Podocarpus macrophyllus maki- full sun/ how tall,wide?

elschSeptember 11, 2010

Hi there everyone. I have two Podocarpus macrophyllus maki , 5 ft. tall in 15 gallon containers and am wondering if they will thrive in full sun or if they prefer part shade. I have read conflicting info on the growth rate and height and width, so I am not sure how to space them. Will these grow into monsters without pruning, I don't want them to be over 15 ft. All info is appreciated. Thanks!

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Dick_Sonia(Sunset 17)

Whose "full sun" are you referring to? If you're in Eureka's Zone 9, then by all means give them as much sun as you can. If you're in Palm Springs, then maybe not.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 9:05PM
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I'm in the SF Bay Area in the East Bay.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 1:58AM
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I needed something for a shady spot, so ended up putting them there. But now I am noticing its almost full shade in the winter. By spring it will be part shade.

So, now my question is can they take shade, or will the growth be rangey? I really need them to stay narrow and dense and was planning on shearing it.

I appreciate hearing about any experience you have with Podocarpus macrophyllus maki, thanks!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 9:36PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

They are pretty shade tolerant, but the degree of shade will make a difference, and if they are in open shade with no overhanging trees or roof overhang over them, they will probably be just fine. They will eventually want to get tree sized with age, although they are relatively slow and can be kept hedged almost indefinitely, but they do want to become trees eventually.

Also, just saying East Bay Area is not really much of a help, as conditions vary so widely between someplace like Berkeley down to Fremont or out to Walnut Creek. Degree of shade versus heat varies tremendously between these areas as well.

Planting these in full shade will tend to make them have longer stems on new growth, so they won't tend to stay as compact without regular tip pinching as they would in more sun.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 7:18PM
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Thanks, Bahia. It is the north side of the house , there are no overhanging trees or roof, but it is full shade with no direct winter sun currently.

It is close to the neighbors driveway, could the roots eventually become a problem, even if its trained as a hedge?

Is yew, Taxus baccata fastigiata a better choice? Or do you have any other recommendations for a narrow screen in shade?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 11:11PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

This is probably a better choice than a Yew, which is much faster growing to get large, and in a narrow space, will ultimately get much too large for the spot. I'd suggest that you might want to incorporate a deep root watering tube when you plant, so you can encourage it to follow the water and root more deeply. They generally don't tend to be a problem with roots and foundations and paving, but the trunk of this will ultimately get quite thick over the years. I wonder if something like one of the taller forms of Nandina domestica might not be a better choice if you like the look? Another slower growing Podocarpus that is attractive and relatively slow growing is the Podocarpus latifolius or P. 'Icee Blue' from Monrovia. Similar to the Podocarpus macrophyllus maki, but probably smaller over the long term.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:05AM
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Bahia, I love both Podocarpus latifolius and P. 'Icee Blue' , but was under the impression they grew bigger and faster than Maki. I really can't find that much information on Podocarpuses, so thanks for any insight.

I like Nandina alot and it does seem like a better choice in the long run. What variety would you reccommend to grow the tallest? The only ones I usually see for sale locally are the species(I assume thats what it is) and Gulf Stream . I'd prefer Gulf Stream , but if the species would grow much quicker and taller, I'd get it.

And will the Nandina grow fairly straight up in the shade? Actually, its ok if it leans, since it would be away from the neighbors driveway.

Thanks for all your input!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:39PM
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