How to Root a Podocarpus

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners

  • Knife

  • Cup

  • Rooting hormone (optional)

  • Soil (optional)


You can also take podocarpus cuttings from hardwood, which is the rigid portion of the stem. However, hardwood cuttings must be dipped into rooting hormone and planted in soil, since they do not root with just water.

Podocarpus is also called Chinese yew or Buddhist pine, and can be either a shrub or a large tree, depending on how it is pruned. The plant is an evergreen that can reach 90 feet tall in the wild, but it is also often used as a bonsai. Propagate podocarpus by taking a softwood cutting from new growth and keeping it moist until it grows roots.


Step 1

Wait until June or July to take the cutting from a podocarpus. The parent plant should be healthy but can be a bonsai or a full size variety.

Step 2

Wait until early morning, when the stems are moist and firm. Trace the tip of one branch back until you reach the place where it is no longer flexible. Cut the stem off just above the rigid wood, or about three to five inches from the tip.

Step 3

Pull off all but the uppermost two leaves on the podocarpus cutting and discard them. Shave off a small sliver of wood near the cut end of the stem, using a sharp knife.


Step 4

Fill a cup three-quarters of the way to the top with tap water and place the cut end of the podocarpus stem in the water. Leave the cutting in the water until roots form, changing the water out every two to three days.



Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.