How to Grow a Podocarpus from Seed

The genus Podocarpus encompasses a wide variety of coniferous evergreen trees commonly known as southern yews or fern trees. Species such as Podocarpus costalis and Podocarpus macrophylla are widely cultivated in landscaping for their broad, needlelike foliage and showy berries, which contain small seeds that can be used to grow new trees. Growing podocarpus trees from seed is simple but time-consuming since they sometimes take up to two months before sprouting, but the seeds will germinate reliably if provided with a moist environment where temperatures stay below 50 F at all times.

Step 1

Place 2 cups of sphagnum moss in a bowl full of clean, cool water. Soak the moss for an hour. Remove the moss from the bowl and wring out the excess moisture.

Step 2

Wrap the podocarpus seeds in the moist sphagnum moss. Store the bundle in a sealable plastic bag inside a refrigerator until the seeds send out roots, which typically takes around 60 days. Remoisten the sphagnum moss with a spray bottle whenever it feels dry to the touch.

Step 3

Prepare a pot for each podocarpus seed before removing them from the refrigerator. Fill 4-inch plastic pots with a growing medium comprised of 2 parts perlite, 2 parts coir and 1 part potting soil.

Step 4

Carefully remove the sprouted podocarpus seeds from the sphagnum moss without breaking or damaging the roots. Transplant them into the prepared containers so their roots are spread out and the base of the stem is flush with the surface of the soil.

Step 5

Mist the podocarpus seedlings heavily after transplanting them. Saturate the top inch of soil using a spray bottle. Maintain moisture at that depth at all times while the podocarpus seedlings become established.

Step 6

Place the potted podocarpus seedlings where they will receive very bright, diffuse sunlight and temperatures around 68 F. Keep them under those conditions until they grow to at least 6 inches in height before transplanting them into a permanent container or bed.