them for a hedge or screen. The fertilizers will help the plants to grow well by promoting lush green foliage and the spread of shoots.

But choosing the best fertilizer for podocarpus is not less than a headache as a vast fertilizer product is present in the market. So we built this guide to ease you in choosing the right one for your podocarpus.

After applying the fertilizer your plants will thrive and you can shape them by pruning by shears or trimmers.

We hope that you might get enough knowledge about fertilizing the podocarpus and the products. 

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3 Comments
  1. Hi Waqar,
    Thanks for your article! I have a question. I just purchased 2 podocarous maki that are 10 foot high with a group of 3 to 4 trunks. I want to trim up the branches to about 5 to 6 foot high off the ground and over the years create a canopy that is 10 to 15 feet with the tree getting no higher then 12 feet. Is this possible with a Maki? Also the tree farm delivered the wrong trees I sent a photo of a weeping podocarpus with a standard trunk. Is there a way to “fuse” the trunks of the maki to make 1 single trunk?

    • That should be possible with Maki. I have not fused trunks before so I can’t offer good advice on that, but it sounds like its possible.

  2. Excellent review and much appreciated. I’m having an issue where my previously healthy podocarpus has wide areas on the top of the plant that has turned brown. Some leaves are half brown and half green? Can’t tell if it’s vitamin deficiency or root rot issue?

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