Dwarf Podocarpus

Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Pringles'

Dwarf podocarpus embodies everything we love in a small green shrub...carefree durability, rich color, and it's happy anywhere we plant it - sun or shade.

dwarf podocarpus

This fine-textured plant's hardiness and slow growth habit make it one of South Florida's best low-maintenance shrubs.

You can sculpt it or let it grow into its natural mounded form with little trimming needed.

The evergreen foliage is deep green (a beautiful, deeper blue-green in shadier spots), highlighted by bright, light green new growth.

Its size is ideal for small yards or large as a low hedge, foundation planting, or almost anything else you can think of. (The larger shrub variety makes an excellent hedge.)

Plants that take both sun and shade are extremely valuable for their use in areas that encompass both types of light.

A property line hedge may run the gamut from full sun to full shade...same goes for foundation plantings.

Dwarf podocarpus is one of the few shrubs that does an excellent job in both areas.

Plant specs

This shrub is moderately drought-tolerant once established, and grows slowly to about 3 feet tall, though you can keep it somewhat smaller if you like.

It's cold-hardy and does fine anywhere in South Florida.

Sun or shade - this tough little plant doesn't care. And because it's salt-tolerant you can use it in beachfront locations.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat moss combined with composted cow manure to the hole when you plant.

Trimming is optional...some people like a more manicured look and hedge-trimming this plant works fine. If you like a more natural look, trim now and then for size or shape - or not at all.

Fertilize 3 times a year (spring, summer and autumn) with a quality granular fertilizer.

Though it's considered moderately drought-tolerant, a podocarpus shrub always looks better with regular watering - especially if it's sitting in a sunny location. Give it time to dry out between waterings and be sure it's placed in a well-drained area.

foliage detail

Plant spacing

Place these shrubs about 2-1/2 feet apart.

Come out from the house 2-1/2 feet or more.

This plant works fine in containers and can even be trimmed as a bonsai.

Landscape uses for dwarf podocarpus

  • foundation planting
  • backdrop for smaller plants
  • low to mid-height hedge
  • along a fence
  • lining a deck, porch, patio, or carport
  • around a poolcage or lanai
  • understory planting around palms and trees
  • along a walk or drive
  • fronting taller hedges
  • in a mobile home planter box

A.K.A. (also known as): Dwarf Japanese Yew


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Azalea, wild coffee, thunbergia, schefflera, copper plant, croton, bush allamanda, ruella, dwarf tibouchina and gold mound.

Other shrubs you might like: Dwarf Bottlebrush, Full-size Podocarpus

  1. Home
  2. Small Shrubs
  3. Dwarf Podocarpus

Take a break!

cover Lazy Gardener's Guide

The ultimate guide to low-maintenance plants
and landscaping!

An ebook by
Chase Landre

author of

Learn more!

Get a greener thumb!

Want to learn more about South Florida planting, watering, fertilizing and dealing with weeds and pests?

See our Gardening How-To section for answers!

Get instant curb appeal!

cover Landscape in a Hurry

An ebook by
Chase Landre

author of

Learn how to get instant curb appeal with fast growing plants and landscaping techniques!

Learn more...