How fast do podocarpus grow


Podocarpus gracilior

  • Other common name is Fern Pine, African Fern Pine
  • Synonym Afrocarpus gracilior, Afrocarpus elongatus
  • Low-maintenance tree
  • Excellent along sidewalks, in boulevards, patios, used as a privacy screen

Podocarpus gracilior or Fern Pine is prized for its clean evergreen looks, low maintenance requirements, resistance to pests and disease, and wide tolerance of growing conditions. From eastern Africa, this Podocarpus gracilior is a versatile, fast-growing plant popular with homeowners looking for good privacy screens, windbreakers and background plants for their landscape.

Homeowners can get creative with the shape of this evergreen shrub or tree. Podocarpus gracilior can be trimmed down to fit into tighter forms, or be left alone to reach heights of up to 40-feet. It is a common sight to see Podocarpus gracilior trees or shrubs trimmed and shaped like a ball, cone or column on lawns, patios, streets, or gardens throughout the Southwest. It looks good whichever shape you want it to take and however you want to use it on your landscape.

The Fern pine is a fast grower that thrives in full sun and exhibits good looks thanks to its soft, lush, green foliage. It can thrive in full sun or partial shade and looks good in rural, suburban and urban conditions. The roots of this tree rarely lift or crack sidewalks, so feel free to plant near structures, sidewalks, or patios. Homeowners will often use this species as a barrier hedge or have some planted along a fence.

Podocarpus gracilior is a single trunk species that combines well with tropical landscapes and most any type of environment in the Southwest. Easy to care for with moderate water needs, once established, pruning is not needed unless you want a particular size and shape. If you are using it as a tree form, you can expect to get some nice shade cover. Plant near a room around your house and keep the room cool during those heat waves, you might even save some money on your electric bill.

Whether used as a shrub or tree, Moon Valley Nurseries offers the finest quality Podocarpus specimens ready to be delivered to your home and planted by our team of experts. Ask us about our free design and consultation services too!

Hardy Podocarpus isn’t just for hedges

LAKELAND — When gardeners think about Podocarpus, they’re more likely to view them as utilitarian plants than as objects of beauty.
This isn’t surprising because Podocarpus don’t bear attractive flowers and because Podocarpus macrophyllus, simply called podocarpus, excels when used for screens and tall hedges: In other words, as living fences.
But Podocarpus, including P. macrophyllus, can add much more to our landscapes than they currently do, especially as replacements for larger, more brittle plants lost to last year’s hurricanes.
As I mentioned, P. macrophyllus is commonly used for hedges and screens. But these sturdy, pest-resistant, cold-hardy plants are actually trees that can grow 60 feet tall in their native Japan and up to 40 feet in Central Florida.
When not constrained by constant clipping, podocarpus (P. macrophyllus) grows rapidly into an attractive, semi-columnar tree perfect for a specimen plant and for framing and background use.
An informal grove of these handsome trees creates a shady retreat that almost demands a hammock and picnic table.
A smaller, slower-growing variety of P. macrophyllus is P.m. Maki, which takes a decade to reach 8 feet, and is more suitable for hedge use than the species.
Another Japanese Podocarpus that’s been cultivated in Florida for a long time, though never widely planted, is P. nagi. Said to tower 90 feet tall in Asia, this beautiful tree is considerably smaller in Florida.
Podocarpus nagi has gracefully drooping branches, purplish bark and broader leaves than P. macrophyllus. Perhaps because its growth habit, even in youth, is too treelike for it to be suitable for hedge use, P. nagi is difficult to find in nurseries, though why its beauty as a tree is largely unrecognized is a mystery. But some Florida wholesalers do grow P. nagi, so plants are occasionally available.
Because there are about 100 known species of Podocarpus, most of which I’ve never encountered, I can’t say P. gracilior is the loveliest of them all. It is, however, the most attractive Podocarpus I’ve ever seen.
An East African species, P. gracilior is a striking tree known as weeping podocarpus in Florida and as fern podocarpus elsewhere.
It grows nearly 100 feet tall in the mountains of Kenya but probably less than half as tall in Florida. Not a fast grower, weeping podocarpus can be used as a tub plant for several years.
Like other Podocarpus, this species is virtually pestproof, but its tropical ancestry makes P. gracilior vulnerable to damage from severe cold. Weeping Podocarpus is common in South Florida.
All Podocarpus grow well in sun or moderate shade on any non-alkaline, well-drained site, and most can be propagated by cuttings and seeds. They grow in zones 8-10; the Sarasota area is zone 9b.

Office Plants Tips & Ideas

The Buddhist Pine (Podocarpus) is an elegant and graceful plant with grass-like foliage. It is native to southern Japan and southern and eastern China – alternative common names, Southern yew and Kusamaki, reference these two regions. This plant is a slow growing conifer that can reach up to 60’ in its natural habitat, but remains smaller when forced to grow in a container. Typically in a home or office setting you will see a columnar shaped Podocarpus that is 4-6’ feet tall.

The Buddhist Pine grows best in bright, filtered light and evenly moist soil. If the soil is allowed to dry out too much, you will find the plant begin to shed its leaves and leave you with quite a mess to clean up! Another common reason a Buddhist Pine begins to shed its leaves is because of pests. While susceptible to scale insects and spider mites, proper regular maintenance and strategic placement will control and minimize the risk of getting any kind of pest. One of the most common reasons a Podocarpus will get pests is because it is kept too dry, or is in a location that is too hot. An interesting and unique characteristic of the Buddhist Pine (aside from its appearance) is that it actually likes cooler temperatures. Most interior tropical plants ideal environment is 20 degrees Celsius, with temperatures that drop no lower than 16 degrees Celsius… whereas the Podocarpus can tolerate a temperature drop to as low as 4 degrees Celsius!

While this characteristic makes them an excellent plant selection for a drafty doorway, Buddhist Pines are still only occasionally used as tropical office plants. Their intolerance of dry environments makes them a bit more difficult to care for in a commercial environment. Having said that, in the right location they are an amazing plant to add visual interest and elegance to a space.

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Podocarpus macrophyllus

Handsome and hardy, podocarpus is the ultimate in a low-maintenance shrub for sun or shade.

The soft, fine-textured foliage is great-looking when sheared as a formal hedge or left to grow more naturally as a large accent with minimal trimming required.

Because of its moderate growth rate it won’t work as a hedge-in-a-hurry. But given enough time these shrubs become thick, luxurious, full to the ground – and large enough to work as hedge bushes, privacy screens, or plants to camouflage unsightly things around the house.

These plants are also too large to use as foundation shrubs – although you see a lot of them used that way and they must be cut to within an inch of their lives. For a smaller version, use dwarf podocarpus.

There is a tree variety as well – the weeping podocarpus tree – which features the same hardiness and foliage in a beautiful weepy form.

You can grow this shrub as a tree, if you wish – it will form a large oval shape and lower branches can be trimmed up or left on.

Landscape companies often go overboard in trimming these shrubs, and the results aren’t particularly pretty.

You can keep this shrub clipped without taking it down to the bare minimum of foliage…especially if you’ve planned ahead for the size of a mature plant.

Because it takes shaping so well, this plant will fit in a narrow-depth area and can even be trained as a topiary specimen.

Plant specs

This is a moderate grower you can keep 5 to 7 feet or let it get larger – quite a bit, in fact, since the plant can grow as much as 40 feet tall.

It’s evergreen, salt-tolerant, and cold tolerant, so it does well in any area of South Florida.

Sun or shade is just fine, though in shade these plants will grow more slowly. However, the color will look deeper and richer in a shadier spot than in a sunny one.

Tiny spring flowers are followed by purple berries (on female plants) and are edible for people and attractive to birds.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat moss and composted cow manure to the hole when you plant.

Trimming can be done frequently or not – depending on the look you want. The plant can look somewhat sparse and spindly when young, so cut it back in spring, if you do nothing else.

Hand pruners (rather than an electric trimmer) do a better job to shape and yet leave enough foliage after a trim to keep the shrub’s good looks intact. Once mature, though, you can use hedge trimmers if you want a more manicured look.

Though this plant is drought-tolerant once established, it’s best to water on a regular basis with time between waterings for the plant to dry out a bit.

Fertilize 3 times a year – in spring, summer, and autumn – with a top quality granular fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Place these shrubs 3 feet apart. Come away from the house 2-1/2 or 3 feet.

Along a walk or driveway, come in 4 to 5 feet to allow for mature size.

This plant will work in a large container.

Landscape uses for podocarpus

  • hedge
  • privacy screen
  • camouflage plant
  • along a blank wall
  • lining a walk or drive
  • large shrub for the corner of the house
  • architectural accent
  • backdrop for smaller plants
  • along a fence
  • for shade along a porch, deck or patio
  • single yard specimen

A.K.A. (also known as): Japanese Yew
COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: In a sunny location, try juniper, dwarf ixora, Green Island ficus, hibiscus, dwarf fakahatchee grass, bush allamanda, and lantana.

Other plants you might like: Wax Myrtle, Eugenia

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Podocarpus Potted

Podocarpus macrophylla

Native to Japan and Southern China, and commonly referred to as Japanese Yew, Podocarpus is a tough, adaptable tree that is a very popular plant for screens and hedges. Podocarpus has a dense growth habit. It’s needle-like leaves are dark green above and paler beneath and reach five inches in length and about one forth of an inch in width. Fertilized female cones produce attractive, edible, berry-like, purplish fruits that ripen over the summer.

Podocarpus is an evergreen, cold-hardy, drought-tolerant plant. Showing best growth and form in full sun, Podocarpus will also grow in shade but will grow more slowly and have a looser appearance. It will tolerate a variety of well drained, acidic soils; however, it does not perform well on wet soils and may become yellow.

Podocarpus reacts well to pruning, making it easy to manipulate the plant’s shape; it can be pruned into a hedge or grown into a large showy tree. Although it has a moderate to slow growth rate, it can become very large if left alone to grow.

This tough tree is adaptable to urban conditions and works well in areas of poor soils and restricted rooting space. It will make an attractive specimen, street or parking lot tree. It also works great anywhere a tall, narrow specimen is needed. Podocarpus also makes a good coastal plant because of its tolerance to salt spray and heat.

Podocarpus Hedge in the Landscape

Ornamental Characteristics:

Native Origin:
Japan and Southern China

Common Names:
Yew Pine, Japanese Yew, Buddhist Pine

Hardy Range: 8B – 11
Mature Height: 30 – 40’
Mature Spread: 20 – 25’
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate
Texture: Fine
Density: Moderate

Ornamental Characteristics:
Podocarpus are gymnosperms like pines, spruces and cycads. They have needle-like, flat, dark green leaves. Leaves are 2 to 5 inches long. Male plants cones produce pollen and female cones produce attractive fruits. It has a moderate or slow growth rate but can become very large if left alone. It grows best in fertile, well drained soil.

Soil: Clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained
Salt: Moderate to high
Exposure: Full sun, partial sun or partial shade, shade tolerant

Podocarpus Berries

Podocarpus Leaves

SelecTree: Tree Detail

General Notes

Branches droop but resist breakage. Needs good drainage. Still widely sold and referred to as Podocarpus falcatus, although this taxon is distantly related to Podocarpus and has no fleshy receptacle, as do all Podocarpus.

Native to Eastern South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Trees may be referred to as male or female.

An Afrocarpus falcatus in City of Santa Barbara Alameda Park is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 87 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 158 inches and a crown spread of 62 feet.

Family: Podocarpaceae


Afrocarpus gracilior
Podocarpus gracilior

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Erect and requires ample growing space.

Oval or Rounded Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 50 – 65 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 to 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity Greater than 150 years.

Leaves Lanceolate to Linear, Blue Green, Gray Green or Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. Flowers in Spring. Has either male or female flowers (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.

Green to Purple Cone, Small (0.25 – 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall.

Bark Light Gray, Furrowed or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

The best fertilizer for podocarpus requires fertilizers that are rich in either sulphur or iron to give them their deep green color. To maintain their good health and foliage you are required to feed your podocarpus with quality slow release fertilizer of plant food.

Podocarpus is grown either as garden trees, espaliers, trained as hedges or as screen there supplying them with the right fertilizer provides them with all the nutrients thy require throughout their life cycle. Fertilizer for podocarpus should have a ratio of 6-6-6 fertilizer where the ration numbers represent individual NPK nutrient values. Let’s find out what fertilizer brands are compatible with all the podocarpus verities.

Reviews:7 Best Fertilizer For Podocarpus In 2020

1.Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food -Best Fertilizer For Podocarpus Hedge

landing the right fertilizer for podocarpus has turned out to be a slightly tough task ,and that is one the reasons why I think that picking groomer fertilizer to be one of the major reasons why you should consider going for quality and better fertilizers that will hence better root development.

Recommended Dosage;you can use this fertilizer either on potted grafted The availability of sulphur ensures that your podocarpus hedge will be associated with quality root development.Having in mind that at one time you will have to use the podocarpus hedge as fodder to your domesticated animals such as horse or goats the sodium present in this fertilizer promotes the palatability of the podocarpus hedge.

Mode of application;What is more interesting is that this fertilizer can be used all season round regardless of whether you have grown your podocarpus on.Application of this Miracle-Gro® considers just diluting with water the applying to your podocarpus either through.

For Better Results:By the fertilizer being organic makes this podocarpus hedge to be safe for both kids and pets.It comes with quality NPK ratios that allow you to be in a position of carrying out regular and organic podocarpus hedge feeding habits.


  • Safe to kids and pets
  • Easy to use
  • Organic product
  • Promotes dark green leaves


  • de-weeding contact absent

2.Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer, 5 Gallon

We featured this Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer on our list as it is 100% organic meaning that it will have no negative effect on your pets. The nutrient composition of this fertilizer is 6-6-6 fertilizer hence it is able to offer your Podocarpus with sufficient nitrogen potassium and phosphorus nutrient. By using this fertilizer on your Podocarpus you will enjoy an increased rate of root and shoot development.

Podocarpus require a slow release fertilizer, this s ensure that nutrient is gradually realized to the soils as podocarpus require .the chorus present in this sea food ensure that your podocarpus has a vigorous and strong root development. Another role of the phosphorus presents to ensure that your podocarpus will establish quickly.

Lush green and healthy foliage growth is also encouraged by a high amount of nitrogen present. The development of new shoots and branches was also made possible by the availability of nitrogen. Since Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer is 100% organic it encourages the growth of soil micro-organism. Encouraging the existence of micro-organism ensures that the soil characteristics such a structure, fertility and aeration will be improved.


  • Encourage foliage
  • Improves soil structure
  • Promotes strong root development
  • Pets and child safe


  • Easily burn Podocarpus if not well mixed

3.PRO Organic Tree & Shrub Fertilizer -Best Fertilizer For Podocarpus Hedge

Getting your podocarpus hedge the right fertilizer ensures that you will achieve a thick and well established v more easily. Shrub Fertilizer is compatible with podocarpus hedge is that it is fast acting fertilizer. Use this.PRO Shrub Fertilizer to feed your podocarpus hedge for three times in every podocarpus growing seasons.

If you will be growing your podocarpus hedges in containers PRO Organic Tree is still the right fertilizer for you to pick as it is a slow release fertilizer. On the other side, PRO Organic Tree is also the right podocarpus food for ground varieties as the high iron content ensures proper root development. PRO Organic Tree also gives your podocarpus hedge a deep green color as enough sulphur is present.

When feeding your Podocarpus Hedge ensure that you are maintaining a rate 3lbs of pro shrub fertilizer to your podocarpus hedges with a diameter of 6 inches and below. On the other hand, if the podocarpus hedge trunk is more than 6 inches a fertilizer rate of 5lbs should be 100% maintained.


  • 100% natural
  • Promotes soil micro-organism growth
  • Improves disease resistant
  • Encourages root development


  • attract insects
  • herbicides are needed

4.Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener

In case you are planning to have a well-established podocarpus hedge, consider aerating and loosening the soil where you will be growing the hedge. To makes sure that your process of loosening the soil is easy we featured this Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener. The above product is compatible with compact soils or soils that are associated with poor drainage.

Incase during land preparation you did not have enough time to break all the hardpans count yourself lucky as this Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener plays a huge role in ensuring that your podocarpus hedge hardpan puzzle has been solved. The Liquid Soil Loosener also plays a huge role in improving soil structure and to a large extent detoxifying your soil

Your podocarpus hedge will also be protected from soil related infections as the Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener professionally detoxifies. by professionally breakings the hard pan and allowing proper soil aeration this Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener ensures that your podocarpus hedge or shrub has the availability of accessing most of the nutrients.


  • Aerated the soil
  • Breaks soil hardpans
  • Detoxifies the soil
  • Promotes Drainage


  • Leads to unsightly soil plugs

5.Organic Fertilizer Multi-Purpose -Best Fertilizer For Podocarpus Gracilior

To be more specific there are hundreds of podocarpus verities. With each and very variety being adapted differently in differently climatic is also good to note that different podocarpus has different nutrient requirements. Podocarpus gracilior is also known as yellowwood and is heavy feeders. by podocarpus being heavy feeders, a 6-6-6 fertilizer is highly recommended. That is why we featured this Organic Fertilizer Multi-Purpose.

What is more exciting is that this Multi-Purpose fertilizer is granulated therefore a slow release fertilizer for your podocarpus gracilior. The Multi-Purpose podocarpus food provides your plant with minerals and vitamins through the life cycle. The presence of natural stimulators and plant hormones in this Multi-Purpose fertilizer promotes rapid shoot and root establishment.

The 100% slow release ability of this Multi-Purpose fertilizer supplies your podocarpus gracilior with a 2% amount of iron which enhances root development. This Multi-Purpose fertilizer should be applied to gain after 3.5-4.5 months every season. The amount of nitrogen present offers your plants with amazing lush green color. The phosphorus present in this fertilizer promotes quality foliage development as it promotes cell Podocarpus Gracilior elongation.


  • Promotes foliage development
  • Strong root
  • Lush green foliage
  • Improves disease resistant


  • Causes burning effect when not well mixed with soil, therefore, consider mixing it completely with soil or the planting media

6.Pack Of Root Rocket Transplant Fertilizer -Best Fertilizer For Podocarpus Trees

Getting your podocarpus tree this Pack Of Root Rocket ensures that strong roots will be developed. This fertilizer also guarantees your podocarpus deep root penetration which will not have a negative effect on your drive way or lawn in general. Pack Of Root Rocket also ensure that the podocarpus trees are in a better position of nutrient and water uptake.

The nitrogen present ensures that your ground and container podocarpus have amazing vegetative growth. Poor root growth is well catered for as iron and phosphorus are also present in this fertilizer. The nitrogen present also ensures that it has the ability to boost the fertility of your podocarpus tree, therefore, resulting in high breed seed.

By this rocket root pack being a slow release fertilizer for podocarpus trees it ensures a continuing flow of nutrients to the soil. Rocket root pack should be used after a period of three months. Application of this podocarpus tree rocket fertilizer is that the application is slightly easy as you will only have to spread the granules around the podocarpus tree and them mixing them slightly with solid.


  • Slow release fertilizer
  • Easy to apply
  • Promotes root development
  • Prevents root rot in podocarpus


  • When used in excess it causes a burning effect

7.Andersons PGF 16-0-8 Fertilizer With Humic –Best Slow Release Fertilizer For Podocarpus

Up next find Andersons PGF fertilizer on our list as it on of the slow fertilizer brands on the market. Looking at the fertilizer it has no phosphorus your podocarpus hedge or tree will have strong root development. Low phosphorus also ensures that the podocarpus tree will have full access to iron which is responsible for the dark and lush green color in podocarpus trees or hedges.

For a robust and vigorous root and shoot development, nitrogen and potassium are offered in large amounts by this Andersons PGF fertilizer. The availability of MUtech coated granular ensures that nutrients will be realized slowly to your podocarpus. MUtech coating on this fertilizer ensures that your trees are provided with enough nutrients.

Andersons PGF granular fertilizer is defined by tiny particles that are easy to apply. The small sized Andersons PGF fertilizer particles re easy to spread or even to disperse. You are only required to spread this fertilizer around the podocarpus tree for it to be effective. Hence the application of this Andersons PGF is very easy.


  • Easy to use
  • Slow release podocarpus fertilizer
  • Promotes root development
  • Vegetative growth is promoted


  • Not shipped to Oregon, California, and South Dakota

How To Select Best Fertilizer For Podocarpus

Selecting fertilizer for podocarpus should be one of the major things that you should consider familiarizing yourself with. There hundred is not thousands of fertilizer brands but getting quality fertilizer which is specifically designed to be compatible with podocarpus. Below we have discussed some of the most important tips that you should always consider .stay tuned for a complete walk though of the tips that you should always consider.

Podocarpus Diameter,

In case you are wondering how to make podocarpus grow faster than you should realize that considering the diameter of your podocarpus every time before choosing a fertilizer brand. But then, If your podocarpus tree or shrub has a 6 inch diameter and below consider maintaining a fertilizer rate of a maximum of 3lbs per year.

In case you are wondering how much fertilizers for Podocarpus consider maintaining a rate of 5lbs on a larger podocarpus tree and a rate of 3lbs per year on smaller Podocarpus. But on the other hand, is your podocarpus has a diameter of more than 6 inches a fertilizer rate of 5lbs per year is highly recommended.

Podocarpus in containers

If you will be growing your Podocarpus in container remember that you are growing them in an artificial environment. Therefore you will be required to feed your Podocarpus with all the nutrients they require throughout their growth cycle. Podocarpus in the container should be supplied with slow release fertilizer. When talking of slow release fertilizer consider go for granular fertilizers such as.

Slow release fertilizer has the ability to provide your Podocarpus with a steady nutrients supply over a long duration of time. You can also feed your Podocarpus in containers with water soluble fertilizer as thy will readily supply you Podocarpus with the entire nutrient in an effective manner. Talking of water soluble fertilizer we found this to have more positive reviews from previous buyers.

Podocarpus on the ground

When looking for quality and effective fertilizer for your Podocarpus on the ground your main focus should be on allowing them to maintain their deep green foliage. For quality foliage and Podocarpus health when growing your Podocarpus on the ground slow release fertilizers are highly recommend.

The reasons as to why slow fertilizers are highly recommended are that they have the ability to supply your Podocarpus with all the nutrients they require gradually. Slow release fertilizers that are relatively rich in sulphur and iron are more preferred as they allow your Podocarpus to amazing foliage.


After going through the above seven fertilizers for Podocarpus we found Miracle-Gro as our top rated fertilizer while our runners up were found to be. In case you are after a slow release fertilizer for Podocarpus consider picking this. But if on the other you are after the water soluble Podocarpus fertilizer this Miracle-Gro will definitely match you Podocarpus water soluble fertilizer desires.

After applying the required amount of fertilizer on your Podocarpus it is recommended that you consider ceasing Podocarpus fertilization every two months prior to the frost date. Ceasing Podocarpus fertilization allows your plans to be health and at the same time, you will be keeping your Podocarpus from new growth which will definitely be destroyed by an early frost.

Can I prune my Podocarpus gracilior tree now

Question from Jim:
Can I prune my podocarpus gracilior trees now. I have 10 trees in a row to have in a form of a hedge. Grown in the ground for 10 years in direct sunlight. My location is Encinitas, Ca.

Answer from Pat:
Yes, you can prune your fern pine (Podocarpus gracilior) hedge now to keep it flat. Once it gets out of shape then it’s more difficult to correct. Most non-flowering hedges can be pruned year round, but they will grow faster in warmer weather. It’s fine however to prune now since we have been having rain intermittently and I’ve been noticing many woody plants in my garden are actually growing now when one would usually expect them to be slowing down. (I mention non-flowering since if one prunes a a hedge of a flowering plant that flowers on old wood, such as India hawthorne (Rhaphiolepis) then that will prevent it from flowering in spring. Some other flowering heges can be pruned any time since they bloom on new wood. For example a tropical hibiscus hedge can be pruned throughout the growing season when it is flowering but not in winter, because it’s tropical.)

After pruning the hedge I would follow up with manure or organic fertilizer and water it or let the rains do the job. I am answering you immediately so I hope you have time to do the job this afternoon and let the rains water the nutrients into the ground. I do not think we are likely to get frost this year and you live in Encinitas which is usually a frost-free area, so I would even fertilize with an organic fertilizer after pruning despite the fact it’s November. Or instead of fertilizer apply manure after pruning. Fall is a great time to add a layer of manure on top of the ground and let the rains wash it into the ground. If you have a source of aged horse manure that’s fine to use, but here is a little-known fact: If you have a source of clean (non salty) fresh horse manure picked up daily by a good horse owner, you can apply that on top of the ground surrounding established plants such as your hedge. This is a perfectly good practice just as long as you don’t dig it into the ground but let it lie on top to age and see that it’s well water or alternatively has plenty of rain.

When pruning a hedge always leave it wider below and narrower above, as shown in my video on pruning a hedge.

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