Podocarpus Bonsai

About the Care and Maintenance of the Podocarpus Bonsai

The varieties of the podocarpus bonsai are some of the most popular when it comes to bonsai cultivation.  The thick green plants are great for sunny climates like those found in California.  Many of the varieties of podocarpus were originally from Japan and China so there is a long tradition of using them in the creation of bonsai plant decorations.


The podocarpus bonsai likes a sunny climate where it can really take in the rays.  When it gets adequate sunlight, it grows thick and full.  If you are keeping it inside, then you should be sure to try to keep it near a window where it can get adequate light or perhaps on a porch if it is not too shady there.

The podocarpus can also grow in shade though it tends to be less robust when it does.

Climate and Temperature

Although the podocarpus likes a lot of sunlight, it does not do particularly well in extremely hot desert temperatures where it can get leaf burn.  If you live in such a climate and you are keeping you podocarpus bonsai outside, you should try to keep it in a spot where it can get some shelter from the harshest afternoon temperatures, if possible.  Although it will do better in milder temperatures, the podocarpus may still manage to muddle through in Arizona type temperatures with proper care.

Even worse for the podocarpus are the extremely cold Green Bay like temperatures.  Really, anytime the temperatures drop under 50 and starts to near zero, it is likely to be harmful to your podocarpus.  Therefore, if you live in such a climate, you should probably keep it indoors during the winter.

Watering and Feeding

The podocarpus bonsai is one of those types of garden plants that prefer just the right amount of water.  The soil should be moist but not soggy.  Be sure to pick spot for your podocarpus where the water does not pool or you could risk giving your podocarpus root rot.  You should, however, for best results, water you podocarpus every day as needed.

The podocarpus also tends to have magnesium and iron deficiencies.  As you plan to add supplements, you should find those that have both of these as ingredients.  Furthermore, types of emulsion made from fish offer some of the best ways to give your podocarpus a healthy diet.  There are also some generic bonsai feeds that many people find to work quite well and to have less objectionable odors.


Cutting Back to Shape and Increase Growth Rate

In order to keep your bonsai from growing straight up like a pine tree, you will want to cut it back and to twist it a bit in order to get it to take on the classic crooked bonsai shape.  You do this by giving it a sharp cut so that you get some grow back and by wiring it in the shape that you would like.  In addition, cutting back the weaker more sickly looking branches will allow your bonsai to focus its growth on the healthy branches and the ones that will help it to grow into the shape that you want.

The Growth Cycle

The podocarpus is one of those living things that grows more beautiful and compelling over time.  Early in its development, it is very flexible and easily bent into whatever shape you want it to take.  Young plants are thus the best ones to shape for this reason.  As the podocarpus grows older, it tends to grow less and have a more permanent shape that it no longer outgrows.

The podocarpus is the perfect display plant, but many people love to use it as a privacy hedge.  Regardless of which use you have in mind for it, you will be sure to enjoy having this beautiful bonsai.