How to Make Podocarpus Grow Thicker: 3 Easy Methods

The members of the podocarpus family come in various forms, ranging from shrubs and small flowers to towering trees.

how to make podocarpus grow thicker

But now they are thin with oddly emaciated branches, completely making your hedges lethargic. 

Although these plants are generally low-maintenance, achieving a thicker and fuller podocarpus requires specific care.

In this guide, we will discuss how to make podocarpus grow thicker with desirably dense foliage.

Why Thick Podocarpus

A sparsely leaved and thin podocarpus tree or hedge can seem out of place, be it indoors or outdoors. 

If you’re already growing this family of trees, you most likely want to enhance their density. 

When grown closely together, podocarpus make excellent hedges. However, if there are areas with fewer leaves, the hedge loses its privacy.

how to make podocarpus grow thicker

How to Make Podocarpus Grow Thicker

In this section, we will outline various methods to help thicken your podocarpus foliage. 

While each step can work independently, employing all of them will give you the best chance of achieving a luxuriant growth. 

These methods are applicable to both potted and outdoor plants.

Method 1: Fertilize for Optimal Nutrition

Fertilizer is a fantastic way to provide your podocarpus with the extra nutrients it needs to grow at an accelerated pace. 

Choosing a balanced 6-6-6 fertilizer is ideal for encouraging thicker foliage. Apply the fertilizer once during each season, excluding winter. 

Just before the arrival of winter, fertilize your podocarpus to prepare it for the colder months. 

Opt for slow-releasing fertilizer, as podocarpus plants have low maintenance requirements and do not consume fertilizers as rapidly as other plants.

how to make podocarpus grow thicker

Method 2: Prune Strategically for Growth

Pruning is an essential process in promoting faster growth. Before you start, ensure your pruning shears are sharp and clean. 

Using unclean shears can result in diseases, while dull tools may damage the stem, hindering your podocarpus from growing thicker. 

To prune a podocarpus, begin by trimming the top and then proceed to the sides. Regular light pruning every two weeks will gradually encourage leaf growth.

For optimal results, prune the tips of each branch, ensuring that 2 to 4 inches of leaves remain on the stem. 

how to make podocarpus grow thicker

If your podocarpus is not part of a hedge, a narrower top and broader base-shaped trimming will work best. As the tree ages, pruning becomes even more crucial. 

Apart from encouraging thicker foliage, pruning keeps the tree healthy and helps reduce moisture loss.

With proper shaping, your podocarpus can transform into a stunning topiary, requiring only bi-weekly trimming.

Method 3: Prioritize Adequate Watering

Watering is vital in maintaining and promoting thick foliage in your podocarpus. 

To set the record straight, these trees are generally drought tolerant and are not fond of soggy soil. 

But if you really want to promote thicker bushes, consistent watering at least during their first year of growth is the key.

To ensure that you really are meeting up the tree’s watering needs, check if the topsoil is dry to the touch before giving it water. 

how to make podocarpus grow thicker


If you are not confident whether you may overwater the tree, you receive some help from well-drained soil.

However, this does not mean you are free to splash as much water you’d want. Be moderate.

The Benefits of Cultivating Podocarpus

Podocarpus plants are low-maintenance, making them an excellent choice for those who don’t have much time to spend on gardening.

They thrive in pots and indoor environments, allowing you to add a touch of greenery to your home effortlessly.

how to make podocarpus grow thicker

Additionally, podocarpus trees grow slowly and maintain their shape exceptionally well.

If you are considering growing a topiary, the slow growth rate will significantly reduce the amount of maintenance your garden requires.

How to Make Podocarpus Grow Thicker In A Nutshell

With a little time and effort, you can easily cultivate a thicker and bushier podocarpus.

Providing proper care is the key to its growth and density. However, it is important to prune as needed to avoid creating a shelter for pests.

By following these essential tips, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a lush and visually stunning podocarpus in your garden or as a hedge.