Podocarp - Podocarpus macrophyllus

Podocarp - Podocarpus macrophyllus

Generality

evergreen tree native to China and Japan; in nature it reaches heights close to twenty meters, as a bonsai it is suitable for all sizes. It has an erect stem and a pyramidal or oval crown, generally the adult specimens have dense and rigid branches, while the young specimens may need topping to produce numerous shoots along the stem; the coreteccia is dark and smooth, it takes many years to crack. The leaves are needle-like, long and flattened, similar to those of the badger, leathery, dark green in color; the male and female inflorescences grow on different trees, only on very old specimens, which also produce small berries containing the seeds. Podocarps have slow growth and are quite suitable for beginners, although it is not always easy to give the crown the desired shape.


Pruning

this evergreen tree grows all year round, and the new branches tend to grow upwards, it is therefore necessary to constantly pinch the shoots, as well as gently detach the oversized leaves. Vigorous pruning is done preferably in winter. The metal wire can be applied all year round, taking care not to damage the bark, protecting it with raffia; the lignified branches bend with great difficulty.

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Exposure

these plants love sunny areas, or at least very bright ones; growth with insufficient light causes very elongated leaves, excess sun can instead cause burns on the leaves. From March to September the plant can be placed outside, in a bright but partially shaded place, especially in the hottest months of the year; the podocarp cannot stand the cold and does not like temperatures below 10 ° C, therefore in winter it should be kept indoors, or in a temperate greenhouse, with temperatures around 15-18 ° C. In general, it is better to avoid sudden changes in temperature and blows of air.


Watering and soil

Watering: keep the soil moist enough, without exceeding it, it is always good to let the earth dry a little between one watering and the next; it is also recommended to frequently vaporize the hair with distilled water. Every 15-20 days add some universal fertilizer to the watering water.

Soil: prefers rich, loose and very well drained soils; use a mixture prepared with two parts of peat, one part of sand, one part of leaf soil and one part of clay. Repot in spring every 2-3 years, cutting the roots a little.


Podocarpus - Podocarpus macrophyllus: Multiplication and disease

Multiplication: occurs by seed, even if the seeds are not easy to find; more easily it is possible to make cuttings, possibly using portions of the new shoots, as the already lignified branches root with difficulty.

Pests and diseases: poorly drained soil can favor the onset of root rot; excesses of drought or humidity can favor attacks by mites or cochineal; in excellent cultivation conditions the podocarps are not affected by parasites or diseases.


Video: Podocarpus Care Instructions