Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 22, 2011

From: Cupertino, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Yellowing leaves on non-native podocarpus Cupertino CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently planted a podacarpus granular and over half the leaves are turning yellow some are dead. What could be the problem? Is there something I can feed it? What should I do? I planted four & the other three are thriving! Help what should I do?

ANSWER:

Every time Mr. Smarty Plants thinks he has heard of every plant known, another one pops up. Finding Podocarpus granular, however, turned out to be a different matter. We found information on a Podocarpus neriifolius, Brown pine, which had this sentence in it:

"Subrhytidome (under-bark) dark red or black (rarely with lighter pinkish stripes); less than 25 mm thick, 4.0-10.0; bark blaze consisting of one layer; strongly aromatic; pleasant; outer blaze red or brown, markings absent, fibrous or granular without splinters. (emphasis ours)."

That tree is apparently native to Papua New Guinea.

Another member of this genus is called Podocarpus gracilior, Fern Pine. Could that be the one you have? Here is a description from University of Virginia. This species apparently originated in East Africa and Madagascar.

Still another species on which we found information is this one from Floridata Podocarpus macrophylla,  Japanese yew. it was described as being native to Japan and southern China. The only information we found on its care was:

"This durable and beautiful plant is virtually pest and disease free."

Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they are being grown, we have no information on this plant in our Native Plant Database, nor did we find any reference to yellowing leaves on the plant. We suggest you read all of our references to see if you can pick up on something we missed.

One final problem which applies to native as well as non-native plants is that of transplant shock. You say you planted four and the other three are all right. Sometimes root damage or improper placement of a plant can cause it to go into shock. Sometimes a plant is already damaged or rootbound in the pot when it is purchased, all possibilities you should explore. Do not fertilize. Any plant under stress should never be fertilized, as it will only encourage growth on a plant struggling to survive.

 

More Transplants Questions

Smarty Plants on mockoranges
May 25, 2005 - I live in Colorado where it is common to have 1 or 2 late frosts. I planted 4 littleleaf mockoranges (Philadelphus Microphyllus) 2 years ago and they are pretty much in full sun most of the day. I h...
view the full question and answer

New agave plants, offshoots of parent plant, transplanting
September 16, 2007 - I have different varieties of Agaves that are sending off new plants from the mother. Some have 1-2 and some have 6-7 plants. Is there a proper method for removing (cutting them a certain way) for t...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Granbury, TX.
April 14, 2011 - We live on a rocky hill in Hood County, Tx. and need suggestions for evergreen anything that will provide privacy. Red Cedars were added in October 2010 and it looks as if half of those are dying. He...
view the full question and answer

Failure of Bald Cypress to fully leaf out
April 14, 2008 - My family just moved to a house in Burnet County, about 7 miles south of Bertram, close to the Balcones Canyonlands NWR, with very rocky limestone soil. We bought several trees last fall, including a ...
view the full question and answer

Wild plum tree failing to bloom from Simonton TX
May 04, 2013 - I have a wild plum tree that has been in the ground for 3 or 4 years and it has not ever flowered. Why? I don't know what kind it is. I dug it up from a friends yard. Her wild plum trees have flowere...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.