Podocarpus Bonsai Tree Care Sheet

General Description:

The Podocarpus Bonsai Tree from our wholesale nursery will grow up to 40 feet in the wild, are originally native to China. They have been called the “Pine of Buddhists”, and will produce purple or green fruit if kept healthy. This beautiful and unique bonsai has cinnamon bark that coats its gently curved trunk with short, flattened needles protruding from the end with elegance. During spring, several flowers will bloom and usher in brightly colored berries that will slowly deepen to black by fall. This Podocarpus will do best if provided with direct sunlight. Please be sure you check out our full selection of online bonsai trees for sale from our wholesale nursery after you have read up on the Podocarpus Bonsai Tree.


We recommend that you keep the soil of this bonsai tree slightly moist, for if the soil dries out completely it could kill the tree. The root ball is what cannot be allowed to dry out. While watering, you need to take caution against overwatering, which can lead to root rot and grey needles. You should also supplement misting the leaves of your tree to help increase the humidity around the tree which will better mimic its natural environment.


The Podocarpus Bonsai Tree needs to be kept in temperatures above 55 degrees. It can survive colder temperatures and even frost, but it will be healthier and more vigorous if kept in higher temperatures. Therefore, these trees grow very well indoors if they are kept in a bright window with proper sunlight.


While these bonsai trees are typically kept indoors, they prefer to be in direct sunlight. So if you keep your tree inside, make sure it gets plenty of sun. With that said, Podocarpus Bonsai Trees can also suffer from leaf-burn if the sunlight is too intense and hot. So it is up to you to find the perfect location! 


For fertilizer, we recommend that you use a balanced liquid fertilizer and apply it every 2 weeks during the spring and summer, and every 6 weeks throughout the winter. We also recommend, though this is certainly not required, that you mix Epsom salt – mix 1 tbs per gallon – and use that water for a week. This will help prevent a possible magnesium deficiency since they thrive in acidic soil.


The Podocarpus Bonsai Tree needs to be aggressively trimmed in order to maintain the shape you are aiming for. Completely remove oversized needles (do not just simply cut the edges of the needles as that will just cause them to turn brown and look unappealing). Feel free to pinch away any new, unwanted growth with your fingers being careful not to damage the bark. If you choose to wire your tree, do so very carefully as older branches tend to be very rigid and can break in two if too much pressure is applied. *As a unique bit of advice, many bonsai masters will add a piece of driftwood to the base of the tree which adds a very appealing look to the Podocarpus.

Potential Pests:

There are a few pests that are relatively common to the Podocarpus Bonsai tree, and they are mealy bugs, sooty mold, and scale. Luckily, these can all be removed by cleaning the tree and leaves thoroughly with a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tsp dish soap. Be sure that you rinse the tree with clean water when you are finished.


We recommend that you repot your tree in the early spring, every three or four years. You should cut back no more than 20% of the roots.


*Please click here if you would like to see our entire online list of bonsai tree care sheets!