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anyone have Podocarpus in their collection?

Posted by gravyboots 7B (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 7, 11 at 19:32

I was just at a conference & the hotel/convention center had several nice-looking trees (pruned short) that I was told by the Tree Lady were Podocarpus.

I'm guessing gracilior most likely? But possibly salignus or henkelli - anyone know the chances of that? The leaves were feathery, twice-compound (if I remember correctly!), NOT whorled around the stem - definitely a flat arrangement. I would call the bark "blond" & not smooth or even close to smooth.

The Tree Lady said they were probably about 40 yrs old - they were around when she began working in the 70's & had then what she considered to be largish trunks.

Anyone have any experience with these plants indoors? I thought they had a very nice look to them. Are they hard to come by? I've never noticed them for sale....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: anyone have Podocarpus in their collection?

P. Gracilior is pretty easy although I lost mine due to scale (officially freezing to death because they were too scale infested to bring back inside in the winter) that took hold because I wasn't around enough to keep them watered properly. Didn't seem like they had particularly high humidity requirements. They also grew pretty quickly.

P. Macrophyllus grows a lot slower for me, but seems to be a lot more forgiving in terms of water needs. Mine was doing something weird this summer where the new growth was really miscolored and kind of crispy. The growth it's putting out now looks fine. Guessing it was a nutrient deficiency, but no idea.

I've heard both need really high humidity but I haven't seen this to be the case in actuality. You might get some tip burn with low humidity but nothing bad.

All in all they seem pretty easy. Things can go awry if they are not kept moist enough, however, especially with the Gracillior.


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RE: anyone have Podocarpus in their collection?

Thanks Amccour! Does you P macrophyllus have leaves that whorl around the stem? The pics I was able to dredge up online had that look, which is why I ruled it out as the plant I encountered.... but if it's easier to get along with, maybe I'll keep an eye out for it.

What kind of habit does it have? Do you let it grow tall or keep it pruned down? Is it sold as an outdoor plant in some areas of the country? Your area?

As for the humidity, these were growing in a glassy skybridge - seemed to be unheated - in Spokane WA, so I'm guessing DRY. The Tree Lady was saying that since the building has some sort of "green" certification, all the lobbies are unheated, getting only what the sun brings in through the large windows.


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RE: anyone have Podocarpus in their collection?

Macrophyllus has whorl-ly leaves. I think you encountered a Gracilior.

"but if it's easier to get along with, maybe I'll keep an eye out for it."

Gracilior is probably easier, actually. Mine died for some rather stupid and very idiosyncratic problems that I should've corrected earlier.

"Is it sold as an outdoor plant in some areas of the country? Your area?"

Occasionally, except I live in Ohio and it's not even remotely hardy here so I have no idea why. TYPICALLY they are sold as houseplants. I think some garden centers just get confused/drunk.

"What kind of habit does it have? Do you let it grow tall or keep it pruned down? "

The remaining podocarps I have aren't big enough to merit pruning; however Macrophyllus is used as a hedge down in florida so you can really keep it as small as you want.


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RE: anyone have Podocarpus in their collection?

Several years ago I planted this one in the ground. Now, it's taller than I am. This is Zone 7 but next to the house, probably Zone 8. Just will have to espaliate it as there is vertical room for it, but not horizontal. Used to grow it as a 'houseplant'.


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