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Podocarpus Plants

Q.Leggy Podocarpus (Japanese Yew)

Zone 92675 | Len added on April 21, 2021 | Answered

Our 6 year old Podocarpus trees were leggy when we bought the house 3 years ago and remain leggy despite our pruning them for the last two years to encourage a more “shrubby” look. It’s noted that we primarily pruned only the sides, back and front to avoid having to climb a ladder on a slope and we have seen some new growth but nothing significant. We live in USDA Zone 10A and the soil in our yard is mostly clay but that’s true of the entire community in which we live and all the neighbor,s Podocarpus trees are spectacularly shrubby. Thank you in advance for any advise you may have.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 21, 2021

Usually, compacted soils will produce a leggy appearance as the shrub struggles to maintain an appropriate balance of nutrients and moisture. Amending the soil may be difficult to impossible, but earthworms can be of assistance, here. This article will help with earth worm farming:


Feeding can help, especially since they are prone to magnesium deficiencies. This article will offer information on the care of the shrub:


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