Willowleaf podocarp Podocarpus salignus

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
willow-leaf podocarp


Podocarpus salignus, commonly known as Willowleaf Podocarp, has a distinctly graceful and elegant appearance. This evergreen conifer boasts a dense canopy with long, narrow leaves that resemble those of a willow tree. The foliage is a rich dark green, glossy, and has a slightly drooping habit which adds to its willow-like appearance. The leaves of the Willowleaf Podocarp tend to be quite slender, contributing to the soft texture of the plant's profile. During the growing season, new growth may exhibit a lighter green hue, contrasting nicely with the mature leaves. The Willowleaf Podocarp also produces small, inconspicuous flowers followed by small, berry-like fruits that are often purple or bluish when mature. The bark of the plant is generally smooth with a grayish-brown color, providing a subtle backdrop that highlights the vibrant green of the leaves. Overall, the Willowleaf Podocarp presents a sleek and flowing aesthetic that can lend an air of sophistication and tranquility to gardens and landscapes where it’s grown.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Willow-Leaved Podocarp, Chilean Podocarp

    • Common names

      Nageia saligna, Podocarpus chilinus, Podocarpus salignus var. chilinus, Podocarpus salignus var. glaucus, Podocarpus salignus var. reichei, Dacrydium salignum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Podocarpus salignus, commonly known as the Willowleaf Podocarp, is not typically known for being a poisonous plant to humans. Generally, it is considered safe, and there is limited information on its toxicity when ingested. However, as with many plants, it is still advisable to avoid ingestion and to exercise caution around children and pets who might accidentally consume plant parts. There is no well-documented case of toxicity specific to this plant that provides symptoms of poisoning in humans, but if ingestion does occur and symptoms appear, it is important to seek medical attention.

    • To pets

      The Willowleaf Podocarp (Podocarpus salignus) is also not widely recognized as a toxic plant to pets. There is minimal information on its toxicity to animals such as dogs and cats, and it is generally not listed among the commonly known toxic plants that pose a risk to pets. However, individual animals may have sensitivities or allergic reactions to plant materials. If a pet ingests part of a Willowleaf Podocarp and adverse symptoms are observed, it is important to consult a veterinarian. Common symptoms of plant poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy, but again, these are not specifically linked to the Willowleaf Podocarp in the literature.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      25 feet (7.6 meters)

    • Spread

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Podocarpus salignus, commonly known as Willow-leaved Podocarp, has attractive, narrow, willow-like leaves, making it a visually appealing addition to gardens and landscapes.
    • Shade Provision: As a medium to large evergreen tree, it can provide ample shade in gardens and outdoor spaces, offering a cool retreat during sunny days.
    • Windbreak: Its dense foliage can serve as an effective windbreak, protecting smaller plants and outdoor areas from strong winds.
    • Noise Reduction: The thick canopy of Willow-leaved Podocarp can help to dampen noise, making it useful in urban environments for creating quieter, more tranquil spaces.
    • Erosion Control: With its extensive root system, this species is excellent for stabilizing soil and preventing erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Podocarpus salignus can attract and provide habitat for various forms of wildlife, including birds that nest in its branches and feed on its berries.
    • Privacy Screening: Due to its dense and tall growth habit, Willow-leaved Podocarp is often used for privacy screening in residential and commercial landscapes.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it generally requires minimal care and maintenance, which can be advantageous for those looking for an easy-to-care-for plant.
    • Drought Tolerance: After becoming established, the plant is relatively drought-tolerant, making it suitable for regions with water restrictions or low rainfall.
    • Versatility: It can be pruned into various shapes and sizes, which makes it versatile for use as a hedge, specimen plant, or even topiary.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Willow-leaf podocarpus is often used as a bonsai plant due to its elegant foliage and the ability to shape it into various forms.
    • In landscape design, willow-leaf podocarpus is utilized for creating privacy screens or hedges because of its dense growth habit.
    • This species is suitable for topiary, as it can be pruned into geometric shapes or figures, which is popular in formal gardens.
    • The durable and attractive timber of willow-leaf podocarpus is used for making furniture and cabinetry.
    • Due to its resistance to wind, it is planted as a windbreak in agricultural landscapes.
    • The wood of willow-leaf podocarpus is sometimes employed in the construction of musical instruments for its tonal qualities.
    • In coastal areas, it is planted to stabilize sand dunes and prevent erosion with its extensive root system.
    • The tree can be used as a live Christmas tree in regions where traditional conifers are not readily available.
    • Willow-leaf podocarpus is favored for planting in urban areas because it is tolerant of pollution and confined soil spaces.
    • Artisans sometimes use the leaves and bark to create natural dyes for fabrics and crafts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant_name is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant_name is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Longevity: Podocarpus salignus, commonly known as Willow-leafed Podocarp, is often associated with longevity due to its ability to live for hundreds of years.
    • Resilience: As a hardy evergreen, the Willow-leafed Podocarp symbolizes resilience and the ability to endure challenging conditions.
    • Peace: With its soft, green foliage, the tree is sometimes used to represent peace and tranquility in a garden setting.
    • Wisdom: The ancient nature of some Podocarpus species endows them with a symbolic connection to wisdom and knowledge accumulated over time.
    • Prosperity: In some cultures, evergreens like the Willow-leafed Podocarp are considered symbols of prosperity due to their full, vibrant appearance all year round.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Willow-leaf Podocarpus should be watered thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Typically, this equates to once a week, but frequency may increase during hot, dry periods or decrease during cooler, wet months. An average-sized potted Willow-leaf Podocarpus may require approximately half a gallon of water at each watering, ensuring that the water penetrates deeply into the soil rather than just wetting the surface.

  • sunLight

    The Willow-leaf Podocarpus thrives in bright, indirect light but can also adapt to partial shade. Ideally, the plant should be placed where it can receive a few hours of gentle morning sun followed by dappled or indirect sunlight throughout the day, avoiding the harsh afternoon rays that may scorch the foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Willow-leaf Podocarpus prefers temperate conditions and thrives in temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While it can tolerate short periods of cold down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, prolonged exposure to such low temperatures can be harmful. The warm end of its tolerance spectrum is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and consistently high temperatures can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Willow-leaf Podocarpus is essential for maintaining its shape and promoting dense, healthy growth. It's best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Thin out crowded branches and trim back any overgrown areas, targeting no more than one-third of the plant's size each year to ensure its health and vitality. Regular pruning also allows light to reach the inner foliage.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Willow-leaf podocarp prefers well-draining soil enriched with organic matter and a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. A mix of two parts peat, one part pine bark, and one part coarse sand or perlite is ideal for potting.

  • plantRepotting

    Willow-leaf podocarp should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when it becomes pot-bound. Spring is the best time to repot this plant to minimize stress and encourage rapid recovery.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The willow-leaf podocarp thrives at a humidity level of 40-50%, resembling its native habitat's moisture levels, which ensures healthy growth without the need for misting.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place willow-leaf podocarp in bright, indirect light and avoid dry air.

    • Outdoor

      Grow willow-leaf podocarp in partial shade and protect from extreme elements.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Podocarpus salignus, commonly known as Willow-leaved Podocarp, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically dispersed by birds who eat the fleshy fruit and excrete the seeds. Upon germination in a suitable environment, usually shady with well-drained soil, the seedling develops into a young plant with a straight stem and a crown of soft, willow-like leaves. As the plant matures, it undergoes a phase of vegetative growth, where it establishes a strong root system and a woody trunk, while continuously growing taller and developing a conical to rounded crown. The Willow-leaved Podocarp eventually reaches reproductive maturity and produces cones, with male and female cones usually on separate trees. Pollination occurs through wind, leading to the development of seeds within the female cones. After seed dispersal, the cycle begins anew, with individual trees having the potential to live for several hundred years if conditions allow.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Podocarpus salignus, commonly known as Willowleaf Podocarp, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This should ideally be done in late summer or early fall. To propagate by cuttings, a healthy, semi-hardened piece of stem about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long is cut from the parent plant. The cutting should include at least two or three sets of leaves. The lower leaves are then removed, and the cut end is treated with rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is placed in a pot with well-draining soil and kept in a warm, humid environment until roots develop, which typically takes a few weeks. During this period, the soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged to prevent rot.